The Faces of Oregon: Mt. Hood, Columbia River Gorge & the Coast

From awe-inspiring waterfalls to towering Mount Hood, from ancient forests to food-trendy Portland, explore the many wonders of Oregon on this great Northwestern adventure.
Rating (4.86)
Program No. 1834RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

On four daylong field trips, discover the natural beauty and human history that make Oregon a state of wonder. Take in city highlights like the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Art Museum, then explore the natural wonders outside the city, from the rugged Pacific Coast to the dramatic Columbia River Gorge to the volcanic Cascade Mountains. Each journey is accented by interesting, interactive activities, including a tasting of the Columbia Gorge's award-winning wines.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to 1.5 miles on varied terrain. Elevations up to 6,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Gaze up at towering Mount Hood from majestic Timberline Lodge, one of the iconic great lodges of the West.
  • Stand in awe of the Columbia River Gorge’s magnificent waterfalls and captivating vistas.
  • Visit the rugged Oregon Coast, including the mouth of the Columbia River, known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific” and spend time in Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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David Lukas
David Lukas is a Portland-based naturalist and author who has been leading Road Scholar programs since 1984. He is the author of six books including "Language Making Nature," a handbook on the art of creating new words. David now works on travel and educational videos, as well as a website that provides resources for travelers seeking the world’s best wildlife spectacles. Throughout his career, he has contributed to over 35 Lonely Planet travel books.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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David Lukas
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Ryan Curtis
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Vince Patton
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Portland: Yesterday & Today
by Ted Katauskas
Portland: Yesterday & Today features spectacular imagery and brings to life all the favorite destinations that make the city so unique. From the sprawling, verdant Forest Park to the towering U.S. Bancorp Tower (Big Pink), this book will give you a new appreciation for all that Portland has to offer.
Portland: Then and Now
by Dan Haneckow
Focusing primarily on the development and growth of the city, this book takes a look at how the city has changed from a small-town to big-city mindset, complete with the good and bad consequences of these changes.
Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
by Peter Stark
This thrilling and harrowing volume tells the story of the 1810 Astor Expedition, which followed in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark to establish the first settlement in the Pacific Northwest. John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson dreamed of transforming the region into a world trading power. Instead, the cruelty of the wilderness and the clash of ambitions led to a grim failure that serves as a reminder of the frailty of the human body and will.
Portland: People, Politics, and Power, 1851-2001
by Jewel Lansing
One of the most detailed and definitive books on the full history of the city of Portland. The seedy undercurrents of early society in Portland are revealed, along with details of crime, corruption, prohibition, racism and commercial development.
Oregon Trail Stories: True Accounts of Life in a Covered Wagon
by David Klausmeyer
Read through the exhilarating narratives from real letters, diaries and more. These first-hand tales of death, love, adversity and exploration offer insight into the lives of the early Western Pioneers.
The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest
by Timothy Egan
In this mesmerizing book, Egan retraces a journey made in 1853 by Theodore Winthrop, the author of the first national book about the Pacific Northwest. As he travels Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia by unconventional means, Egan reflects on Winthrop's predictions for the northwest, mourns the loss of so much natural beauty, and casts visions of the landscapes that have escaped the march of modern development. Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award
Notable Women of Portland
by Tracy J. Prince and Zadie J. Schaffer
This book offers a radically different portrayal of the growth the city of Portland has experienced. Its focus is on the early female pioneers of the city and the many incredible and lasting impacts they had on the area.
Oregon's Promise: An Interpretive History
by David Peterson Del Mar
This detailed look into the history of Oregon offers jarring perspectives that clash with traditional stereotypes of the state and its residents. The author focuses on those that have been left out of the prosperous society that the pioneers originally looked to create and gives fresh insight into some historical assumptions that, upon further review, may not have been so true.
Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman's March to the Governorship
by Barbara Roberts
A political memoir by one of the first, and only governors in the history of the United States, Up the Capitol Steps explains the frustrations of being a woman in politics, while also showing the incredible successes and positives that come with it.
A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia
by Blaine Harden
An insightful look into the many changes the Columbia River has undergone as a result of human exploitation. Harden weighs the pros and cons of river development and provides his unique perspectives, in addition to those of Native Americans, environmentalists, & individualist locals.
A Chef's Bounty: Celebrating Oregon's Cuisine
by William King
A Chef's Bounty includes recipes from many of the most successful chefs in Oregon. It is a full-page, full-color book that features sustainable cooking and gives background insight into Oregon cuisine from all the unique regions of the state.
Building the Columbia River Highway: They Said It Couldn't Be Done
by Peg Willis
Peg Willis takes the reader on a journey along the Columbia River and explores the early beginnings of this highway that became known as a man-made miracle. Willis meets with two of the men responsible for the highway's creation and development, and explores the consequences (good and bad) of this architectural marvel.

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