Tag Archive for: Travel

The recent Eagle Creek Fire and the resulting trail closures in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area have many people wondering where and how to get their Gorge fix. The answer is simple: They can come to The Dalles and the eastern end of the Gorge, where there is an abundance of beautiful hiking trails, plus unparalleled cycling routes, unique museums, world-class fishing and more.   At the end of the day, visitors can relax at one of the new breweries and pubs, or enjoy a glass of wine at a local tasting room. And with 300 days of sun and only 14 inches of rain a year (compared to 37 inches in Portland), The Dalles is the perfect fall and winter escape.

Some Fun Gorge Escapes

Hike amongst petroglyphs. Head across The Dalles Bridge to Horsethief Butte. For age-old petroglyphs and stupendous views of the Gorge, this hike can’t be beat. Though the trail is just two miles long, the hike can take all day, given the seemingly endless rock labyrinths and basalt mazes within the butte.

The Friends of the Gorge website is a great resource for more hikes in the Eastern Gorge and beyond. For post-fire hiking suggestions, visit gorgefriends.org/hike-the-gorge/columbia-gorge-hiking-opportunities.html.


Hike amongst the Petroglyphs. Photo by Michael J. Horodyski.


Hit the road on two wheels. The Dalles is a cyclist’s paradise, with rides ranging from the family-friendly Riverfront Trail to a gorgeous spin on the Historic Columbia River Highway (which is still open east of Hood River) to an all-day, 100-mile epic to Mount Hood and back. Winter is the perfect time to take advantage of the area’s dry climate, and the newly updated “Explore The Dalles Scenic Bikeways” bike map includes six of the most popular local routes, which vary in length and intensity. The map is available online and for free at The Dalles Chamber’s headquarters (404 W. Second St.), Dalles City Cyclery in downtown The Dalles and Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, which is located at the west end of the Riverfront Trail.



Go out on two wheels! Photo by Justin Yuen.

Explore downtown. Historic downtown The Dalles is beautifully preserved and offers a plethora of shopping experiences, including Klindt’s Booksellers & Stationers, Oregon’s oldest bookstore (founded in 1870); Yesterday & Today Records (vinyl, CDs, DVDs and an awesome collection of Beatles paraphernalia), clothing stores, antique and second-hand shops, great restaurants and cafes, Dalles City Cyclery, Flyfishing Strategies Fly Shop, wineries and more. For a complete overview, see the downtown shopping map. And don’t miss the unique historic mural artwork while strolling downtown.


Explore downtown. Photo by Klindt’s Booksellers & Stationers

We will feature three more east Gorge escapes soon.

Little Huckleberry Trail Facts:

  • 5 miles/3 hour walk
  • West of Trout Lake in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

“One of the more accessible viewpoints from Highway 14, Little Huckleberry Trail makes a quick, and at times steep trip to an old lookout site,” according to the book, Washington Hiking: The Complete Guide to More Than 400 Hikes. “Views of Mount Adams and Mount Hood, across the Columbia River, are quite nice, and a feast of huckleberries along the way sweeten the deal on August trips to the mountain. This is a nice trail for a weekend morning, if you’re coming from from Vancouver or Portland.”

The trail gains 1,800 feet in just 2.5 miles, which makes it a steady and tiring ascent. Early in the summer, a cold-water spring runs two miles, which makes it a nice place to take a rest. There is room at the top of the trail to pitch a tent.

User Groups: The trail allows hikers, leashed dogs, horses, and mountain bikes. There is no wheelchair access.

Open Seasons: This trail is accessible April-November.

Permits: A federal Northwest Forest Pass is queried to park here.

Directions: from Vancouver, drive east 70 miles on Highway 14 to Highway 141. Turn north and drive 22 miles to Trout Lake. Continue north on Highway 141 as it becomes Forest Service Road 66. Turn left (south) and rive five miles to the trailhead on the left.


Little Huckleberry

Little Hucklebery Trail entrance.

Source: Washington Hiking: The Complete Guide to More than 400 Hikes

The Hood River Valley County Loop explores the heart of the area’s agricultural scene, and this gorgeous 35-mile scenic drive has something for everyone. The route passes by gorgeous pear, cherry, apple, nectarine and peach orchards, as well as numerous farm stands, wineries, cideries, alpaca ranches and lavender farms.

