Columbia River Gorge Tour
Columbia River Gorge
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After leaving downtown Portland, the Gateway to the Gorge is where your tour and the real beauty begins. On this tour, you'll learn how the majestic Columbia River Gorge was formed, through earth-shaking landslides and enormous glacial flooding not seen during human's existence. As you segue from a temperate rainforest in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, to the plains of a high desert, you can't help but become immersed in the ecological richness that abounds in this scenic preserve. Come join us on this dynamic exploration through one of Oregon's 7 Wonders!

See tabs below for additional information.

  • Vista House
    Vista house
  • Sturgeon Viewing Center
    Sturgeon Center
  • Hood River, Oregon
    Hood river
  • Rowena Plateau
    Rowena Plateau
  • Bridge of the Gods
    Bridge of the Gods

This is a full day tour, typically offered from 9AM to 4:30PM. Please note, the tour route and sights may vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. It is always our goal to provide you with the most interesting adventure possible.

The pick-up and drop-off location will be in Director Park in downtown Portland. This location is easily accessible via the public transit system (MAX line, street car and bus) and is also within walking distance of most downtown hotels. If you are arriving by car, there are convenient public parking garages nearby.

We offer complimentary pick-up and drop-off from over 20 downtown hotels. Please select your hotel from the drop down list when making your reservation and we will contact you the day before the tour to confirm pick up timing. To see a full list of the downtown hotels where we offer complimentary pick up, please visit our About page.

Typical Itinerary:

We will depart downtown Portland and head east along the Columbia River to Troutdale, also known as the Gateway to the Gorge. From there, we will make our way along the Historic Columbia River Highway to our first stop for the day at Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, also known as Chanticleer Point. From here, we will be rewarded with sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge and Crown Point, a land mass that resulted from an ancient lava flow around 14 to 17 million years ago and the location of the famed Vista House.

We will then leave the Historic Columbia River Highway to make our way deeper into the Columbia River Gorge and toward our next stop at the Bonneville Lock and Dam, a run-of-the-river dam that spans the Columbia River. We will have the opportunity to spend about 20 minutes on a short walking tour of the impressive fish hatchery (the largest in Oregon) and the sturgeon viewing center. The viewing center is home to Herman the sturgeon, our local, celebrity fish - 70 years old, 10-feet long, and 450 pounds!

Next, we will visit Starvation Creek State Park, nestled at the foot of the gorge's cliffsides. Starvation Creek earned its namesake from an event involving a snow-trapped passenger train in the late 1800s. We will have a few minutes to meander a short trail to admire the 186-foot cascading waterfall in the area. This creek is one of the many waterways that feed into the Columbia River above the Bonneville Dam. 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, meeting back up with the Columbia River Historic Highway and winding our way toward the iconic Rowena Crest Plateau and Viewpoint. The overlook offers the perfect view of a delicate, horseshoe curve along the historic highway - one of the most photographed sections of road in Oregon. We'll have the chance to explore the area and overlook for about 20 minutes before traveling along the horseshoe ourselves to continue our journey.

From here, we will cross over the Columbia River into Washington and travel along the gorge's northern scenic route until arriving at the Bridge of the Gods, named for a landslide long ago when an entire mountainside slid into the Columbia River, creating a natural stone bridge that has since vanished. We'll have a moment to stretch our legs while taking in the scenery before making our way across the Bridge of the Gods back over to Oregon and towards Portland.

What about lunch? Is it included? Lunch is not included in the tour price. We will pause for an hour in Hood River where you will have a chance to explore and eat lunch. Complimentary snacks and refreshments will be available throughout the tour.

Will there be drinks or snacks offered on the tour? Yes! Complimentary snacks and refreshments will be available throughout the tour. The snacks and beverages will vary depending on the time of day. Bottled water will always be available.

What should I wear? Oregon's weather, although very temperate, can sometimes be unpredictable. Bringing along a rain jacket and wearing multiple layers is typically the best option for almost anywhere in Oregon. Umbrellas will be available on the tour. Comfortable, closed-toed shoes are highly recommended.

What kind of vehicle will we be traveling in? We will be exploring in a large van. This luxury vehicle comes with an extra tall roof so that everyone feels comfortable and not cramped. There are oversized windows to allow for the best visibility for our guests!

How many fellow travelers should I expect on my tour? We generally prefer to limit our group size to 12 travelers to ensure that everyone is comfortable and relaxed. Throughout the high travel season, one can expect tour group sizes to be around 6 to 12 people. During the rest of the year, group sizes can typically range from 2 to 8.

We will be driving for a while, what are the bathroom options? We have tried to outline the driving times in the Itinerary tab. Bathroom options will be available at all of the planned stops. Let's plan to use the breaks to take care of any bathroom needs, but no worries, if the need arises, we can find a convenient place to stop.

What if I've made a reservation, but can't make it? Is a refund available? Please read the full Terms and Conditions here.