The Columbia River is the border between the states of Washington and Oregon. The gorge it flows through is at places a narrow valley and at other places a wide canyon. The sides rise to thousands of feet above the river, and present a view both rugged and beautiful. The Columbia River Gorge is the best travel route between its eastern parts and the coastal area to the west. The Dalles and Hood River, both on the southern side of the gorge, lie on the eastern side of the Cascade mountain range. The geography of the area results in unusual weather patterns, so that Hood River is known worldwide as an ideal spot for windsurfing. More can be found about the Columbia River Gorge at the Forest Service web site for the Columbia River National Scenic Area.