Come experience the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge, one of the United States' most photographed Natural Scenic Reserves, on this 7.5-hour tour. Drive along the oldest scenic highway in the US, stopping at sweeping viewpoints, flowing falls, and a historic lodge. Eat lunch in the Windsurfing Capitol of the World, and that's just the first half of the tour. Traverse Oregon's fertile fruit valley on the way to the alpine top of a volcano, which happens to be the world's 2nd most climbed mountain in the world. Come along on this exciting journey to experience Oregon's wonders.
We will depart downtown Portland and head east along the Columbia River to Troutdale, also known as the Gateway to the Gorge! There, we will join the beautiful Historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned scenic roadway in the United States, and wind our way to our first stop for the day: Crowne Point. This famous overlook sits 733 feet above the Columbia River, atop the remains of a lava flow that swept through the Gorge around 14 to 17 million years ago! There we will find 180 degree amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge and will also have time to explore the Vista House, an intricately designed observatory and museum that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From there we will again join the historic highway as we drive deeper into the Columbia River National Scenic Area. Our first waterfall for the day will be the dramatic Latourell Falls, plunging 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt! Our next waterfall will be Wahkeena Falls, said to be the most scenic waterfall along the historic highway (probably due to its spectacular alluvial fan)! Wahkeena Falls crashes over 242 feet and is complimented by an ornate stone bridge. Depending on the season, a short .25 mile paved trail hike will be led to get closer to the falls at one of these first two waterfalls.
The next waterfall we will visit will be the grand Multnomah Falls, the highest waterfall in Oregon and second highest in the nation! Here we will explore the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge (a Cascadian style stone and timber lodge built in 1925) as well as the beautiful Multnomah Falls itself. This natural wonder plummets 620 feet in two major steps, accented by the Benson Bridge. Our guests will have the option to admire the falls from the easily accessible viewing platform, or journey on another short .25 mile paved hike to the famous bridge.
We will drive by the world famous Oneonta Gorge as we make our way to the last waterfall for the day, Horsetail Falls. This striking 176 foot waterfall gets its name from its shape, which resembles a horse's tail. From here we will make our way to Hood River, also known as the Windsurfing Capitol of the World, where we will pause for an hour. You will have a chance to explore the town and eat lunch. Following lunch, we will set out again, this time heading south, through the picturesque Fruit Loop orchards and lavender farms. If time permits, we will make a brief stop at one of the fruit stands!
Wind your way to Timberline Lodge, a National Historic, which sits at 6,000 feet elevation on impressive Mt. Hood! Enjoy a walking tour inside the lodge and enjoy the surrounding Cascade Mountain Range views from the lodge's outdoor patios. If time allows, a short hike to the Pacific Crest Trail crossing just behind the lodge will be led by your guide. After the full day of adventures, you will return to Portland (approximately 1.5-hour drive).