Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Tour

1. From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Tour

Discover the scenic beauty of the Columbia River Gorge on a small group tour with an expert guide in a luxury passenger van. Explore Columbia River National Scenic Area stopping at several picturesque waterfalls typical of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Depart from downtown Portland and drive towards Troutdale, known as the Gateway to the Gorge. Enjoy the journey along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned scenic roadway in the United States. Arrive at Crown Point Vista House, an overlook that sits high above the Columbia River. From there, continue along the historic highway deep into the Columbia River National Scenic Area. Arrive at the first waterfall of the day, the dramatic Latourell Falls, which plunges 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt.  Proceed next to the grand Multnomah Falls, which plummets to the ground from 620 feet in two major steps. Explore the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge and stand on the easily accessible viewing platform that offers a full view of the Benson Bridge and cascading falls beyond. Next, visit the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and take a short walking tour of an impressive hatchery and sturgeon viewing center. You will also meet the local celebrity: “Herman” the sturgeon. Afterward, relax on the journey back to Portland via the Columbia River scenic route.

Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Afternoon Tour

2. Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Afternoon Tour

Explore the beauty of these unique canyon walls and rock formations, encountering breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring visas that make the Columbia River National Scenic Area one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Your enthusiastic guides will introduce you to the most amazing places in the gorge, while providing a comprehensive narrative of this spectacular landscape and its transformative history. Your adventure will take place along the Historic Columbia River National Scenic Byway, where some of the locations you may stop include the Portland Women’s Forum, the Crown Point Vista House, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Shepperd’s Dell.

Portland: Mount Hood Wine and Waterfalls Full-Day Tour

3. Portland: Mount Hood Wine and Waterfalls Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a full-day tour of the beautiful landscapes of the wine-growing regions near Portland. Discover breathtaking sights like the Columbia Gorge and Multnomah Falls. Enjoy a mouth-watering lunch and a winetasting experience at a local winery.  Be picked at your accommodation in Portland and relax in comfort aboard a Mercedes Sprinter van as you travel through the verdant landscape of the Willamette Valley which is known for its hazelnuts, berries, evergreen trees, and Pinot Noir wine. Ride into the foothills of the western Cascades and ascend to the tree line on Mount Hood, the highest peak in Oregon. Spend an hour at the historic Timberline Lodge, built by local artisans during the Great Depression.  Explore the interpretive displays, go hiking, or play in the snow, before heading thorugh the Hood River Valley to a picturesque winery. Eat a farm-to-table lunch while enjoying a wine tasting at a boutique vineyard with a view of Mount Hood.  Learn about wine production in the region and visit 1 other winery in the Columbia Gorge or Columbia Valley areas. Travel through the Columbia Gorge and admire the towering basalt cliffs, before stopping for half and hour at Multnomah Falls. Have time to walk up to the Benson Bridge, visit the interpretive center, or peruse the gift shop. Afterward, head back to Portland to be dropped off at your hotel.

Portland: Mt. Hood Day Tour

4. Portland: Mt. Hood Day Tour

Your 8.5-hour trip begins early with a hotel pickup from downtown Portland. Embark on an exhilarating morning drive through the Columbia River Gorge. Catch spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains that flank the river and glimpse a waterfall or two. Along the forested highway, visit Oregon’s famous waterfall Multnomah Falls. Join your guide and fellow visitors on Benson Bridge and snap a picture of the 611-foot-tall cascade of water as it crashes below. Next, continue to Hood River, a picturesque valley town renowned as a prime destination for wind sports. Watch kiteboarders and windsurfers skate across the water as you learn about Hood River’s rich environmental and cultural history.Then take some free time for lunch, shopping or wine-tasting (if whimsy strikes you!). Then visit Rowena Crest which has spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge. The final stop on your guided tour is the glorious Mount Hood, Oregon’s tallest peak at 11,249 feet (3,429 meters) and Timberline Lodge. Take a mountain walk or a self-guided visit through the renovated lodge that was once the setting for the classic film The Shining. Your day concludes back in Portland by early evening.

Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour

5. Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour

Enjoy a half-day guided tour to discover the breathtaking landscape of the western Columbia Gorge. After pickup at your accommodation, travel down Waterfall Alley, known for having the highest density of hanging waterfalls in the world during the winter and spring. Stop at a viewpoint where you'll get a spectacular vista of the western Gorge, with the Vista House in the foreground.  You'll have 15 minutes to spend inside the Vista House, the fanciest rest stop in the world. It was built in 1918, and provides interpretive displays and sublime views. Be careful⁠⁠—sometimes the wind gusts to 160 km/h (100 mph). Stop and do a short and easy hike at a cathedral waterfall. You'll feel as if you're in a fairy tale as you walk through rainforest and discover a magnificent rock formation harboring an elegant waterfall and fluorescent-yellow lichen. As you walk through the rainforest, your guide will highlight some of the plants and animals you'll see along the way. As you drive the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway, inspired by the Axenstrasse in the Swiss Alps, admire the towering basalt cliffs as you make additional waterfall stops. Explore the tallest waterfall in Oregon during a 30-minute stop at Multnomah Falls, where you can walk up to the Benson Bridge, visit the interpretive center, or peruse the gift shop. Afterwards, you’ll head back to Portland to be dropped off at your hotel.

From Portland: Multnomah Falls & Columbia River Gorge Tour

6. From Portland: Multnomah Falls & Columbia River Gorge Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of central Portland for the morning on a half-day coach tour of the Columbia River Gorge. Experience the natural beauty of the Rose City’s most scenic area. Follow the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition, more than 200 years after the famous explorers. View the gorge from Vista House at Crown Point, and marvel at the world famous Multnomah Falls. Depart Portland at 08:30 AM, enjoying the downtown sights as you leave the city via one of its many bridges. Once out of the metropolitan area, drive the historic Columbia River Highway, enjoying panoramic views hundreds of feet above the river at Crown Point. Descend through the famous highway loops to pristine Latourell Falls. Continue past Wahkeena Falls to Oregon’s most famous natural attraction — Multnomah Falls and Lodge. See the Oneonta Gorge and Horsetail Falls. Return to Portland along the river level route of the Lewis and Clark expedition, taking in panoramic views of Beacon Rock, Cape Horn, and Rooster Rock along the way.

Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls 40-Minute Scenic Flight

7. Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls 40-Minute Scenic Flight

Embark on a scenic flight through Oregon's pride and joy, the Columbia River Gorge. On this 40-minute flight, get a bird's-eye view of Multnomah Falls as it cascades down 2 drops equalling 620 feet. Listen as your expert pilot and guide narrates the experience.  Learn about the steps taken by Oregon's forestry service to bring the Gorge and it's natural waterfalls back to life in the wake of Oregon's 2017 Gorge fire. Despite the intense burning, the beauty of the Gorge remained and the force of the waterfalls persisted. With some of the hillsides and ridges all but destroyed, the stubbornness of nature is clear as you fly above thousands of acres of trees, seemingly untouched by the heat and fury of the flames. Soar by the Bridge of the Gods, the link for Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hikers to cross between Oregon and Washington, before making a turn back to your starting point. Land back at the meeting point and disembark with a collection of unforgettable impressions.

Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

8. Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

Millions of years ago, during the formation of the Cascade Mountain Range, lava and other pyroclastic matter flowed west from what would be the Cascades all the way to the Pacific Ocean, creating a thick shell of basalt rock that covered Western Oregon. Then, during the Pleistocene Ice Age, roughly 15,000 years ago, water from the Lake Missoula Flood carved out the Columbia River Gorge as hundreds of cubic miles of water, ice, rock and mud rushed from present-day Montana to the Pacific Ocean. Explore the beauty of the canyon walls and rock formations, breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring visas that make the Columbia River National Scenic Area one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Our enthusiastic guides will introduce you to the most amazing places in the Gorge while providing a comprehensive narrative of this spectacular landscape and its transformative history. Your adventure will take place along the Historic Columbia River National Scenic Byway, where some of the locations we may stop include, Portland Women’s Forum, Crown Point Vista House, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Shepperd’s Dell. Perched atop one of the most panoramic overlooks in the Columbia River Gorge, Vista House provides an unrivaled, majestic view. Often referred to as “The Crown Jewel of the Columbia River Gorge,” Vista House was built between 1916 and 1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers, a scenic viewpoint, and a comfort station for those traveling on the newly constructed Historic Columbia River Highway. Built with expertly carved sandstone and stunning marble, then finished with bronze lining and amber-green opalescent art glass windows, Vista House and the view it offers are sure to amaze and inspire you. Latourell Falls plunges 249 feet (76 m) over a massive wall of basalt and then rushes through the forest into the Columbia River. The falling water of Latourell is framed by some of the most perfect columnar basalt formations in the Pacific Northwest that are adorned with a large florescent patch of yellow lichen and shrouded in brilliant green flora. We’ll venture down to the punch-bowl pool below the falls, where you’ll hear the tremendous rush of water and feel the cool mist that it creates. You’ll easily realize why this special place is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon. Multnomah Falls is fed by underground streams that originate miles above on Larch Mountain. This ancient 620 foot (189 m) waterfall is divided into two sections; the upper falls plummets an impressive 542 feet into a pool and again drops 69 feet to form a creek that runs into the Columbia River. Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States and the highest in Oregon, and is Oregon’s number one natural attraction, drawing over 2.5 million visitors a year from around the world. At the base of the waterfall sits the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge, a full-service day lodge complete with a restaurant, gift shop, snack and espresso bar.

From Portland: Mt Hood, Hood River Valley and Columbia Gorge

9. From Portland: Mt Hood, Hood River Valley and Columbia Gorge

Travel east of Portland through the verdant landscape of Willamette Valley, known for its hazelnuts, berries, Christmas trees, and Pinot Noir. Stop at a donut shop in the town of Sandy for coffee and morning treats before beginning your ascent of Mount Hood, the highest summit in Oregon. Spend the next hour at the historic Timberline Lodge and enjoy 1 hour of free time. From Timberline Lodge, head to Hood River Valley. Here, feed baby pygmy goats, get a photo of Mount Hood, purchase local fruit and preserves, taste cider, or buy a huckleberry milkshake. Afterwards, visit downtown Hood River and break for lunch. After lunch, learn about the geological history that shaped the Columbia River Gorge as you drive eastward past windsurfers in the Gorge, before stopping at a viewpoint to admire panoramic views of the Cascades. Next, travel westward through the Columbia Gorge and stop at Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon, where you can walk up to the Benson Bridge, visit the interpretive center, buy a snack, or peruse the gift shop before heading back to Portland.

Portland: Flightseeing Tour Mount Hood

10. Portland: Flightseeing Tour Mount Hood

Go on this flight tour up to Mount Hood and enjoy a unique view. Enjoy a low-level tour past Multnomah Falls and the rest of the Columbia River Gorge. Take a unique flight climbing above the Sandy River toward Mount Hood and over the Mount Hood National Forest. At the peak of the tour, on a clear day, you are able to see Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adam, Mount Jefferson, and of course, Mount Hood. Descend back into the Columbia River Gorge, flying past Oregon’s famous natural celebrities such as Elowah Falls, Horsetail Falls, Multnomah Falls, and more.  This grand tour showcases some of the best natural landmarks in Oregon.

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What people are saying about Columbia River Gorge

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 373 reviews

Our guide I think his name was Michael was very informative and knew a lot about the history of the local area. He kept the tour very interesting and was helpful answering questions I had . He even dropped us off at our Hotel instead of the pick up point . I really appreciated that so we didn’t have to do the 20 minute walk back .

This tour is a must see. The MULTNOMAH FALLS is absolutely stunning. The whole tour was perfect. Out tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable with this History of the area. We took the half day tour and at 67, was able to keep up which I was worried about but did it. Highly recommended!!❤️❤️

it was a very packed day with lots of fun experiences! I really liked the stops we made, and the weather was perfect. our guide, Damon, was also very nice and extremely knowledgeable.

Enjoyable trip in a comfortable van to 4 waterfalls with interesting knowledge from the guide at each stop. Well worth the cost.

It was great and Gunner was an excellent guide. Very knowledge and communicated very well.