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HomeUSA TravelPortland to Hood River Highway Journey (Useful Information)

Portland to Hood River Highway Journey (Useful Information)


Portland to Hood River Road Trip

Put up Overview: Portland to Hood River Highway Journey (Finest Stops Alongside the Route)

Who says street journeys need to be a whole bunch of miles to be chock stuffed with enjoyable? Driving an hour out to the small metropolis of Hood River from Portland will take you thru the Columbia River Gorge, which has sufficient sights to see to scratch your street journey itch (particularly if you’re quick on time!).

We took a street journey of our personal to determine which of the stops between Portland and Hood River are price pulling over for. We guess you’ll be stunned how a lot there’s to see and do over such a brief stretch of freeway.

Punch Bowl Falls Oregon

Fast Phrase on Hood River

As a lifelong Portland native, Hood River is one in every of my favourite locations on this planet. I’ve spent many summers within the space and have grown to like all it has to supply.

From the charming (and scrumptious) wineries to the epic beer scene, the realm is ripe for exploration. A lot so, that I wrote a fast information on the perfect issues to do in Hood River. Get pleasure from!

BEST WINE BARS BEND


Swing by Crown Level Vista Home

Kick off your journey heading east on Freeway 84 from Portland and maintain driving till you attain the primary cease on this listing of the perfect issues to see when driving from Portland to Hood River: the Crown Level Vista Home.

Right here’s the kicker about this fascinating cease alongside the route from Portland to Hood River: Vista Home was initially constructed to be nothing greater than a glamorous relaxation cease (toilet!).

That includes stained glass home windows and marble flooring, you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a extra stunning public restroom within the nation.

The power has now expanded into a present store and cafe, however the star of the present is the epic view of the Columbia Gorge (from the car parking zone, in addition).

When you’re fortunate sufficient to be visiting on a sunny day, you’ll get vibrant open skies and expansive views of the formidable towering rock formations that makes the Gorge so distinctive.

Facts about Oregon

Climbing Possibility A: Latourell Falls (2.5 miles)

By the point you attain the trailhead for Latourell Falls, you should have been within the automobile for a mere half-hour. However, for some people, that’s lengthy sufficient.

If you end up desperate to stretch your legs at this level, I suggestion popping off for a fast hike to one of many prettiest waterfalls within the Columbia Gorge.

This 2.5-mile loop is rated as straightforward and may take the common hiker not more than 1-2 hours to finish.

The hike begins by passing beneath massive, moss-laden cedars, alders, and maples. You’ll attain the waterfall earlier than it (and also you’ll in all probability hear it earlier than you see it).

Best hikes Columbia Gorge

Take a couple of minutes to admire the falls and munch on a snack, Latourell Falls is a sight for sore eyes!

The waterfall plunges 224 ft down into its namesake creek, creating billowing clouds of mist that encircle you as you stand on the base of the falls.

When you’ve taken within the awe of this majestic fall, proceed on the primary path because it loops you again to the parking space to proceed your Portland to Hood River street journey.

Hold a watch out for wildflowers, together with good indigo-hued irises, within the spring. Visiting throughout fall can also be extremely advisable, because the timber are dressed to the nines in hanging shades of gold and crimson.

Latourell Falls

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Climbing Possibility B: Horsetail Falls (2.5 miles)

One of many extra well-known hikes within the Gorge, Horsetail Falls is a straightforward hike for the entire household to get pleasure from. This 2.5-mile loop path is straightforward and will get you up near some significantly beautiful waterfalls.

In these couple of miles you’ll move three waterfalls as you jaunt by the everyday lush pine-riddled forests we love the Pacific Northwest for.

Proper off the bat on the trailhead itself you’ll see the breathtaking Horsetail Falls plunging off a dramatic cliff. Yep, having the chance to see the waterfall from the car parking zone makes this the most effective stops on a street journey from Portland to Hood River, particularly with children in tow.

When you’d like the complete expertise, start to climb the switchbacks uphill. After a brief stretch of those, the path ranges out and as a substitute of standing on a path you’ll end up within the coronary heart of a ravine.

This ravine is what you’ll traverse (don’t fear, it’s straightforward to navigate even for kids) towards Ponytail Falls (which the path passes straight behind).

Proceed alongside the footpath and soak up sensational views of the Gorge from a handful of viewpoints alongside the way in which. Because the path begins to lose elevation by one other sequence of switchbacks, you’ll be capable to get nice views of the slender, fern-lined partitions of the Oneonta Gorge.

Gaze throughout this small valley at Oneonta Falls, Center Oneonta Falls, and the tiny spout of Higher Oneonta Falls within the distance. Hold following the path over a metallic bridge after which throughout the previous freeway bridge throughout Oneonta Creek.

Whew! There’s a lot to soak up on this one little hike, it wouldn’t be stunning if having fun with this stunning path was the one factor you made time for in your street journey from Portland to Hood River.


Marvel at Multnomah Falls

No listing of the perfect stops between Portland and Hood River is full with out mentioning Multnomah Falls.

I do know, I do know… Multnomah Falls feels so touristy. However what? It’s touristy for a cause.

