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Hiking the Spectacular Columbia River Gorge

Program Number: 14936RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/8/2014 - 6/14/2014; 9/28/2014 - 10/4/2014;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Cascade Locks, Oregon
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt    

Outstanding vistas and water formations await you in the spectacular Columbia River Gorge — a natural wonder where geology and history come to life. Hike along peaceful rivers and marvel in the beauty of the region’s many waterfalls. Hear about the cataclysmic Missoula floods that transported Washington's topsoil to Oregon and the Pacific Ocean. Make your way to the top of Beacon Rock for spectacular views of the gorge, hike to Wahclella Falls, and visit sights along the old Columbia Gorge Highway.




Highlights

• Experience the Eagle Creek Trail — one of the most popular hikes in Oregon — and delight in the variety of wildflowers that grow along its paths.
• Explore the historic Columbia River highway and dine at the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge.
• Hike to the breathtaking, 542-foot Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon.



Activity Particulars

Daily hikes of 4-8 miles, elevation gains up to 1,600 feet.



Coordinated by NW Discoveries.




Cascade Locks

The Columbia River cuts through the Cascades en route to the Pacific Ocean, passing forested cliffs and waterways, and this river town east of Portland in the Columbia Gorge. Bonneville Dam and the 848-foot-high Beacon Rock are nearby.



Accommodations
Motel with indoor pool and spa.
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
  Cascade Locks, OR 6 nights
 Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
Type: Motel
  Description: This is comfortable motel on outskirts of town. Easy walking distance to local stores. Recently constructed motel.
  Contact info: P.O. Box 580
735 WaNaPa Street
Cascade Locks, OR 97014 USA
phone: 800-595-7108 xtollfree
web: www.bwcolumbiariverinn.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have private baths, TV, phones (free local calls), refrigerators, coffeemakers, microwave, hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Facility has pool, spa, laundry facilities, exercise room, newspapers.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $90- $135/night + tax/room Contact motel directly to reserve additional nights and for prices
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $90- $135/night + tax/room Contact motel directly to reserve additional nights and for prices
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in 4:00-5:30 PM. You will be staying at Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 9:00 AM after breakfast. You will be staying at Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Liability Release Waivers are required to be signed for participation in this program.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at lodge for free.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cascade Locks, OR
  Nearest city or town:  Cascade Locks
  Nearest highway: I-84
  Nearest airport:  Portland
  From End of Program
  Location: Cascade Locks, OR
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Portland, OR

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
NW Discoveries
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

   

Questions? Email: roadscholar@nwdiscoveries.com. On day of shuttle call driver at 503-524-9192. Pickup: 2:00 PM Sunday Portland Airport-PDX; (flight arrive by 1:30 PM). Meet on sidewalk, ground-lower level, outside of baggage claim next to terminal building with “Alaska” sign on wall. Where vehicles exit terminal. 15 passenger van will arrive and pickup at 2 pm due to parking restrictions. Reserve your seat: mark “Yes” on the shuttle section of “Provider (NW Discoveries) info. form” attachment.

 

Cascade Locks

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
NW Discoveries
phone: 503-524-9192
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

   

On last day of program only. One departure time of 9:00 am from lodge, arriving at PDX airport by 10:00 am. Please schedule your flight no earlier than 11:30 am. Reserve your seat: mark “Yes” on the shuttle section of “Provider (NW Discoveries) info. form” attachment.

 

Portland, OR

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Blue Star
phone: 800-247-2272
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

call
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr. 

   

Blue Star (1-800-247-2272; www.bluestarbus.com) is a commercial shuttle provider from Portland airport to nearby towns. For individuals they depart the airport every half hour. No advance reservations required. Check in with shuttle information person on island 2 of roadway on ground floor outside of baggage claim. Cost is $50+ for first individual, Call for current pricing.

 
Driving Directions
  I-5 in Portland to Cascade Locks ,OR Take exit #301 off I-5 onto I-84 east towards Hood River/The Dalles for 44 miles to Cascade Locks, take exit #44. Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods is on the left side just as you enter town of Cascade Locks, next to Charburger restaurant.
  Directions for GPS We recommend you put the lodging address into your GPS or vehicle navigation system or use the internet mapping websites: (ensure the mapping directions are similar to our provided instructions) http://maps.google.com/ then click on Get directions, then input your starting destination and ending destination = lodging address provided. or www.mapquest.com; then click on Get Directions, then input your starting destination and ending destination = lodging address provided. Best Western Columbia River Inn 735 Wanapa St, Cascade Locks, OR 97014 (541) 374-8777 You can also visit the lodging website or call the lodging for additional directions.
Elevation Note: Hike at Larch Mt. (4050') will be our highest elevation. All other days will be below 3000'.

