Located between the borders of Oregon on Washington is the mighty Colombia River. The fourth largest river in the United States, it flows through a huge gorge with depths of up to 4000 feet and boasts a length of 80 miles. Take a trip with us today as we explore and highlight the myriad adventures that await you.
Any season in or along the riverbed offers countless activities for and all types of voyagers.
The beautiful mountains that surround the Gorge are home dreamlike mossy forests and over 100 named waterfalls. There are endless supplies of scenic hiking trails suitable for the rugged mountain climber or simple families friendly hikes. Multnomah Falls, which stands at 620 feet is one of Oregon’s most visited sights. Visitors can climb to the top of the falls and the mountains above or loop to nearby Wahkeena Falls. If you are not up for
Imagine biking up and back down a mountain side with the beautiful river providing a stunning backdrop. On the Oregon side of the historic Colombia River Highway there is a narrow two-lane road following the contours of the gorge walls which is open to pedestrians and cyclists alike. The trail offers stunning views with no traffic to contend with. Mountain bikers are encouraged to check out the route from Eagle Creek Cascade Lock and also the single track at Larch Mountain.
If you opt to go on the Washington side, road cyclists can take in the view from the Columbia River Scenic Byway or may head inland on one of the forested two lane roads that head into the Cascade Mountains. Like the Oregon side there is no shortage of bike routes on this side of the gorge either.
Known for its extreme breezes the Colombia River Gorge creates a perfect condition for windsurfing. On a windy day dozens if not hundreds of brightly colored sails can be seen zipping along the whitecaps. Best spots for sailing are just outside the Hood River, Oregon. The Gorge also offers other great spots for beginners.
Another exciting water sport to take advantage of along the Colombia River is Kite boarding. Boarders flock to the Hood River’s Sandbar (the only sandy launch spot in the Gorge) to partake in this activity. Classes are also offered in the summertime.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding
Stand-up paddle boarding or “SUP” for short is a fairly new sport and is accessible to all skill levels. Beginners use a large wide board for stability and kneel on it to maintain their balance, while experts can catch actual waves. It is much calmer than wind based sports and allows you to relax and take in the many views while on the water.
White-water rafting and kayaking
Rapid-filled rivers flow from the Cascade Mountains into the Gorge and offers unparalleled white water activities. The Washington White Salmon River is very popular for rafting also the Wind and Hood Rivers.
Rafting operators are endless and offer guided river tours and trips. Meanwhile, Kayakers can go for white-water trips on any of the above river or opt for calmer paddles on the Columbia River.
Like summer, winter on the Gorge offers a lot of outdoor recreation opportunities. You may go skiing at Mount Hood, ice climbing at Ainsworth or snowshoeing at the Cascades. You may even hike during the winter on the frozen landscape. The further inland you get from the Colombia River is the more snow you will see. So pack a thermos of your favorite hot beverage and enjoy the trip.