The Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival in Stevenson, WA is one our favorite festivals on the West Coast. The setting is beautiful on the Columbia River and they always have top notch bands from around the Northwest and also nationally known artists from the states that gave birth to bluegrass.
The Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival is a 4 day event at the Skamania County Fairgrounds. Camping for tents and RVs is available with a few electric sites. If camping is not your thing, the beautiful Skamania Lodge is just a short drive or lovely walk from the fairgrounds. You can buy individual day passes or get a camping plus one admission pass. Children 12 years-old and younger are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Of course, as in most bluegrass festivals, there is always some parking lot picking going on. One of our favorite things is going to sleep as night and still hearing some picking from those sturdy souls who can never give up until the wee hours of the morning.
There are great hiking trails nearby at the Skamania Lodge or you can walk a short distance to downtown Stevenson and enjoy the shops and restaurants. There is also the The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum where you can learn the early history of this natural wonder and experience a Native American long house. It also gives you a hint of the trials, tribulations and travels of Lewis and Clark.
Just being on the Columbia Gorge and viewing the beautiful views is worth the trip here. The Columbia Gorge was formed by the uplift of the Cascade Mountains and subsequent down-cutting by the Columbia River beginning about 2 million years ago. About 13,000 years ago, the largest of the known floods on Earth, the Ice Age Missoula floods, scoured the Gorge, carrying in it’s power large boulders and debis. This flood came from the massive Missoula Lake that covered much of Montana, Utah and Idaho during the ice ages. When the ice dam broke the floods occurred through the Gorge.
This year was no exception to great musicians at the festival. The lineup was an impressive list of local and national talent. We were introduced to two of the most talented artists we have have ever seen. Sierra Hull and Ethan Jodziewicz are both young (early twenties) amazingly gifted people who are currently touring the country together and we were so fortunate to watch them play. I have attached 2 videos below that were recorded at the Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival this year. Please view them and then share with your friends. I think you will be amazed by their talent.