Equipment Requirements: Well broken in hiking boots or shoes, day pack/fanny pack, hiking gear and rain gear are recommended to fully enjoy this program.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Relax in our Cascade Locks motel as you overlook the Columbia River Gorge and its surrounding mountains. Meet new friends and learn about the week ahead.
(Sunday, June 8)

Note: While at our lodging, we will get to know each other as we learn about the week ahead.



   
 Arrive To: Check in between 4:00 - 5:30 PM at Best Western at Cascade Locks.
 Afternoon: 5:30 PM Group socializing activities - Meet your fellow Road Scholars.
 Dinner: Dinner at 6:15 PM at restaurant next door.
 Evening: Program orientation and introductions/discussion until 9:00 PM
   
Accommodations: Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Walk to the top of Beacon Rock for outstanding views of Columbia River Gorge and Bonneville dam. Walk to Wahclella Falls, a hidden gem.
(Monday, June 9)

Note: Beacon rock hike on switchback and ramps carved out of rock with nice railings (1.8 mile RT, 600' elevation gain) Hike to Wahclella Falls (2 miles, 380' elevation gain) on a nice trail with some stairs and possibly slippery sections.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast from 7:15-8:15 AM onsite. 9:15-9:45 AM assemble your personal lunch in lunch preparation room next to swimming pool.
 Morning: 8:15 -9:15 AM Optional walk to Cascade Locks park, with orientation of town. See the Oregon Pony, the first steam engine in the Pacific Northwest. There is also a walking bridge crossing the remains of the original shipping locks, connecting the Marine Park with 3-acre "Thunder Island". 9:45 am daily orientation 10:30 AM depart for Beacon Rock walk (1.8 miles RT, 600 ft.) for views of Columbia River gorge and Bonneville Dam. Beacon Rock is an 848-foot monolith next to the Columbia River. Hike a trail to the top that is a marvel of engineering and rockwork for outstanding views of Columbia R. gorge. On October 31, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived here and first measured tides on the river, indicating that they were nearing the ocean.
 Lunch: Sack lunches at Bonneville fish hatchery picnic tables The hatchery, which was built in 1909 is the largest of Oregon’s 33 hatcheries and raises over 9 million salmon fry for release every year. A highlight of the hatchery is “Herman” the sturgeon, a 70-year-old, 10-foot long, 450 pound sturgeon that you can get eyeball-to-eyeball with in a viewing room.
 Afternoon: Tour of Bonneville Dam Completed in 1937, the dam was a showpiece of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. At the time, its single lift navigation lock was the largest in the world. See how native salmon and steelhead salmon navigate fish ladders to get past the dam on their journey upstream to spawn. Afternoon: Wahclella Falls, beautiful waterfall in charming canyon (2 miles RT, 300 ft.) The falls are divided into upper and lower segments with a combined height of 350 ft. The fully visible lower segment thunders out of a narrow gorge carved in basalt. The plunge pool’s surrounding natural walls form a semi-circular rotunda. Tanner Creek is sourced primarily from an underground spring, ensuring consistent flow.
 Dinner: At local church to meet people from the community and have a home cooked meal as our mothers used to make.
 Evening: Presentation on local history or Geology
   
Accommodations: Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hike behind Pony tail falls and up to Triple falls. Drive a section of the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway.
(Tuesday, June 10)

Note: Long hike to Triple falls is 4.5 mile loop 680' elevation gain. Short hike to Oneonta Gorge is 2.7 mile loop, 400' elevation gain. Both trails on well graded maintained trail.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast onsite. (Optional full breakfast is available at local restaurant on your own) Lunch is assembled after breakfast.
 Morning: Hike from Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls (2.7 mile loop, 400 ft). Hike behind Pony tail falls in a cavern beneath an ancient lava flow, then past “weeping walls” of moss and ferns to an overlook of the Columbia River. An optional add-on hike of 1.8 miles RT, 200 ft. takes you to the Triple Falls, one of the most frequently photographed in the gorge. Continue hiking along the river beyond Triple Falls if you would like an additional 2 miles RT.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: We will visit sights along the historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned and paved scenic roadway in the United States, built in 1922. Optional walks to Bridal Veil Falls (1.5 mile, 200 ft.) and Latourell Falls dropping 249 ft. (1.0 mile, 50 ft )
 Dinner: Dinner at Multnomah Falls lodge. At the base of Multnomah Falls, the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge provides us with a place to relax and enjoy a fine meal. Built in 1925, the Lodge exemplifies Cascadian style stone and timber architecture.
 Evening: Evening program on local history or issues or geology.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Visit Multnomah Falls, the most famous and largest falls in the Columbia River Gorge. Hike to the top of the falls to see even more falls cascading along our river hike.
(Wednesday, June 11)

