The 3D PBL parameterization is based on the turbulence model developed by Mellor and Yamada (1982). Our implementation in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model proceeds in steps from a pure algebraic model that diagnoses the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) equation to a higher level model that predicts the TKE. During each step, we compare results from the 3D PBL parameterization with both state-of-the-art 1D PBL and large eddy simulations (LES). These include both idealized simulations of the convective boundary layer and simulations over the Columbia River Gorge wherein the Wind Forecast Improvement Project 2 (WFIP2) field campaign is taking place. Over the WFIP2 region, WRF is configured with the innermost nest at 111 m of horizontal resolution using both 1D and 3D parameterizations whereas the WRF-LES is run with ~50 m grid spacing. The evaluation focuses on the performance of the 3D PBL scheme to reproduce the wind over complex terrain at resolutions where the assumption of horizontal homogeneity is no longer valid.