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Cascade Locks Hiking

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Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

1. Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

Millions of years ago, during the formation of the Cascade Mountain Range, lava and other pyroclastic matter flowed west from what would be the Cascades all the way to the Pacific Ocean, creating a thick shell of basalt rock that covered Western Oregon. Then, during the Pleistocene Ice Age, roughly 15,000 years ago, water from the Lake Missoula Flood carved out the Columbia River Gorge as hundreds of cubic miles of water, ice, rock and mud rushed from present-day Montana to the Pacific Ocean. Explore the beauty of the canyon walls and rock formations, breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring visas that make the Columbia River National Scenic Area one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Our enthusiastic guides will introduce you to the most amazing places in the Gorge while providing a comprehensive narrative of this spectacular landscape and its transformative history. Your adventure will take place along the Historic Columbia River National Scenic Byway, where some of the locations we may stop include, Portland Women’s Forum, Crown Point Vista House, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Shepperd’s Dell. Perched atop one of the most panoramic overlooks in the Columbia River Gorge, Vista House provides an unrivaled, majestic view. Often referred to as “The Crown Jewel of the Columbia River Gorge,” Vista House was built between 1916 and 1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers, a scenic viewpoint, and a comfort station for those traveling on the newly constructed Historic Columbia River Highway. Built with expertly carved sandstone and stunning marble, then finished with bronze lining and amber-green opalescent art glass windows, Vista House and the view it offers are sure to amaze and inspire you. Latourell Falls plunges 249 feet (76 m) over a massive wall of basalt and then rushes through the forest into the Columbia River. The falling water of Latourell is framed by some of the most perfect columnar basalt formations in the Pacific Northwest that are adorned with a large florescent patch of yellow lichen and shrouded in brilliant green flora. We’ll venture down to the punch-bowl pool below the falls, where you’ll hear the tremendous rush of water and feel the cool mist that it creates. You’ll easily realize why this special place is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon. Multnomah Falls is fed by underground streams that originate miles above on Larch Mountain. This ancient 620 foot (189 m) waterfall is divided into two sections; the upper falls plummets an impressive 542 feet into a pool and again drops 69 feet to form a creek that runs into the Columbia River. Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States and the highest in Oregon, and is Oregon’s number one natural attraction, drawing over 2.5 million visitors a year from around the world. At the base of the waterfall sits the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge, a full-service day lodge complete with a restaurant, gift shop, snack and espresso bar.

Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer

2. Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer

Discover the waterfall corridor with this group transfer from Portland to the Multnomah Falls where you can board the historic Waterfall Trolley. Experience the gorge with your full-day trolley pass Take a direct service to the Waterfall Trolley at 8:30 am and spend more time exploring the Gorge. Connect with the trolley at 9:30 to begin your waterfall adventure. Have the opportunity to view the falls and do some hiking.  Use your pass to stop at Corbett, Crown Point, Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Angels Rest, Wahkeena Falls, Multnomah Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Ainsworth State Park. Catch a coach ride back to Portland at 3:00 pm from the trolley terminus station in Corbett. Arrive back in Portland before rush hour traffic. 

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Hike and Winery Lunch

3. From Portland: Columbia Gorge Hike and Winery Lunch

Hike the forests and steppes of the Columbia Gorge, discover the natural and cultural history of the area, and get intimate with the most climatically diverse wine region in the USA on this small-group tour. Together with the other members of your group, learn about the history, terroir, and character of Columbia Gorge wine from your wine industry-honed interpretive guide. This day trip is a customized tour of up to 15 km of hiking, depending on the physicality of the group, 2 tasting room visits, and a visit to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum. In the morning, travel east of Portland as your guide takes you through the dramatic cliffs, terraces, and monoliths of the Columbia Gorge, a sea-level passage through the Cascades, containing the highest density of hanging waterfalls in the world. Stop at a fruit stand or fish stand for a bite to eat if you wish. After spending the morning hiking this sublime landscape, stop for lunch at a boutique winery, where you can taste wine in a historic building with a fascinating story. After lunch, visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum, where you can peruse the interpretive displays for more in-depth information on the natural and cultural history of the Columbia Gorge. Afterward, wander through the valleys, terraces, and synclines of the Columbia Gorge wine region, passing through charming little villages, while making another stop at a unique winery. Finally, head back to Portland and get dropped off at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Cascade Locks

I went the 2nd weekend of August 2020. Several parts of the tour closed because of Covid. I was notified beforehand by our tour guide that it was a modified tour. I had an amazing time, tour guide was great. I can only imagine how much more amazing the full tour would have been, I would recommend it and I would do the full tour if ever in OR again.

Excellent tour & tour experience--one of the best I've taken. Although the places we went had no entry fee, the stories related to the sites (insight into the areas) & surrounding areas are well worth the cost of the tour. Enjoyed the short walk to the falls & the fact that we were able to get so close to the falls without getting all wet.

It was the perfect tour. They picked us up at the hotel and took us to see the sites and gave lots of details! I just sat back and relaxed and saw the sights and snapped a few photos! Then they drove us back to the hotel.

Adam was my tour guide and he was absolutely amazing! His stories about the sites were incredible and really added to the experience. Would definitely recommend!

Highly recommend this tour. Well worth the low price!