The Fruit Loop really comes into its own in summer and autumn, with a highlight being the numerous u-pick opportunities – strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples, pears, flowers and more. Hood River County Fruit Loop Stands offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, fresh fruit pies, jams, syrups, fruit smoothies, local artisan gifts, all around the county.

In addition to the fruit stands and vineyards, enjoy local lavender, alpaca, and chestnut farms, plus you can experience our seasonal Blossom Festival, fruit celebrations, and fabulous eateries, including Hood River Cherry Days in July and Gravenstein Apple Days in August.

Top tip: Avoid the crowds by planning a mid-week trip, or by exploring farms on the Fruit Loop’s eastside.

To learn more, go to hoodriverfruitloop.com to find a calendar that lists what’s in season, along with a full calendar of farm events and a searchable map. Head to hoodriver.org for a listing of u-pick farms and a suggested Fruit Loop itinerary.

Some Fruit Loop Area Attractions

Hood River County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center
The Hood River County Visitor Center welcomes visitors from around the world and provides information about all the things to see and do in Hood River.

720 East Port Marina Drive
Hood River, OR 97031

Hood River U-Pick Organic
Cherry season through Apple Season
8am-5pm daily
A Certified Organic Family Farm.  It’s all Organic U-Pick – Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Heirloom Tomatoes, Honey Crisp Apples, Wedding Dahlias, Roses.  A fun day!
4320 Royal Anne Drive
Hood River, OR 97031

Hood River is known for its active lifestyle, and is rapidly raising its profile as one of America’s unique wine areas. (It was named a Top 10 Wine Destination for 2017 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine). Visitors can experience both of those things at once with these fun cycling and horseback winery tours:

MountNBarreL: Hood River Wine Country Bike Tours. Bringing together two Gorge favorites – cycling and wineries – MountNBarreL is Hood River’s first wine country bike tours company, offering all-inclusive wine-tasting tours. Their standard tour is a leisurely seven-mile exploration of Hood River Valley’s west side. Pedal past orchards and breathtaking views of both Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood, and stop at three wineries – Phelps Creek Vineyard, Cathedral Ridge Winery and Marchesi Vineyard – with vineyard tours and food pairings. There are also seasonal stops for u-pick lavender, berries, vegetables and flowers. Owner Ali McLaughlin also offers custom bike tours of the Hood River Valley for up to 17 participants.

4480 Post Canyon Drive, Hood River



Self-Guided Winery Tour by Electric Bike: Oregon E-Bikes. New to Hood River’s cycling scene is Oregon E-Bikes, the Gorge’s first electric bike shop. Visiting local wineries is no sweat with these electric-assist bikes. Wrap up your e-bike adventure with a trip to the scenic, car-free section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail between Hood River and Mosier.

Oregon E-Bikes
207 Front St., Hood River



Double Mountain Horse Ranch Wine Tours. Explore Hood River vineyards on horseback! Double Mountain Horse Ranch’s portfolio of original tours includes a Wine Tasting Tour. Relax on horseback along fruit orchards and vineyards with views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams. Stretch your legs on the banks of the Hood River and then head to a variety of renowned local wineries.

Double Mountain Horse Ranch
3995 Portland Drive, Hood River


1. Lose yourself in fruit blossoms.

Hood River Blossoms

To take it all in, visitors can drive the gorgeous Hood River County Fruit Loop, a gorgeous 35-mile drive that follows the county’s Scenic Tour Route and passes the valley’s plethora of orchards, wineries and farms.

Blossom-lovers can drive it in its entirety or in short hops from Hood River. Stop along the way to pick up baked goods, preserves, yarn, fresh produce, wine, cider and more.

During the month of April, the area celebrates spring with the annual Hood River Valley Blossom Time  (April 1-30), featuring family-friendly farm events, craft shows, culinary treats, wine and cider tasting, and the Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest (April 16).

The Blossom Time event guide is available online at hoodriver.org.

2. Get a taste of Hood River’s craft hard cider scene at the Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest on April 16.

Hard Cider Hood RiverNow in its third year, this family-friendly event is an opportunity for seasoned and novice cider drinkers alike to sample the best of Hood River County and other Northwest cideries. More than 20 cideries will be there, with more than 30 ciders on tap. The day-long event also features local food vendors, produce and arts vendors, a kid’s area and a line-up of local music, from bluegrass to classic rock. Spring showers aren’t a problem, as the tasting takes place in a covered hall.

