Hood River Travel Guide

  • White Salmon pouring over Husum Falls
    White Salmon pouring over Husum Falls
    by mtncorg
  • Husum Falls from under the highway bridge
    Husum Falls from under the highway...
    by mtncorg
  • Husum Falls in spring - main chute in middle
    Husum Falls in spring - main chute in...
    by mtncorg

Hood River Things to Do


    20 miles north of Hood River on the Washington side of the Columbia, is the whitewater center of Husum. Kayakers and rafters can put in five miles upriver at BZ Corner and run nonstop class 4 and 3 rapids at the bottom of a deep lava cliffed canyon. Right at Husum, the 12 foot high Husum Falls, a class five affair, finishes the run. The same ground...

  • Take windsurfing lessons!!

    Why just watch the windsurfers when you can join them? We took lessons in a small lagoon, about 15 minutes on land, then about an hour and a half in the water. I wish I had pictures. It was aweome!! (Though tiring!) It was about $150 for 2 of us to take private lessons together, almost the same as 2 individuals taking the group class. Though the...

  • Take a ride on the Mt Hood Railroad

    The Hood River Railroad offers excursions from Hood River to Odell or Parkdale. The round trip takes about 4 hours and is a relaxing ride through orchards, vineyards, lumber yards and other scenery, with Mt Hood or Mt Adams always peeking around the corner.When you arrive in Parkdale, you have time to grab a quick bite or just take in the awesome...

  • Twin Tunnels

    The Columbia Gorge Highway was built as both a transportation but also as a recreational road - in 1913 the whole interstate highway system was still many years in the future. Supposedly the cheif engineer on the project said he designed it not to "mar what God had put there."As part of this project, quite a number of special scenic tunnels were...

  • Historic Columbia River Highway State...

    You will also find this trail listed as the "Mark O Hatfield State Park" or "Mark O Hatfield State Trail" and variations of that.In the 1980s there was a significant effort under way to preserve and restore parts of the historic Columbia River highway that been abandoned and partially destroyed when Interstate 84 was put into operation. Many areas...

  • Starvation Creek Falls

    After being underwhelmed by Wah Gwin Gwin Falls i was awestruck by Starvation Creek Falls. This waterfall looks about 2 times as tall as Wah Gwin Gwin Falls but that may be in part because it has awkward viewpoints. The falls themselves are about 186 feet (56 m) but like I said, they feel much taller.From the parking area this waterfall is about 3...

  • Wah Gwin Gwin Falls

    Wah Gwin Gwin Falls claimed to be 207 feet (63 m) but i believe it is much shorter. Unfortunately the views of the waterfall are only from the overlook behind the Historic Columbia River Gorge Hotel. It is a side view which makes it difficult to see the whole falls. Aside from the precarious angle i find the falls to be a little disappointing. As a...


    The Hood River Valley is filled with fruit orchards - apples and pears of many varieties. It is a great place to be in September driving from one fruit stand to another. But if you come in late March, then you can behold the grandeur of a blossom-filled valley with a snow-bedecked Mt Hood rising regally behind. A great place to treat your eyes to...


    Tallest peak in Oregon - 11,237 feet, 3,426 m - Mt Hood rises above the south end of the Hood River Valley in dramatic pose. See my Mt Hood pages for more tips. There are hiking, skiing and backpacking opportunities galore. Climbs from the north side tend to be much steeper and longer than those from the south and eastern sides.


    This is the 12326 foot volcanic behemoth lying -- miles north of Hood River, framed by the White Salmon River Valley. Mt Adams is not as known as some of the other large Northwestern volcanoes maybe because it is not as visible as the others. Glaciers drape the volcano. North and south sides present 'easy' climbing routes - the south side actually...

  • BEER

    US brewing industry was crushed by the Prohibition of the early 20th Century. The result after the first 50 years following the repeal of Prohibition was an industry centered in Wisconsin and Missouri with a few outliers that brought the country beers known for blandness and lightness - a term thought to denote, inaccurately, diet beer, but really...


    You can 'cheat' and drive 4WD roads up Mt Defiance's backside, but most hikers 'earn' Defiance the hard way, beginning on the Columbia River at Starvation Creek State Park. The climb is 4960 feet up to the summit on a trail that takes five miles to get there - the first mile is flat, which means you gain almost 5000 feet in four miles! There are...

  • DOG MOUNTAIN - nature's floral...

    Dog Mt sits directly on the Columbia River, rising almost 3000 feet above. The Dog and its smaller companion, Wind Mountain, are very impressive riverside sentinels of the river. Even taller and directly across from the Dog on the Oregon side, is Mt Defiance, almost 5000 feet above the river. From the Washington side of the Columbia next to the...

  • Wygant Trail & Point

    Starting at Mitchell Point, the Wygant Trail leads up and through the side of the gorge reaching Wygant Point after about 3-4 hours, at roughly 1900ft. No views to speak of from the top, due to thick trees. The noise of Highway 101 is never entirely gone, so although the wilderness area is great, it is always spoiled by the cars & trucks below.

  • Historic Highway

    The Historic Highway is popular among jogger, bikers and just about everyone, offering superb views of the gorge from the comfort of an asphalt track.


Hood River Hotels

  • Best Western Hood River Inn

    1108 E Marina Way, Hood River, OR 97031

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Vagabond Lodge

    Rather than spend $220+ at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, we opted to stay at the Vagabond which is...

