Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour
Offered by Wildwood Adventures. Species seen nowhere else in the world, dramatic basalt lava flows nearly a mile deep, and some of the world's most beautiful waterfalls are a few of the sights that await you on this tour. Come experience the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge, one of the United States' most photographed Natural Scenic Reserves. The tour will drive along the oldest scenic highway in the U.S., stopping at sweeping viewpoints, flowing falls, a historic lodge and the famed Bonneville Dam Sturgeon Viewing Center.
This is a half day tour, typically offered from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1-4:30 p.m.
The tour will depart downtown Portland and head east along the Columbia River to the quaint town of Troutdale, also known as the Gateway to the Gorge! There, it will join the beautiful Historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned scenic roadway in the United States, and wind the way along the Columbia River to the first stop for the day: Crowne Point. This famous overlook sits 733 feet above the Columbia River, atop the remains of a lava flow that swept through the Gorge around 14 to 17 million years ago! There you will find 180-degree amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge and will also have time to explore the Vista House, an intricately designed observatory and museum that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From there, the tour will again join the historic highway and drive deeper into the Columbia River National Scenic Area. The first waterfall for the day will be the dramatic Latourell Falls, plunging 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt. The next waterfall will be Wahkeena Falls, said to be the most scenic waterfall along the historic highway (probably due to its spectacular alluvial fan). Wahkeena Falls crashes over 242 feet and is complemented by an ornate stone bridge. Depending on the season, a short .25 mile paved trail hike will be led to get closer to the falls at one of these first two waterfalls.
The next waterfall that you will visit will be the grand Multnomah Falls, the highest waterfall in Oregon and second highest in the nation! Here you will have plenty of time to explore the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge (a Cascadian-style stone-and-timber lodge built in 1925 that now houses an interpretive center, the Multnomah Falls Lodge Restaurant, gift shop and snack bar) as well as the beautiful Multnomah Falls itself. This natural wonder plummets 620 feet in two major steps, accented by the Benson Bridge. Everyone will have the option to admire the falls from the easily accessible viewing platform, or journey on another short .25 mile paved hike to the famous bridge.
Then the tour will drive by the world-famous Oneonta Gorge as it makes the way to the last waterfall for the day, Horsetail Falls. This striking 176-foot waterfall gets its name from its shape, which resembles a horse’s tail. From here the tour will head to the Bonneville Lock and Dam, a run-of-the-river dam that spans the Columbia River. There you will spend about 20 minutes on a short walking tour of the impressive Fish Hatchery (the largest in Oregon) and Sturgeon viewing center! At the viewing center you will visit “Herman” the sturgeon, a famous 70 year old, 10 foot long, 450 pound sturgeon with pre-historic roots! Following that, the tour will return to Portland via the Columbia River scenic route (approximately 45 minutes).
at Director Park
831 Southwest Park Avenue
Portland, United States