With 11 cideries and counting, Hood River is at the forefront of the new national hard cider movement. These craft cider makers source fruit from the over 440 orchardists surrounding their production facilities to make a unique, local product.

Each of the Hood River-area craft cideries has its distinct personality.

3. Get up close and personal with the Historic Columbia River Highway during its centennial year.

Travel Hood River2016 marks the 100th anniversary of this Oregon icon, and visitors can walk and bike the Columbia Gorge Historic Highway State Trail from the Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead.

This 5-mile trail section – which is closed to vehicles – features amazing views of the Gorge and passage through a double tunnel. It ends near the small town of Mosier. A great family adventure!

 When it was dedicated in 1916, the Historic Columbia River Highway was considered one of the great engineering feats of the early 20th century. America’s first scenic highway, it runs a total length of 73 miles through the Columbia River Gorge. It was modeled after the great scenic roads of Europe and designed to accommodate Model T cars, plus showcase the natural beauty of the Columbia Gorge.

Today, the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail looks and feels much like it did in 1920s, but it is no longer simply a highway for cars. The two-lane road is divided into different segments – some of which are only accessible by foot and bicycle – and is one of the most amazing 73 miles visitors can experience in Oregon.

4. Take a wildflower hike.

Hood River WildflowerAvoid the crowds at Dog Mountain and head to Mosier Plateau.

This trail, completed in Summer 2013, begins in the town of Mosier, follows Mosier Creek through the Pocket Park (community park), and then ends up on Mosier Plateau, which is owned by Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust.

The best time to hike is March through May. Top off your hike with a cider or pizza from Rack & Cloth in Mosier.


5. Head to a waterfall.

Hood River FallsSpring run-off from Mt. Hood means thundering waterfalls in the the Columbia River Gorge, which has the highest concentration of waterfalls in North America.

Beautiful Tamanawas Falls is just 20 minutes from downtown Hood River. A 3.5-mile loop takes hikers to a 125-foot falls that you can walk behind into a large dry cave. Other Gorge waterfall hikes can be found at Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

It is easy to feel relaxed at this romantic getaway.  The Benjamin Young Inn Bed & Breakfast sits on the hillside in beautiful Astoria.  Its location gives a great view of the Columbia River, and is located close to the world-famous Astoria Column and well-loved “Goonies” home.

In 1888 Benjamin Young, an early-day salmon packer, built this amazing house on the original bank of the Columbia River.  The house has been well maintained throughout the years and is recognized throughout Oregon as an outstanding example of Queen Anne architecture. The house is even listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.

The current owner Carolyn Hammer, who purchased the home almost 18 years ago, is only the second owner outside of the Young family.  Benjamin’s oldest daughter became a doctor and inherited the home in which she ran her practice.  She then handed it over to her daughter Josephine who was a teacher and taught English at Astoria High School.  It was her daughter, Chris, who was the first to sell it and move outside of Astoria.

A common place for weddings and romantic getaways there are five different rooms to choose from.  The Fireplace Suite is a large first floor suite with a king size bed.  The bay window and fireplace give it the needed essentials for romance.  It also includes such amenities as a TV/DVD, double whirlpool tub, and an adjoining room with its own queen and single beds.

The Honeymoon Suite is a large elegant second floor room with antique furnishings, and private bath.  The canopy queen bed and sitting room have great views of the Columbia River, and touches of wedding bliss add to the elegance.

The Lady Ann Room is a second floor suite that also has an outstanding view of the Columbia River and wooded hillsides.  It has a private bath with shower, queen bed, loveseat, two plush comfortable rocking chairs, and TV/DVD.

You will often find the Rose Room sunlit on the second floor with an excellent view of the Columbia and gardens.  It also has a queen bed and private bath.  Last is the Dorothy Room with the same amazing views, queen bed, private bath, and single bed.

Breakfast is served in the dining room and is prepared by Carolyn.  She tries to keep the menu varied, but always filled with amazing dishes such as orange French toast, chicken apple sausage, blueberry pancakes, omelets, eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce, or scones with cranberries.

With plenty to do and see in Astoria and a great place to stay The Benjamin Young Inn Bed & Breakfast is a great place for your next romantic getaway.

To contact the Benjamin Young, call  800.201.1286 or 503.325.6172. You can also find them at www.BenjaminYoungInn.com.

Benjamin Young Inn