I perceive if you happen to’re a neighborhood who desires to skip this cease since you’ve seen it one million occasions. However if in case you have out-of-town guests in tow, it’s a must-see.

The car parking zone can get full at this extremely common vacation spot, so some persistence could also be so as. Relaxation assured that after you get out and stroll as much as the primary viewing platform, you’ll get pleasure from a visible feast as you stand dwarfed by the whopping 620 foot waterfall.

The autumn gracefully drapes itself over a dizzyingly tall basalt cliff face, and there’s even a mountain climbing path you’ll be able to take that winds you up towards the highest of the falls.

Truthfully, I do know such a preferred function will be simply taken without any consideration by locals, however this really is a one-of-a-kind waterfall, and an extremely straightforward to entry one in addition!

Which is why it’s a must-see throughout a Portland to Hood River street journey in my ebook.

Most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon

Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery

The Bonneville Dam was the primary lock and dam constructed on the Columbia River within the Nineteen Thirties.

Whereas dams are controversial constructions that usually compromise the well being of waterways, there isn’t a arguing that this dam remains to be a formidable feat of engineering.

The dam is an lively hydro-electric plant, powering cities throughout the western shoreline. There’s a customer heart (with free admission) that takes you thru the historical past of the dam and why it was constructed.

My favourite a part of touring the dam is visiting the the fish hatchery. Find out about a number of the environmentally and culturally necessary fish who dwell within the waters of the Columbia River, together with salmon, trout, sturgeon, and shad.

Stroll across the grounds to see the tanks the place child fish are raised, and take a second to go to the well-known Herman The Sturgeon, and feed the rainbow trout in a close-by viewing pond.

There’s even a viewing window within the customer heart the place you’ll be able to watch the wild fish as they swim upstream by the dam (look out for lamprey, too!).

Volunteers are stationed across the heart to reply your entire burning questions. This recreation are additionally has a ton of locations to get outdoors for every part from birdwatching to boating and every part in between.  

I bear in mind visiting Bonneville Dam as a child and it left a long-lasting impression on me. Which is why I think about this the most effective spots between Portland and Hood River for younger households.


Climbing Possibility C: Dry Creek Falls (4 miles)

If the primary two hikes talked about didn’t scratch that itch, think about Dry Creek Falls.

When you’ve ever puzzled what hikers expertise whereas on the two,000 mile+ Pacific Crest Path (PCT) you’ll be able to expertise slightly below 4 miles of it on the path to Drift Creek Falls.

The trailhead is discovered proper on the base of Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, Oregon. This damp slice of traditional Pacific Northwest forest is a good stopover on a street journey from Portland to Hood River.

Meandering previous dramatic lava rock formations, you’ll comply with the (straightforward) path earlier than spitting out on the grand finale: a show-stopping amphitheater of basalt from which Drift Creek Falls plunges a bit of over 60 ft.

Right here individuals get pleasure from stopping for a chunk to eat earlier than heading again, this time uphill on a slight incline, recrossing small creeks and footbridges to return to civilization.

Maybe a 4-mile hike is simply what you want whereas embarking on a grand Portland to Hood River street journey. If that’s the case, Dry Creek Falls is bound to suit the invoice.


Picnic at Hunger Creek

Hunger Creek has fairly a foreboding identify, however is satirically one in every of my favourite locations spots for a fast picnic.

This small relaxation cease was named after early pioneers touring by prepare received stranded in heavy snow for 3 weeks on this space.

A big, two-tiered waterfall is viewable proper from the parking space, although we recommend taking a brief stroll to get proper up near it.

From this space there’s an choice to stroll alongside the paved Columbia River Freeway State Path, a path that may also join you with a handful of mountain climbing trails that wind up by the hillside.

You probably have time, there’s an choice to take a straightforward 4 mile out-and-back path that leads you previous a number of waterfalls. These embody Hunger Creek, Gap-In-The-Wall, Lancaster, Harrison, and Lindsay Creek Falls.

Not a nasty show for simply 4 miles of path! After all together with the wonderful waterfalls this path weaves you thru a forest painted in each shade of inexperienced possible.

When the waterfalls aren’t stealing the present, take a while to note the quick, stubby wildflowers that crow within the cracks of the craggy rocks lining the path, and maintain your eyes peeled for all types of wildlife, together with songbirds, raptors, deer, and  chipmunks.

Plus, if you happen to make it to the creekbed itself, you’re in prime habitat to see some Pacific Big Salamanders. We as soon as noticed one in every of these guys who was almost one foot long-just think about!

Whereas these little amphibians will be fairly elusive, it nonetheless is perhaps price taking a peek for them within the calmer, shallow areas of the creek (whereas being aware to not disturb the atmosphere or the critters who stay there).

In any case you slice it, taking within the panoramic views from this unimaginable viewpoint is likely one of the finest stops on a Portland to Hood River street journey.


Arriving in Hood River

Alas, you’ve reached the ultimate vacation spot on this Portland to Hood River street journey itinerary!

Enter the city of Hood River: a quaint and cheerful little place that makes for an ideal touchdown level after a day of exploration.

