14936
Cascade Locks
Hiking the Spectacular Columbia River Gorge
Join local experts to hike and learn about the Columbia River Gorge, where you’ll explore historic sites, take in awe-inspiring vistas and witness the region’s spectacular waterfalls.
Program No. 14936RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,099
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7 days
6 nights
16 meals
6 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Cascade Locks, OR
D
Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods

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

Afternoon: 5:30 PM Group socializing activities - Meet your fellow Road Scholars.

Dinner: Dinner at 6:15 PM at restaurant next door. Our goal is to provide healthy meals with options for special diet requests. People requesting special diets may need to supplement the meals with their personal items to ensure they meet their dietary needs.

Evening: Program orientation and introductions/discussion until 9:00 PM

DAY
2
View Columbia River Gorge & Bonneville Dam, Wahclella Falls
Cascade Locks, OR
B,L,D
Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods

Activity note: Strawberry Island hike adjacent to Columbia River (2.9 mile loop, 80' elevation gain) Hike to Wahclella Falls (2 miles, 380' elevation gain) on a nice trail with some stairs and possibly slippery sections.

Breakfast: Breakfast at adjacent restaurant from 7:00-9:00 AM. 9:15-9:45 AM assemble your personal lunch in meeting room, lowest level.

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 Strawberry Island for a 2.9 miles loop, 70’ gain. Strawberry Island, adjacent to the might Columbia River below Bonneville dam and is where Lewis & Clark picked wild strawberries during their voyage to the coast. Enjoy views of Beacon rock, an 848-foot monolith. 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

DAY
3
Hike Pony Tail Falls, Columbia River Gorge Highway Drive
Cascade Locks, OR
B,L,D
Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods

Activity 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: Breakfast at adjacent restaurant from 7:00-8:00 AM. Lunch is assembled after breakfast in meeting room lowest level of motel.

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.

DAY
4
Visit Multnomah Falls & Hike
Cascade Locks, OR
B,L,D
Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods

Activity 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: Breakfast at adjacent restaurant from 7:00-8:00 AM. Lunch is assembled after breakfast in meeting room lowest level of motel.

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.

DAY
5
Visit Five Surrounding Cascade Mountain Peaks
Cascade Locks, OR
B,L,D
Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods

Activity 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: Breakfast at adjacent restaurant from 7:00-8:00 AM. Lunch is assembled after breakfast in meeting room lowest level of motel.

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 and Salmon chowder dinner socializer to share stories of the week and other adventures that you have enjoyed.

Evening: Program on local history and geology.

DAY
6
Hike the most popular trail in Oregon, Eagle Creek.
Cascade Locks, OR
B,L
Best Western Columbia River Inn at the Bridge of the Gods

Activity 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: Breakfast at adjacent restaurant from 7:00-8:00 AM. Lunch is assembled after breakfast in meeting room lowest level of motel.

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.

DAY
7
Memories of beautiful scenery and new friends.
Cascade Locks, OR
B

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at adjacent restaurant from 7:00-8:30 AM.

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.