Half Day Tour
Complimentary Refreshments and Snacks
Species seen nowhere else in the world, dramatic basalt lava flows nearly a mile deep, and some of the world's most beautiful waterfalls are a few of the sights that await you on this tour. Come experience the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge, one of the United States' most photographed Natural Scenic Reserves. We will drive along the oldest scenic highway in the US, stopping at sweeping viewpoints, flowing falls, a historic lodge, and the famed Bonneville Dam Sturgeon Viewing Center.
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This is a half day tour, typically offered from (9AM - 1PM) or (1PM - 5PM). 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.
We will depart downtown Portland and head east along the Columbia River to the quaint town of 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 along the Sandy River 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 has been 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 have plenty of time to explore the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge (a Cascadian style stone and timber lodge built in 1925 that now houses an interpretive center, the Multnomah Falls Lodge Restaurant, gift shop and snack bar) 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 the Bonneville Lock and Dam, a run-of-the-river dam that spans the Columbia River. There we will spend about 20 minutes on a short walking tour of the impressive Fish Hatchery (the largest in Oregon) and Sturgeon viewing center! At the viewing center we will visit "Herman" the sturgeon, a famous 70 year old, 10 foot long, 450 pound sturgeon with pre-historic roots! Following that, we will return to Portland via the Columbia River scenic route (approximately 45 mins).
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.