Note: Long hike loop from Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls (5 mile, 1600' elevation gain). Short hike to top of Multnomah Falls (2.2 mile RT, 700' elevation gain) Trail is nicely maintained and graded.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast onsite. (Optional full breakfast is available at local restaurant on your own) Assemble lunch after breakfast.
 Morning: Hike to the top of Multnomah Falls and back down to Wahkeena Falls (5 mile RT, 1600'). Beautiful hikes along 2 creeks with a several waterfalls.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Explore Town of Hood River: watch windsurfers, optional beer and wine tasting. Hood River is a worldwide destination for windsurfers and kiteboarders. It has also become a recreational boomtown for hikers, bikers, skiers, and paddlers. Watch the action from the city’s new waterfront park!
 Dinner: Dinner on own as you choose between the many eateries in Hood River. You will find food and drink ranging from simple home-style meals to gourmet offerings, outstanding wine to hand-crafted beers. In this rich agricultural region, it’s not surprising the food is fresh, local, and delicious.
 Evening: No evening program as we drive back from town of Hood River.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: See five surrounding Cascade mountain peaks (Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens) from Larch Mountain.
(Thursday, June 12)

Note: Long hike loop (6.4 mile, 1300' elevation gain). Short hike (4.9 mile 500 elevation gain). Trail is nicely maintained with a few slippery sections and some exposed tree roots.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast onsite. (Optional full breakfast is available at local restaurant on your own) Assemble lunch after breakfast.
 Morning: Enjoy the surrounding Cascades (Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens) from Sherrard Point. Hike Larch Mtn., an ancient shield volcano (6.4 mile, 1300 ft. shorter options available). Hike through peaceful forests including Old Growth as we hike through the Crater and along the rim of this extinct volcano.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Finish Larch Mountain hike and visit Crown Point-Vista House for outstanding views of the Columbia River Gorge. Vista house towers 733’ over the Columbia River on one of the most beautiful locations along the historic Columbia River Highway. The octagonal structure was completed in 1918 as a wayside rest, “an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite.”
 Dinner: Pizza dinner socializer to share stories of the week and other adventures that you have enjoyed.
 Evening: Program on local history and geology.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hike the most popular trail in Oregon, Eagle Creek.
(Friday, June 13)

Note: Eagle Creek hike to Punch bowl falls (4.2 mile RT, 400' elevation gain). Additional hike to High Bridge (add. 2.4 mile RT, 200' elevation gain). Trail is well graded and has cable railing for any narrow sections.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast onsite. (Optional full breakfast is available at local restaurant on your own) Assemble lunch after breakfast.
 Morning: Hike along Eagle Creek to Punch Bowl Falls (4.2 miles RT, 400 ft). This is #1 hiking trail in Oregon and is an engineering marvel that boasts dozens of spectacular waterfalls, tall basalt cliffs, sweeping talus slopes, and the lush temperate rain forests that so characterize the Pacific Northwest.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Optional additional hike to High Bridge (additional 2.4 miles RT, 200 ft.) or Tunnel Falls which is additional past High bridge of 5.4 miles, 600 ft. RT (total of 12 miles RT, 1200 ft.). Enjoy the town of Cascade Locks and the views of the cliffs across the Columbia River as well as the river boat traffic.
 Dinner: Eat at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Share stories, photos and experiences from the week during a closing program that ends by 9:00 pm.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Memories of beautiful scenery and new friends.
(Saturday, June 14)

Note: No activity scheduled as people pack up for their departure after breakfast.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast onsite from 7:15 to 8:15 am. (Optional full breakfast is available at local restaurant on your own).
 Morning: Program ends at 9:00 AM with everyone checking out by 12:00 AM. Shuttle departs at 9:00 AM and arrives at Portland airport by 10:00 AM. Allow 90 minutes after arrival to check-in and go through security.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Journals of Lewis and Clark


Author: Bernard Devoto, ed.


Description: abridged version of their journey.



Eden Seekers-The Settlement of Oregon 1818-1862


Author: Malcolm Clark Jr.


Description: Good summary fo Oregon's history.



National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest


Author: Peter Alden, ed.