In contrast to massive cities that may take tons of time to navigate simply to do just a few actions, Hood River has loads of issues to see and do with out the trouble.

Take a stroll downtown and get your fill at one of many many native eating places, bars, and cafes. We advocate Riverside restaurant, a fancier joint proper on the river serving seafood and traditional American fare.

For one thing extra informal, I get pleasure from Solstice Woodfired Pizza down on the waterfront (their 72-hour fermented dough is to-die for).

When you’re feeling like an grownup beverage together with your meal, try pFriem Brewing or Crush Cider Cafe for distinctive, award-winning brews and acquainted pub grub with a twist.

pFriem Brewing Hood River

Bonus: Order from pFriem’s takeout window and revel in your meals on the Hood River Waterfront Park solely steps away. The Waterfront is a well-liked place that has an virtually boardwalk-like really feel, however on a small scale.

When you’re having fun with the realm, you’ll in all probability see windsurfers out on the river. Do you know that Hood River is called the “windsurfing capital of the world?”

When you’re visiting through the summer time, anticipate the waterfront to be dotted with households having picnics, laying out within the solar, and splashing round within the cool waters of the Columbia River.

Hood River Oregon things to do

Take within the views at Panorama Level

Positively don’t miss out on driving a bit of south of Hood River to see Panorama Level earlier than heading again to Portland.

The view on the high of this ridge is probably going one you’ve seen throughout social media: a scene trying down at a horseshoe-shaped curve within the street under, with a colourful panorama of timber, orchards, and rivers spreading throughout.

The rolling hills round Panorama Level are stuffed with tiny creeks, mountain climbing trails, and an explosion of wildflower blooms from April by July every year.

This space additionally has quite a few farms and orchards, a lot of that are open to the general public for u-pick and we-pick choices.

Collectively referred to as the “Fruit Loop”, driving round to a couple of those farms through the summer time and fall is bound to attain you a bounty of contemporary and scrumptious produce, flowers, and extra to take again dwelling with you.

Heck, to make it even simpler for us metropolis people to entry a plethora of nutritious fruits and veg, Hood River hosts a weekly Farmer’s Market each Saturday between Might and November.

Load up on farmed items, handmade items, and extra at this enormous occasion. Between the Fruit Loop, farm market, and Panoramic Level, these simply is perhaps definitely worth the drive out to Hood River on their very own!


Fast Concept: Hood River to Portland Highway Journey

As an alternative of heading west on freeway 30 again to Portland, think about taking the Hood River Bridge throughout the Columbia River to Washington.

As soon as there, you’ll take SR-14 west then reduce throughout the river utilizing I-205 S or I-5 S relying on which a part of Portland you reside in.

This route solely provides about quarter-hour to your drive however provides you fantastic views of the Oregon aspect of the Gorge whereas driving from Hood River to Portland.

There are additionally a lot of unimaginable mountain climbing choices on the extra desert-like hills on the Washington aspect of the Gorge, which you’ll get close-up views of as you drive by it. 


Portland to Hood River Highway Journey: Hearty Hike Possibility Alongside the Route


Angel’s Relaxation

When you’re eager on getting in a really hearty hike whereas driving from Portland to Hood River, it’s possible you’ll wish to think about Angel’s Relaxation.

Angel’s Relaxation Path was an unlucky sufferer of the 2017 Eagle Creek hearth, however luckily for us the beloved mountain climbing space remains to be alive and nicely since being restored and reopened to the general public.

As you hike towards the summit by Douglas firs and a now-sparse understory of sword fern and vine maple, the charred trunks of the timber are apparent marks of the fireplace that raged by the realm.

Climbing this common path through the spring catches vibrant white Trillium dramatically blooming in opposition to these blackened trunks—fairly a dramatic sight!

Towards the craggy peak there are waves of blooming oceanspray and delicate thimbleberry flowers which is able to finally give approach to the ripe crimson berries birds fiend for.

With the absence of timber post-fire, the view from the highest is much less obstructed, letting hikers soak up a roughly 270 diploma view of the Gorge in all its glory.

Hang around on the summit and bask within the sunshine on the nice and cozy rocks (check out your finest lizard impression, we dare you!) earlier than heading again the way in which you got here.

Look throughout the Columbia River towards Cape Horn and make a psychological notice to hike that sooner or later if you happen to haven’t but–it’s an actual deal with, particularly if you happen to’re after extra sensational views and a twisting forested path. 

Angels Rest Columbia Gorge Oregon

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Driving From Portland to Hood River

In sum, right here’s a listing of finest stops from Portland to Hood River on a street journey.

  1. Swing by Crown Level Vista Home
  2. Climbing Possibility A: Latourell Falls (2.5 miles)
  3. Climbing Possibility B: Horsetail Falls (2.5 miles)
  4. Marvel at Multnomah Falls
  5. Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery
  6. Climbing Possibility C: Dry Creek Falls (4 miles)
  7. Picnic at Hunger Creek
  8. Arrive in Hood River
  9. Take within the views at Panorama Level
  10. Angel’s Relaxation

Map of finest stops on Portland to Hood River Highway Journey




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