  • Cooper Spur Mountain Resort

    10755 Cooper Spur Rd, Hood River, Oregon, United States

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

Hood River Restaurants


    Located in an old theater in the miniscule center of Parkdale - smack in the middle of the Upper Hood River Valley - is Solera, the second brewery to occupy the space. Pub food and decent beer is available. With good weather, picnic tables in the back - dog-friendly, of course - provide a great spot to end that hike, climb, and ride or simply enjoy...

  • Less Crowded Area, Not Bad

    Yes, you will find very mixed reviews of this restaurant. The best food in Hood River is downtown, which on many occasions is crammed with tourists and very difficult to visit. This has a very much dive-bar type atmosphere, and the curtains on the windows obscure everything (not that the main road outside has any scenic value here).However, their...

  • Without a View, but Decent Food

    From the street this windowless restaurant appears to be a tiny hole in the wall. The reality is that it occupies the center of the building, and therefore the restaurants and businesses surrounding it block off the view of the outside world. However, it is a quite decent restaurant and the price for the quantity of food is reasonably good -...

  • Pizza near the train station

    Pietro's is located on the block next to the train station, so it's a convenient place to stop for a quick dinner. We ordered a couple small pizzas so we could take the leftovers back to the hotel.The food was good, served piping hot out of the oven. The restaurant was clean, though empty as we got there early.Worth a stop if you want a quick bite.

  • Whatever you can carry!

    Heading out onto the trails of the Columbia gorge, you need to be self-contained. There are no mountain huts where you can order up a beer, wine or mineral water. This is not the Alps, but the Wild west. You trade spontaneity and impulsion for lanning and a unique sense of natural wonder. More cheese with that wine?

  • Great food in a beautiful setting

    Inside the restaurant is a huge fireplace and large windows for views of the falls. The fireplace is especially wonderful in the winter, and the snow scenes through the massive windows are marvelous. Fresh trout.


Hood River Transportation

  • Parking: in Downtown it is NOT Easy

    Hood River has maintained its old downtown structure, which is nice. However, it has also become a significant tourist location. Therefore, parking in the core of downtown is quite difficult to find. You will likely have to park some blocks west of downtown to actually find a parking place, and walk to where you need to walk. There is a pay parking...

  • Walking Maps of downtown Hood River

    Scattered around downtown Hood River you will find maps of the core business district, with a listing of stores, restaurants, and other places in which you can spend your money. Despite the very heavy auto traffic through the area due to the number of tourists and lack of much transit service, Hood River is reasonably walkable. There are some...

  • Hood River Taxicab & VIP Transportation

    Every summer me and my wife make the trip from Florida to the Gorge - Hood River . This summer we got to experience a few "nights" out in town without the worries of trying to get transportation. Every summer we run into problems trying to get transportation around town. We arrived right when a new company called Gorge Yellow Cab was starting. They...


Hood River Warnings and Dangers

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo


    by mtncorg Written May 12, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If the weather forecast is good for a weekend in May, then you can be sure the large parking lot along WA 14 will be full by the afternoon. Come early to get a spot and avoid the afternoon heat - the trail will be enough to warm you!! Toilets are located about 50 meters up the trail from the parking lot. Be aware that you either need a $5 daily parking pass - you can buy them at the trailhead (one of the very few trailheads you can!!) - or have a NW Parking Pass which you can obtain from a National Forest Ranger Station or many other outdoor stores in the region.

    Mountain corgi amazed at parking congestion
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Travel with Pets

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Hood River What to Pack

  • Packing List

    by BloodViper88 Written Oct 5, 2002

    Luggage and bags: warm clothes and hot clothes

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: if ur going on a mt u need spiked shoes water food and plenty of warm clohes if ur going to the river a fishing pole

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: if going in the woods a rifle and a snake bit kit

    Photo Equipment: a charger and plenty of film

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: sleeping bags and bug repalant

    Miscellaneous: nothing i can think of

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Hood River Off The Beaten Path


    Wildflowers galore to match Dog Mountain during the short season of the Balsamroot and Paintbrush. You reach here a few miles east from Mosier off I-84 on the old US 30 route. During June, you will drive up through the cherry orchards where you can pick your own - highly recommended - but that will be to late for the main floral display which is...

  • Tamanawas Falls

    Tamanawas Falls is a short 3.8 mile (6.1 km) round trip hike. I would consider them a block from waterfall even though they do completely come away from the face of the cliff. In fact if you were inclined you could likely traverse behind the waterfall. I traveled to the falls in early May and found that their was quite a bit of snow to be found....


    Lying a few miles west of the small town of Lyle, in the heart of the Columbia Gorge area known as the Syncline is the little valley of Catherine Creek. It is a perfect spot for a spring-time hike that will give you a better appreciation for both the geology and the ecology of this transition zone between the desert of the Columbia Plateau and the...


Hood River Favorites

  • rustreckless's Profile Photo

    Do everything you can...

    by rustreckless Written Oct 4, 2002

    Favorite thing: Do everything you can outdoors. Obviously, windsurfing is one of the key activities, but mountain biking, hiking, fishing for trout, salmon, or steelhead are superb here. Kayaking is growing huge, and there are tons of off-beat activities too, such as mushroom hunting or huckleberry picking. And, ever present...the Columbia River

    Fondest memory: I love the 'fruit of the Earth' here...what I mean by that is how, especially in late summer and early fall, food products are growing everywhere. Apples, pears, strawberries, blackberries...depending on where you are and who you know, you can walk along and munch the whole time.

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