2024 Marks Iconic Event’s 80th Year, Which ‘Resurfaces’ Following a One-Year Hiatus


Mar. 8, 2024


Lee Perry, True West Presents, 503-348-3135, lee@truewestpresents.com

Katie KadlubVisit Hood River, 208-867-0498, katie@visithoodriver.com

(CASACADE LOCKS, Ore.) – One of the country’s longest-tenured and most iconic open water swimming events – the Columbia River Cross Channel Swim – proudly returns to mark its 80th year on Monday, Sept. 2, rekindling the Labor Day tradition along the picturesque banks of the Columbia River.

For eight decades, enthusiasts have congregated along the Columbia River’s shores, with recent years seeing the event hosted at the Sternwheeler paddleboat dock in Cascade Locks. Swimmers board the historic Columbia Gorge sternwheeler and are ferried across the channel before anchoring on Washington’s shores. Upon a signal, participants leap from the decks into the river waters, commencing a 1.1-mile open water swim toward the Columbia River’s south (Oregon) shore. A dedicated swim lane, flanked by volunteers on sailboats, kayaks, and paddleboards, ensures guidance, encouragement, and the safety of the swimmers.

This longstanding Columbia Gorge Labor Day tradition, dating back to the 1940s, faced a temporary setback in 2023, leaving the event’s future uncertain.

“The Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim stands as a cherished annual tradition in the Columbia Gorge, reflecting almost 80 years of commitment by the Webster family and the broader community,” said Katie Kadlub, CEO of Visit Hood River. “With a reset and thoughtful consideration of the swim’s challenges, we are thrilled to extend an invitation to past swimmers and new participants for the event’s return this September at the Port of Cascade Locks. We encourage everyone to secure their accommodations early in anticipation of the Labor Day holiday.”

To register for the Columbia River Cross Channel Swim, visit www.columbiariverswim.com

For more information on Visit Hood River and Hood River County Chamber of Commerce, or to book your stay, visit www.visithoodriver.com.

About Visit Hood River:

Located at the crossroads of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the magnificent Cascade Range and just an hour from Portland, Hood River offers outdoor recreation, dramatic vistas, historic landmarks, bountiful fruit, and fantastic food, wine, beer, and cider. With accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to historic B&Bs, Hood River is a four-season destination for families, outdoor enthusiasts, weddings, corporate events, and more. It was named a Best Adventure and Explorations Town by the 2023 Sunset Travel Awards and Nature Lovers Destination in the 2022 Sunset Travel Awards, a Top 10 Wine Destination for 2017 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and 2015 Best Adventure Town in the West by Sunset magazine. Visit Hood River supports economic development, community development, and destination marketing for Hood River, Cascade Locks, Mosier, Odell, Parkdale, Pine Grove, and Mount Hood. For more information, call 800-366-3530 or visit visithoodriver.com.


Contact katie@visithoodriver.com

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