Maryhill, Washington, is just outside the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area but has so much to see and do it is worth a short detour. It is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River. Your first stop is the Stonehenge Memorial located on the original Maryhill town site. It was dedicated in 1918 and completed in 1929. Sam Hill, the creator, worked with leading authorities in the fields of archaeology, astronomy, and engineering to build a full-size replica of the original Neolithic ruin in England. He created the rough, hand-hewn texture by using reinforced concrete with crumpled tin in the forms. It is a breathtaking monument perched high above the Columbia River. From viewpoints within you can see Mt. Hood. It was the nation’s first WWI memorial, and Hill saw it as a monument to peace and heroism. Hill was a true renaissance man and incredibly involved in the history of the area. His ashes are buried at the Stonehenge site.
Hill was also fascinated by roads. He constructed 10 miles of demonstration roads at his own expense. He was instrumental in the development of the Historic Columbia River Highway. The historic Maryhill Loops Road was the first asphalt-paved road in the Pacific Northwest. A 3.6-mile section of the road is available to explore.
The Maryhill Museum of Art is one of the most fascinating museums in the United States. Sam Hill purchased 5,300 acres of land in the area and began work on a mansion overlooking the Columbia River. He never lived in the home and decided to turn it into a museum, which was dedicated in 1926 by Queen Marie of Romania, his friend. This world-class museum is still in a remote area and is open seasonally. It contains over 80 works by Auguste Rodin as well as artifacts from Queen Marie. The museum has incredible views of the gorge and Mt. Hood from its landscaped grounds. Well worth a visit.
In addition to Sam Hill, Maryhill is famous for wine. The Maryhill Winery is one of the largest in Washington and is family owned. It sits on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River with panoramic views. During the summer, enjoy live music on their beautiful vine-covered terrace. Charcuterie boards, salads, pizzas, and other small plates are available to order to enjoy with the wine. If you want to be more active, check out the bocce courts.