Gorge Waterfalls Tour
4 Hours | Species seen nowhere else, dramatic basalt lava flows, & world-renowned waterfalls await you!
Highlights: Crown Point Vista House – Columbia River Gorge – Latourell Falls – Multnomah Falls – Bonneville Fish Hatchery
About the Tour
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 National Scenic Areas. 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.
This half day tour pairs really well with the half day Portland City Tour, for a full day of adventures!
This is a half day tour, typically offered from 8:30AM – 12:30PM, 1PM – 5PM, or 2PM – 6PM. 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.
Departing downtown Portland, we’ll head east along the Columbia River towards the quaint town of Troutdale, known as the Gateway to the Gorge. 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: Crown Point Vista House. 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 have time to explore the Vista House. This intricately designed observatory and museum 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, which plunges 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt. Depending on the season, a short ¼-mile paved trail hike will be led to get a closer view of the falls.
The grand Multnomah Falls will be the next stop in our journey. Plummeting 620 feet in two major steps, Multnomah Falls is the highest waterfall in Oregon and second highest in the nation! There, 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. During the gorge fire of 2017, the wildland fire crew fought tirelessly and ultimately saved this historic landmark. The easily accessible viewing platform offers a full view of the Benson Bridge and cascading falls beyond it.
Onward to Bonneville Fish Hatchery. There, we will spend about 20 minutes on a short walking tour of this impressive Fish Hatchery (the largest in Oregon) and Sturgeon viewing center! At the viewing center we will visit local celebrity: “Herman” the sturgeon. Herman is over 70 years old, 10-feet long, and 450 pounds!
Our journey will return us to Portland via the Columbia River scenic route (approximately 45 mins).
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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! See more information on our General Info page.
- 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 include access to public bathrooms at all of our planned stops. No worries though! If the need arises, your guide can find a convenient place to stop. There are no restrooms in our tour vehicles.
- How much walking is required on this tour?
The half-day Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour gives you the opportunity to walk on well-maintained trails, though it is not required. Typically, the furthest distance we walk at one time during the day is ½ a mile round trip. Some trails/paths are graded, but only slightly or for a short distance.
We aim to spend about 50% of our time on tour exploring the sights and stretching our legs. There is typically walking required to get the full experience at each stop, but for most of the sights, the actual distance walked is completely up to you. We make time at each stop for personal exploration, so you can choose to find a quiet place to sit, head to the nearest viewing point/platform, or meander further down the path or trail. Unfortunately, there are not many stops on tour that can be experienced if you choose to remain back in the vehicle.
- What if I've made a reservation, but can't make it? Is a refund available?
Please read the full Terms and Conditions here.