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Explore the Columbia River Gorge dividing Washington and Oregon. The mighty Columbia is the largest river in western North America. The Columbia River Gorge is crammed with more waterfalls and more wildflowers than anywhere else on the continent: perfect for a hiking tour! One of Oregon's Seven Wonders, the Gorge is a paradise of mighty peaks, deep forests and alpine wonderlands. Visit each of these diverse environments up close. Take a whitewater rafting trip down a spectacular gorge. Explore easy-to-reach, easy-to-hike trails from Multnomah Falls to Hood River to Mount Hood. Immerse yourself in the rich natural history of the region.
Meet the mighty Columbia Gorge: Take a waterfall tour! Hike to 5 named falls and then giant Multnomah Falls, tallest in the state. Cross the Bridge of the Gods to luxuriate at Skamania Lodge.
Splitting the states of Washington and Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge is renowned for its spectacular waterfalls. Creeks and rivers rush from snow covered mountains, plummeting down towering basalt cliffs. Today's agenda: a waterfall tour. Meet us in Portland to start with a loop on the Oregon side of the river. In just a short hike, take in five named falls plus numerous other drops! Finish off with 620-foot-tall Multnomah Falls, the most popular tourist destination in the state. This afternoon, cross the Bridge of the Gods, where a massive landslide once spanned the river. Wander the trails around Skamania Lodge in the evening, or spend a little time in its Waterleaf Spa.
- Multnomah Falls Loop: 7 miles, 1800 ft gain
Hike to wildflower-strewn Hamilton Mountain Ridge. Descend into the rainforest. Up for more? Hike up Beacon Rock. Or just relax at Skamania Lodge.
Hike through towering forests and past waterfalls to Hamilton Mountain Ridge. Stroll the ridge line, where wildflower-strewn meadows perch on parched, desert-like basalt cliffs. Views spread out in every direction: to the south, Mt Hood leans over the Columbia River far below. Mt St Helens and Mt Adams stand watch in the north. Descend via a rainforest canyon of maple, red alder and a riot of ferns. Up for a little more challenge? Scale Beacon Rock, a carnival-ride of parapets and walkways - not recommended for those with a fear of heights, but an absolute must for trail engineering aficionados! Rather do something different? Skamania Lodge is a wonderful place to relax.
- Hamilton Mountain Loop: 7.5 miles, 2000 ft gain
If balsam is blooming, hike Dog Mountain for its riot of wildflowers. If it's not, hike the series of falls along Eagle Creek. Explore Hood River this afternoon.
There are two hike possibilities today: If the balsam is in bloom, head to Dog Mountain for amazing views and the most dramatic wildflower display the Gorge has to offer. If not, skip the climb and enjoy the spectacular series of falls along Eagle Creek. This afternoon, head to Hood River – world famous for its wind- and water-sports, and fueled by enough outdoor enthusiasm for Outside magazine to award it "One of America’s Best Towns." Spend the night on the shores of the mighty Columbia – with private beach access – at the Hood River Inn.
- Dog Mountain: 7 miles, 2900 ft gain
- Eagle Creek to High Bridge: 7 miles, 600 ft gain
Go whitewater rafting on the Washington side of the gorge. Cross back over to Oregon for an afternoon hike on Mt. Hood near iconic Timberline Lodge. Stay here tonight.
Take a whitewater rafting trip (included in the trip fee – no experience necessary) down the White Salmon River on the Washington State side of the gorge. The scenery is glorious: the river cuts through a narrow rocky gorge with 100-foot cliffs, emptying out into forested meadows. After a riverside lunch, head back into Oregon to go for a hike in Mt. Hood National Forest. Possibly encounter the golden chinquapin, a living link between the oak and the chestnut tree families, once prized by natives for its edibility. Tonight: stay at Timberline Lodge – a National Historic Landmark perched on a ridge-top promontory on Mt. Hood's flanks. Marvel at sweeping views in all directions. Savor a fabulous dinner and enjoy an evening in front of the legendary three-story fireplace.
- Tamanawas Falls: 4 miles, 600 ft gain
Hike to Mirror Lake on Mt. Hood for the perfect finale.
This last morning, explore the best early season Mt Hood National Forest has to offer. See how Mirror Lake earned its name, offering a perfect reflection of the mountain on a calm day. Hike above a glacial-cirque headwall, through wildflower meadows to Tim Dick and Harry Mountain (yup, that's the name). This rocky summit amidst the lush forests of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness offers the perfect perch to contemplate the icy volcanic towers of Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson, as well as a host of other peaks in the northern Oregon Cascades. Toast the journey and have a celebratory lunch before returning to Portland.
- Mirror Lake, TD&H Mountain: 7 miles, 1600 ft gain
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.