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The New York Times hails the Columbia Gorge as being “like Europe, only better.” It's the perfect place for a bicycle tour. Hailed as one of Oregon's Seven Wonders, the region's fleece-capped mountain peaks, primeval forests, abundant wildflowers and waterfall streaked highlands whisper of the Swiss Alps. Bike, hike, whitewater raft and explore the Gorge's gorgeous wheat country, bountiful orchards and the mighty Columbia River. Ride from Mt. Hood to Hood River to Multnomah Falls - all the while following portions of Lewis and Clark’s epic journey.
Note: For a great video overview of this tour, click here.
Meet in Portland. Ride the Barlow Trail. Hike the flanks of spectacular Mt. Hood.
Meet in Portland on Sunday morning. Head southeast of town to the Rainbow Trout Farm to begin cycling a section of the Old Barlow Trail, originally the final stretch of the Oregon Trail. Ride into the foothills of Mt. Hood National Forest for a gourmet picnic lunch at a campground near Zigzag. Hike around Trillium Lake, with its gorgeous reflections of Mt. Hood (photo op!) - then shuttle or ride up to Timberline Lodge, where you'll spend your first night. At 6,000 feet of elevation, Timberline features sweeping views in all directions, well-appointed rooms and fabulous dining.
Ride from Timberline Lodge to The Dalles. Explore and enjoy Hood River.
Pedal down through the wooded slopes of Mt. Hood National Forest and out into the wide open, rolling wheat country of central Oregon. Follow the old Oregon Trail beside winding streams through remote canyons to a park beside the Columbia River at The Dalles. After lunch, head to Hood River to explore this fascinating town – the windsurfing capital of the United States and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Outside magazine named it "One of America’s Best Towns." Explore its shops and art galleries, an upscale wine bar and Full Sail Brewery, a micro-brew pub with deck seating overlooking the Columbia River. Spend the next two nights at the Hood River Inn, with its unique shoreline location and private beach.
Ride the paved and incredibly scenic Mark Hatfield Trail.
Bicycle the Mark Hatfield Trail in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. It's an old scenic byway high on the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River east of town. This section of the road was abandoned for decades after completion of the freeway beside the river. Recently it was reopened as a paved hiking/cycling trail, and is closed to motor vehicles. Bicycling magazine featured the trail as one of the great places to ride in the United States. You’ll see the Columbia River below and marvel at the intricate stonework in the road’s Depression-era guardrail. Lunch at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, located where early explorers and settlers faced a tough decision: continue west by rafting down the Columbia River on a series of dangerous rapids, or struggle through roadless evergreen forests over the Cascade Mountains beside Mt. Hood.
Raft the White Salmon River. Ride to Trout Lake for fresh huckleberry milkshakes.
Wednesday morning, take a whitewater rafting trip (included in the trip fee – no experience necessary) down the White Salmon River. The White Salmon is glacier-fed, which means the river has a fairly continuous flow rate, and the water is clear and cold. The river cuts through a narrow rocky gorge with 100-foot cliffs, emptying out into forested meadows. This afternoon, ride to Trout Lake along peaceful country roads flanked by snow-capped Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. Spend the next two nights at Skamania Lodge, a luxurious destination resort with memorable dining, a spa and an adjacent 18-hole golf course.
Hike any of a number of options, ranging from easy, woodsy stroll to technical terrain.
Thursday, spend the day hiking one of the Columbia River Gorge NSA's many trails. Meadows of wildflowers burst with bloom, and crystal streams and waterfalls sparkle in landscape vistas of evergreen forest, snowcapped mountains and the mighty Columbia River flowing below. Mt. Adams isn’t as conveniently located to a major city as are Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood, so the beautiful trails are usually deserted. Alternatively, you might enjoy some time at Skamania’s Waterleaf Spa, a game of golf, or even a cruise on the historic Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler.
Ride from awe- inspiring Multnomah Falls (second tallest year-round waterfall in the nation) to McMenamins Edgefield, a fun and funky brewpub, before heading back to Portland.
On Friday, ride to renowned Multnomah Falls; at 620 feet, it's the tallest and most famous waterfall in the Columbia Gorge. Continue cycling to the outskirts of Portland, and finish off at a historic inn and brewpub – the perfect place to toast the end of a fabulous week.
*Bicycle Adventures operates under special use permits while on Federal Lands managed by the National Forest Service (USDA), National Parks and Bureau of Land Management. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.