The Bridge of the Gods was originally the name of the geological land bridge that formed after the Columbia River broke through the natural dam created by the Bonneville Landslide 1,000 years ago. The name has its roots in the Klickitat Tribe’s Native Folklore. The story goes that the great spirit gave land to his two sons, Pahto and Wy’east, on either side of the river, and created the bridge as a way for the family to meet together. After the brothers fought over a beautiful woman named Loowit, their anger shook the earth and the bridge fell into the river. Some say Loowit died as a result. For punishment, the Great Spirit turned the three into mountains. Pahto became Mount Adams and Wy’east became Mount Hood, while Loowit became the beautiful Mount St. Helens.
The landbridge no longer exists, but a giant steel bridge was built to connect the land together and was named after the legend. The steel Bridge of the Gods provides a fantastic viewpoint of the Columbia River Gorge and is free to walk across. It also happens to be the lowest point of elevation along the Pacific Crest Trail and is the place where thru-hikers cross from Washington to Oregon or vice versa.