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Cape Horn

A steep, jagged promontory with steep cliffs, on the north bank of the Columbia River. In 1826, John Work, an official of Hudson’s Bay Company, named this feature Cape Heron for the water birds in the vicinity. The present name is a distortion of the name given by Mr. Work, who was father-in-law to both William F. Tolmie and Edward Huggins of Fort Nisqually fame. A local name was Bell’s Bluff. View it at a small pullout area around milepost 25.

Perpendicular cliffs have been left. A snow shed protects the highway from snowslides and rockslides. Rock blasted from the road during construction covered a good portion of a farm in the valley. The highway widens at each end of the snow shed, providing parking space. The sheer drop of the cliff hundreds of feet below to the little valley nestling on the banks of the Columbia, is an awe-inspiring view, with a background of steeply wooded hills on the Oregon bank.