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Hiking the Spectacular Columbia River Gorge

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Program #14936RJ

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7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Eileen from Ann Arbor, MI Number of programs attended: 28
Date attended: 10/11/15 - 10/17/15
This is a very well run program in a beautiful part of the country. I lost track of the number of waterfalls that we saw on these hikes in the rain forest, among the moss covered trees and rocks. Somehow we even managed six days of warm sunshine. The hotel accommodations are excellent, with great views of the Columbia River and the Bridge of the Gods. Side trips to the Bonneville Dam, the fish hatchery, and scenic viewpoints provided even more interest to the program. Our two guides, Ken and Steve, did an excellent job of getting to know each person and giving each of us encouragement and suggestions during the hikes. However, with 24 participants, the group size was larger than I have had on other “small group” Road Scholar trips that I have done. On each day, the group hiked together for the morning, and because of different hiking speeds, we did get fairly spread out. In the second part of the day, we usually split into two groups so that individuals could choose the additional distance or difficulty that they wanted to do. A third leader might have helped each group hike at a pace that was more comfortable for each of us. I agree that the program was appropriately labeled as “Moderately Challenging,” There were some challenging sections, but this was primarily because of the very uneven and rough trail surfaces, rather than distance or elevation gain. The descriptive materials, both on the web site and in the materials that we were sent, are very accurate in their descriptions of the hikes. Good hiking boots and hiking poles are strongly recommended. I have posted some pictures of the program at https://roadscholaroregonhiking.shutterfly.com.

Christine from Medford, NJ Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 10/11/15 - 10/17/15
This was a great hiking program, which I believe was appropriately labeled as Moderately Challenging, being less difficult than some other MC-rated hikes I have taken. We had two great leaders for this trip, Steve and Ken, but I think it would have helped to have 3 leaders so that the middle and top groups' needs could be met, instead of both groups feeling they had to compromise their pace. While some trails involved narrow ledges, there were cables in the rock wall in the narrowest. Hiking poles and stiffer-soled boots are a big help on the often rocky trails. The hikes were in some beautiful country, so many wonderful waterfalls, and we were very lucky to experience no rain until the day of our departure. The visit to the Bonneville Dam, learning about the history of the dam as well as watching and learning about the fish ladders, was excellent. Our hotel was well-situated next to the Bridge of the Gods, at the edge of the small town of Cascade Locks. The rooms were very clean and well-equipped, and coffee was always available next to the lobby. I'd definitely recommend this program. We had plenty of good hikes, as well as some interesting side activities.

Hannelore from Tempe, AZ Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 10/11/15 - 10/17/15
This was my second hiking trip with NW Discoveries and I loved it as much as the first. I and other participants felt the program should be rated Challenging, rather than Moderately Challenging, given the length of the hikes, the elevation changes, and the often extremely rough conditions of the trails. But the scenery is breathtaking, the accommodations very good, and the leaders and my fellow hikers were a delight. If you love strenuous hiking, go with NW Discoveries!

Batia from Rockville, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/11/15 - 10/17/15
Great hikes, great weather, amazing vistas with great leaders - Ken and Steve! Wonderful trip.

Barbara from Brookside, NJ Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 10/11/15 - 10/17/15
Spectacular! Ken and Steve ran a very organized trip and it didn't even rain! I would highly recommend this program.

Nancy from Jackson, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 05/31/15 - 06/06/15
We had nice accommodations at the Best Western. Ken & Steve were very informative and took us (group of 25) on all the hikes. Even when it rained, we had some wonderful hikes. the waterfalls are plentiful, the flora & fauna has yet to be rivaled. The dinner meals were wonderful. Breakfast at the local cafe, next door,was plenty. Don't miss a visit to local soft serve ice cream stand and the Thunder Island Brew Pub.

Judy from Broomfield, CO Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/31/15 - 06/06/15
The hikes were varied and beautiful. So many waterfalls! The leaders are very organized, knowledgeable, and tuned in to the hikers' abilities and needs. We hiked in rain for 3 of the days and still loved it. We were tired each day and up early the next, waiting for another adventure.

Jane from Cheboygan, MI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/28/14 - 10/04/14
Absolutely top shelf experience. Stunning waterfalls, streams, forest, and views. Well organized. I don't like heights and I was frequently challenged, but was able to complete all but one hike. Leaders fostered camaraderie in the group. Even though I am 'height challenged', Steve and Ken were supportive and helpful. Great leaders. Thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Michael from Coeur D Alene, ID Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 09/28/14 - 10/04/14
I agree with Susan. This was a spectacular trip. The scenery was unbelievable.If you are an active adventurer, this is the trip to take. You do need to be in reasonably good condition to manage this trip comfortably.

Susan from Oceanside, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/28/14 - 10/04/14
If you are a mountains, lush forest, waterfalls person, this is the trip for you. I loved every minute and each day was better than the day before. Perfect weather and hikes to waterfalls almost everyday. The last day was the longest(but optional), about 13 miles if you wanted to challenge yourself, but the tunnel falls was so worth the effort. This trip is not for you if you are afraid of heights, many narrow paths with steep drops. The hike to the bottom of the crater was partly a silent hike and we all spread out and enjoyed the tranquility of the whole area. Wonderful experience!! Highly recommend.

Valerie from Topinabee, MI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/28/14 - 10/04/14
This program had some of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on. The accommodations were great and the staff excellent. If you love waterfalls this is the program to do.

Roseann from Madison, WI Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 06/08/14 - 06/14/14
Great hikes in a variety of different terrains; the waterfalls were fabulous! Many hikes were strenuous and challenging, which was good. A very well organized program in a stunning location.

Linda from Carmichael, CA Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 06/08/14 - 06/14/14
If you like waterfalls and enjoy hiking under a canopy of tall trees, then you will love this program. (Note: Because it's Oregon, be prepared for rain which mists through the trees. Lovely!)

Charlene from Lewes, DE Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 06/08/14 - 06/14/14
Very great hikes! Waterfalls everywhere!

Lelia from Moraga, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 04/20/14 - 04/26/14
Outstanding, fun program! Waterfalls, wild flowers, snowshoeing, old growth forests, the Columbia River, all within a short distance from the hotel. Ken and Steve are knowledgeable, interesting, and magnificent guides who know the area extensively. If you want to experience the Pacific Northwest, then this is the best program around. At least 3 of the participants were returnees from previous NW Discoveries (Ken) programs. Spectacular time.

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Uploaded By: Neil
Uploaded By: Neil

Uploaded By: Linda

"My "favorite" section of Eagle Creek trail." Uploaded By: Barbara

"Me pleased to make it to Punchbowl Falls! Thanks, Ellie!" Uploaded By: Barbara

"We start" Uploaded By: Barbara

"Lunch" Uploaded By: Barbara

"Our group" Uploaded By: Barbara

"Start of Beacon Rock...yikes!" Uploaded By: Barbara

"Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks" Uploaded By: Lelia

"Triple Falls -- only one of many beautiful falls in the area" Uploaded By: Lelia

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips


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