Explore the Columbia River Gorge: Top 10 Activities for Adventure-Seekers

Are you wondering what to do in the Columbia River Gorge? Here is the ultimate adventure guide with the best activities and attractions in the Gorge, including Hood River, White Salmon, Bingen, Stevenson, Mosier and more.

Just as we did in La Ventana, we will be partnering with the best activities & adventure businesses in the region, so when you book with us, you can add-on activities and services directly and during your reservation, such as kiteboarding lessons, white water rafting, fruit loop tours, and much more.

Wind Sports: Kitesurfing, Windsurfing, Wingfoiling...

The Columbia River Gorge is known as the windsurfing capital of the world. Several competitions and fundraising events happen here, like KB4C Project Koru. The Gorge is a natural wind tunnel that creates ideal conditions for these sports, especially from June to September. The gorge attracts windsurfers, kitesurfers, and wing foilers from all over the world, who enjoy the scenic views of waterfalls, cliffs, and forests. There are many launch areas, rental shops and kiteboarding/wing foiling schools in the gorge, or just watch the pros glide and do tricks on the water.

Photo by KB4C Project Koru


The Columbia River Gorge is a stunning natural wonder that offers many scenic hikes for all hiking levels. There are so many that we are separating waterfalls from scenic hiking. Some of the most beautiful hikes on the Washington side are Cape Horn Trail (hard), Dog Mountain (hard), Wind Mountain(med-hard), Stacker Butte(moderate), Syncline Hills(moderate), Catherine Creek Trails(easy-moderate). On the Oregon side we recommend Angel Rest (med-hard), Wahclella Falls (moderate), Pacific Crest Trail - Dry Creek (moderate), Mosier Plateau (moderate), Tamanawas Falls (Easy), Memaloose Hills (moderate). As these are just a fraction, we recommend using AllTrails to find the right hike for you.

Waterfalls and Scenic Driving

The Gorge is a scenic views and waterfall lover's dream, as you could easily go see a dozen astonishingly beautiful waterfalls and stop at another dozen breathtaking viewpoints in one day! You can start driving I-84 and visit the Waterfall Alley, where you can go see a handful of waterfalls in one stop. Some will require hiking. Among the most popular waterfalls are Latourell Falls, a 2.4 miles hike that takes you to two waterfalls, Wahclella Falls, a 2 mile loop and is one of the best photo ops in the gorge, Multnomah Falls, the most iconic and touristy hike in the gorge, but also one of the most impressive. The drive on either 1-84 or Highway 14 on the Washington side are incredibly beautiful. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to stop at viewpoints and take amazing photos for your memory.

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is a popular activity in the Hood River, White Salmon area, as it is part of the Columbia Gorge AVA, a diverse wine region that spans both Oregon and Washington. You can find a variety of wines, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Barbera and Gewurztraminer, made by local winemakers who are passionate about their craft. Some of the best wineries to visit in the area are Syncline Winery, Cor Cellars, Domain Pouillon, Le Doubble Troubble Wine in the WA side, and Marchesi Vineyards, Cathedral Ridge Winery, Phelps Creek Vineyard in the OR side.

Photo by Syncline Winery

Mountain Biking and Road Biking

The Hood River and White Salmon area have many bike trails for mountain bikers of all levels. Some of the best trails for mountain bikers are the Post Canyon Trail System on the OR side and Syncline and Catherine Creek trail system on the WA side. For road bikers or cruisers, you have the Hood River Waterfront Trail, the Klickitat Trail, and the old road from Hood River to Mosier, among many other trails. We recommend using Trailforks to find the best mt bike trail for you.

Photo by Memo Maldonado

White Water Rafting and Kayaking

Rafting the White Salmon River is one of the best-kept recreation secrets of the Pacific Northwest! You may have seen photos or video of Husum Falls, the 10-foot commercially-run waterfall, or heard stories of incredible adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting and we could not agree more. The best part is that you also have the Klickitat River, Deschutes River, Wind River and others to choose your level of adrenaline or comfort. Most of the outfitters that can take you on rafting tours or give you lessons are located north from White Salmon in Husum or BZ Corner, WA. We can help you with booking your rafting adventure.

Photo by River Drifters

Self-Touring the Hood River Fruit Loop

The Hood River fruit loop is a 35-mile scenic drive that takes you through the Hood River Valley, where you can find many local farms, orchards, wineries, breweries, cideries, and more12. You can enjoy the fresh produce, the beautiful views, and the rural charm of this region, as well as sample some of the best products made from the fruits of the land. The fruit loop is open year-round, but the produce or flowers change depending on the season.
Spring: Strawberries, lavender, and flowers. Summer: cherries, raspberries, blueberries, apricots. Autumn: pumpkins, gourds, fall decorations. Winter: Wine tastings, beer tastings, tree blossoms (end of March).

Photo by Drapers Girls Country Farm

Enjoy a Railroad Tour

Mount Hood Railroad is a century-old, short line railroad offering beautiful scenic excursions through parts of Northern Oregon. Mount Hood Railroad offers round-trip excursions as well as seasonal special events. The trips offer incredible views as the train travels through orchards, vineyards, and forests enjoying picture-perfect views of snow-capped Mt. Hood and capturing the nostalgia of classic American train travel along the way. This is a perfect outing for wedding party activities, family adventures, creative dates, birthday parties, and more. Visit Mount Hood Railroad Tours for more details.

Craft Beer Tasting

The fertility and diversity of this land, combined with the passion and creativity of the people that come to live here do not only provide a path to amazing fruit farming and wine makers, but also to craft breweries. The Gorge offers amazing tasting rooms, breweries and pubs to enjoy fantastic beer and food between the many other activities you have planned during your day. Some breweries not to miss in the Washington side are Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon, Backwoods in Carson, Walking Man Brewing in Stevenson, and in the Oregon side, Thunder Island Brewing Co and Gorges Beer Co in Cascade Locks, and Ferment, Full Sail, pFriem, Double Mountain, and Working Hands Breweries in Hood River. Just amazing!

Photo by 1859 Oregon Magazine

Skiing or Snowboarding

To the surprise of many, lots of adventure can be experienced during the winter in this area! Hood River and White Salmon are close to Mount Hood, which is the tallest mountain in Oregon and a popular destination for winter sports. You can choose from several ski resorts, such as the Timberline Lodge, which has the longest ski season in North America and a historic lodge, the Mount Hood Meadows, which has the most terrain and lifts and offers night skiing, and the Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, which is a family-friendly resort with a tubing hill and a cozy inn.

Photo by Mount Hood Meadows