Description: Filled with concise descriptions and stunning photographs, the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest belongs in the home of every Pacific Northwest resident and in the suitcase or backpack of every visitor. This compact volume contains: An easy-to-use field guide for identifying 1,000 of the region's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more; A complete overview of the Pacific Northwest's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns and night sky; An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, beaches, forests, islands, and wildlife sanctuaries, with detailed descriptions and visitor information for 50 sites and notes on dozens of others. The guide is packed with visual information -- the 1,500 full-color images include more than 1,300 photographs, 14 maps, and 16 night-sky charts, as well as 150 drawings explaining everything from geological processes to the basic features of different plants and animals. For everyone who lives or spends time in Washington or Oregon, there can be no finer guide to the area's natural surroundings than the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest.



Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast-Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska


Author: Pojar and MacKinnon


Description: This easy-to-use field guide features 794 species of plants commonly found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatic plants, grasses, ferns, mosses and lichens. PLANTS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST covers the coastal region from shoreline to alpine, including the western Cascades. Includes: * 1100 color photographs * More than 1000 line drawings and silhouettes * Clear species descriptions and keys to groups * Descriptions of each plant's habitat and range * 794 new color range maps. Rich and engaging notes on each species describe aboriginal and other local uses of plants for food, medicine and implements, along with unique characteristics of the plants and the origins of their names. For both amateurs and professionals, this is the best, most accessible, most up-to-date guide of its kind.



Salmon without Rivers-A history of the Pacific Salmon Crisis


Author: Jim Lichatowich


Description: Easy to read book on Salmon, and hatcheries.



Northwest Exposures-A Geologic Story of the Northwest


Author: David Alt and Donald W. Hyndman


Description: Northwest Exposures chronicles the events that shaped the region's rock and landforms through the ages. The tale of the Northwest's geology began more than two billion years ago when an ancient continent split, creating oceanfront property in what is now western Idaho. Pacific islands mashed into that coastline, making large parts of Washington and Oregon. These events were followed by monstrous volcanic eruptions, catastrophic ice age floods, and mountains rising to an accompaniment of earthquakes.



In Search of Ancient Oregon


Author: Ellen Morris Bishop


Description: Geology is an extremely visual subject, and In Search of Ancient Oregon is a beautifully photographed, expertly written account of Oregon's fascinating geological story. Written by a passionate and professional geologist who has spent countless hours in the field exploring and photographing the state, In Search of Ancient Oregon is a book for all those interested in Oregon's landscapes and environments. It presents fine-art-quality color photographs of well-known features such as Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Smith Rock, Steens Mountain, the Columbia River Gorge, and Cannon Beach, and scenic, not so well known places such as Jordan Craters, Leslie Gulch, Abert Rim, Hells Canyon, Elkhorn Mountains, and Three Fingered Jack. Each of the more than 220 stunning photographs is accompanied by readable text, presenting the story of how Oregon's diverse landscapes evolved — and what we may expect in the future. Until now, no book has presented this dynamic story in a way that everyone interested in Oregon's natural history can easily understand. The combination of extraordinary photographs and the author's lucid explanations make this book both unique and essential for those curious about our own contemporary landscape.



A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Robert Ruby, John Brown, Cary Collins


Description: The Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest inhabit a vast region extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and from California to British Columbia. For more than two decades, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest has served as a standard reference on these diverse peoples. Now, in the wake of renewed tribal self-determination, this revised edition reflects the many recent political, economic, and cultural developments shaping these Native communities. From such well-known tribes as the Nez Perces and Cayuses to lesser-known bands previously presumed extinct, this guide offers detailed descriptions, in alphabetical order, of 150 Pacific Northwest tribes. Each entry provides information on the history, location, demographics, and cultural traditions of the particular tribe. Among the new features offered here are an expanded selection of photographs, updated reading lists, and a revised pronunciation guide. While continuing to provide succinct histories of each tribe, the volume now also covers such contemporary and sometimes controversial issues as Indian gaming and NAGPRA. With its emphasis on Native voices and tribal revitalization, this new edition of the Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest is certain to be a definitive reference for many years to come.



Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Katharine Berry Judson


Description: Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, the salmon and noted geographical features of the territory.



Cataclysms on the Columbia


Author: John Allen, Marjorie Burns, Scott Burns


Description: A layperson’s guide to the catastrophic Bretz floods in the Pacific Northwest. These ice age floods helped carve the Columbia River Gorge.



100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon


Author: William Sullivan


Description: Good description of hikes we will be hiking.



Northwest Passage-The Great Columbia River


Author: William Dietrich


Description: Describes the natural and human history of the Columbia River.





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