The view east from Chanticleer Point, as this vista point is also called (the official name is the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint), is the first cliff-side panorama of the Columbia and its gorge that most travelers experience on U.S. 30. This classic tableau features Crown Point’s domed Vista House  jutting out on an escarpment about a mile to the east, giving human scale to the cleft in the Cascades 725 feet below.
his same perspective on the Columbia (minus the domed observatory) from the now-defunct Chanticleer Hotel in 1913 inspired Sam Hill, Samuel Lancaster, John Yeon, and other prominent men to cast the final vote to build the Columbia River Highway .
Behind a barrier on the western side of the Portland Women’s Forum parking lot is a remnant of a 1912 access road that brought Chanticleer Hotel visitors here on a hair-raising ride from the Rooster Rock train station near the shoreline. After a fire destroyed the hotel in 1930, the point was annexed to the holdings of Julius Meier, a prominent Portland  department store owner who also became governor of Oregon . Travelers pass his former estate, Menucha (Hebrew for “waters of life”), now a retreat center, on the highway west of here.
In 1956 the Portland Women’s Forum purchased Chanticleer Point, and they donated it to the state park system six years later.