Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Clatsop Crest, Oregon"
Includes ... Clatsop Crest ... Widby Loops ... Bradley State Wayside ...
Image, 2011, Clatsop Crest Summit Sign, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Summit sign, Clatsop Crest, Oregon Highway 30. Image taken May 1, 2011.

Clatsop Crest ...
Clatsop Crest is a long range of hills on the Oregon side of the Columbia River running approximately northwest to southeast. The southern part is known as Nicolai Ridge. The Bradley State Wayside (also called Bradley State Scenic Viewpoint) is located at Oregon's Clatsop Crest, on Oregon Highway 30 Milepost 79.9.

Widby Loops ...
Before re-alignment, the early Columbia River Highway followed the Columbia River and went through today's Bradley State Wayside. The viewpoint was reached by a series of loops called the "Widby Loops".

According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"Before World War II, the Lower Columbia River Highway ascended from the river level up to Clatsop Crest, and part of the ascent was made by a series of hairpin bends called the Widby Loops. In 1914, J.L. Widby was resident engineer of the OSHD during the construction of these loops, and an assistant, Earl Withycombe, prepared a sign reading "Widby Loops," which was nailed to a tree nearby. The name became permanently attached to this interesting example of engineering, eliminated in the 1950s by a new alignment."

"The Widby Loops, 10 miles west of Clatskanie, is growing in the estimation of motorists as rivaling Crown Point for scenery. Here the road winds up a series of loops similar to the figure eight on the upper highway and at the top there is a magnificent view of the river and highway for miles each way. This point is 700 feet above the river."

Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", September 1, 1918, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.

The Widby Loops, Where the Lower Columbia River Highway Climbs to Clatsop Crest.

"The completion of the paving between Portland and Astoria will throw open to uninterrupted traffic another great section of the Columbia river highway, and the lower highway, in its way, will be as notable as the upper highway is in its way. The same high standard of grade and construction has been maintained, and at one point, Clatsop Crest, the highway winds up by a series of loops to the top of a high bluff, giving a vista of the lower river comparable to the view from Crown Point."

Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", October 17, 1920, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.

Clatsop Crest in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

The highway ascends the Coast Range in a series of hairpin turns to CLATSOP CREST, 79.7 m., overlooking the Columbia River and the country beyond. In the immediate foreground is long, flat PUGET ISLAND, where grain fields and fallow lands weave patterns of green and gray, and sluggish streams form silvery canals. Although the island is close to the Oregon shore, it lies within the State of Washington. It was discovered in 1792 by Lieut. Broughton of the British Navy, who named it for Lieut. Peter Puget...."

Views from Clatsop Crest (Bradley State Wayside) ...
Today Bradley State Wayside sits atop Clatsop Crest providing fantastic views of the Columbia River, Puget Island, and Washington State.

"There'll be plenty of folks who, after driving over this lower highway, ascending the scenic Widby Loops on an easy grade and perfect roadbed to the summit of Clatsop Crest, 700 feet over the Columbia, and there witnessing the view unfolded, will swear that not even Crown Point, on the Upper Columbia River Highway, can surpass it."

Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", June 30, 1918, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.


Image, 2005, Cargo ship passing Puget Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cargo ship passing Puget Island, Washington. View from Bradley State Wayside, Clatsop Crest, Oregon. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Columbia River looking upstream from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
View upstream from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Puget Island and Coffee Pot Island, can be seen from Bradley State Wayside. Image taken April 19, 2005.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, March 25, 1806 ...

Lewis, March 25, 1806 ...

Journey to the PacificReturn to

*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

  • Oregon State Archives website, 2009, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon";
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;
  • Oregon Historic Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016;

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
April 2011