Hood River is a city in Oregon on the Columbia River. The Columbia River Gorge funnels consistent wind along the water which has made Hood River an internationally renowned destination among kiteboarders and windsurfers. It is also known as an agritourism destination.
This article includes destination information about the city of Hood River, the Hood River Valley to the south, and the cities of Bingen and White Salmon just across the river in Washington.
Drive or take a bus from Portland. The drive from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge is outstanding, so if possible, rent a car.
Columbia Area Transit (CAT) operates the Columbia Gorge Express[dead link] which connects from Gateway Transit Center in Portland to Hood River about 4 times per day. The trip takes about 85 minutes. A one-way fare is $10 and can be purchased online.
Greyhound also serves Hood River with service from downtown Portland costing around $20.
You can also take the Amtrak Empire Builder to Bingen, Washington just across the river. Coach tickets for the 90-minute trip from Portland are often as low as $7.
Connect to Hood River via Mt. Adams Transportation Services which runs bus service from the train station to Hood River about once an hour Monday through Friday. The fare is $1.
It's easy to walk around downtown Hood River, but you might want a car to check out some scenic areas nearby. There are shuttle and tour services offered by local businesses, check out the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce website to explore the possibilities.
The greater Hood River area is comprised of the city of Hood River on the south shore of the Columbia River. The Hood River bridge connects to White Salmon and Bingen on the north shore, and requires a $2 toll to cross. Directly south of the bridge OR-35 leads out of town and up to the Hood River valley on the plateau. OR-281 follows the west side of the valley and meets OR-35 at the southern end in Parkdale. These two highways make up the Fruit Loop (see below for more information).
Columbia Area Transit (CAT) operates public buses in the area. There is a city loop that winds around town and connects most of the prominent destinations around town. The Upper Valley Route covers the rural valley south of town all the way to Parkdale, 14 miles away. Call ☏ +1 541 386-4202 at least one day in advance to request a pick up or drop off in this area. Service is available Monday through Friday. The fare for all local routes is $1 each way.
During ski season, CAT operates a bus that connects directly to the Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort. See online for more details.
Hood River has ample cycling in the city proper, as well as e-bike rentals available downtown. Experienced cyclists may enjoy a ride into the valley, though one must be prepared to ride with traffic along rural roads.
Breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge, quaint old orchards with Mt. Hood as backdrop, acres of world-class wine-producing vineyards, waterfalls, local art galleries, and historical byways are just the beginning of what visitors will experience in Hood River.
Come during the winter to see the snow-capped cascades in all their glory, or tour the Fruit-Loop if Fall colors are your fancy. Springtime boasts fruit blossoms noteworthy by some of the best photographers in the region. During the Summer a whole day can be sent sitting down at the Marina, marveling at the athletic abilities of Wind and Kite-Surfers in this wind-capital of the world. Hood River is truly beautiful every season of the year.
- 1 Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, 1600 Air Museum Rd, ☏ +1 541 308-1600. Daily 9AM- 5PM. This antique air and auto museum has a world class collection of over 300 pristine vehicles. The museum also hosts the Hood River fly-in on the weekend after Labor Day every year.
- 2 Hood River Waterfront Park, 650 Portway Ave. This park at the Hood River waterfront has paths, sitting areas, and a swimming hole. A great place to watch kiteboarders and windsurfers from the shore during summer afternoons.
- A drive through the fields and orchards of the Hood River Valley is scenic nearly any time of the year. Spectacular views of Mt. Hood on clear days in the summer, brilliant colors in the autumn, and serene white stillness after a winter snowfall are each enjoyable in their own way. Along the way, fruit stands and other businesses are open for visitors to try and buy whatever is in season, farm direct. If that is still not direct enough, many farms allow visitors to pick their own fruit (see "Buy" below).
- 1 Mt. Hood Railroad, 110 Railroad Street, ☏ +1 541 399 8939. Weekends Jun-Oct. Take a 1.5-hour train ride up the Hood River Valley along the river, through orchard land, and up to mountain vistas. Adult $40, child $35.
- 2 Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail (Twin Tunnels Segment) (follow State St. 2 miles east from Hood River Downtown). This paved section of the historic Columbia River Highway was re-opened to public access in 2000, 50 years after the highway was closed. Walk or bike along the 4-mile path and see excellent views of the Columbia River Gorge, as well as the transition from lush forest to the more arid high desert of the eastern gorge. Near the eastern end of the trail are two restored tunnels carved through the rock. $5 parking at trailhead (cash only).
- 3 Brimstone Boulders, 616 State St, ☏ +1 541 436-3933. M W F noon-9PM, Tu Th 8AM-9PM, Sa Su 10AM-7PM. A bouldering gym located in downtown Hood River in an old church. Adult $16, child $10.
- Go to a Wine Tasting
- Tour a Brewery (see "Drink" below)
Hood River is considered one of the premier locations for windsurfing and kiteboarding in the world, due to wide calm waters that have reliable wind funneled through the Gorge every summer. Sailing, boating, and other uses of the Columbia River are common as well.
For those with little or no experience with "wind-sports", instruction is highly recommended (if not mandatory), and many companies in the area can arrange an introduction. Novice windsurfers tend to start on the water within their first day, however kiteboarding requires some amount of practice controlling the kite alone before the board is introduced.
Someone who is more experienced can purchase or rent gear from a handful of shops around town. Windsurfers tend to launch from the Hook, just to the west of Waterfront Park. Kiteboarders set up and launch from the south side of the sandbar formed by the outlet of Hood River into the Columbia River. Access the sandbar from the Event Site at the eastern end of the Waterfront area. Parking and beachfront facilities are managed by the Port of Hood River. Visiting kiteboarders should familiarize themselves with launch etiquette found in this forum thread (posted by the Columbia Gorge Kiting Association).
Hood River makes an excellent base camp for visits to the ski resorts on Mt. Hood, just a 40-60 minute drive south of town on OR-35. There is seasonal bus service from CAT between Hood River and Mt. Hood Meadows. See the Mt. Hood article for more information.
- Blossom Fest
- Harvest Fest
- Hops Fest
- Hood River Holidays
- Downtown Hood River's downtown area is set up for shopping. Locally made products, boutiques, sports-wear, art-galleries.
- Sports Hood River offers several sports-equipment sales and rental shops from mountain biking to windsurfing to stand-up paddle boarding to fishing, every level of experience is welcome.
- The Heights This area, above downtown, offers many local restaurants, unique shops, a grocery store, services.
- The Fruit Loop Stop by the Hood River Chamber (720 E Port Marina Drive) to get a Fruit Loop map. Drive the 35-mile loop for locally grown apples, pears, and purchase fresh fruit, honey, and lavender.
Hood River is home to Full Sail Brewing, one of the largest microbreweries in the nation, and one of the first in Oregon to be distributed widely during the craft beer boom of the 1990's. Full Sail's brews have been renowned by enthusiasts and competition judges, and many former staff have spun off their own successful breweries based in the area.
Area breweries and distilleries have their own tasting rooms, and wine tasting is also readily available in both Hood River and at establishments in the valley. A self-guided tasting tour around town can be an excellent way to spend a pleasant afternoon.
- 1 Double Mountain Brewery, ☏ +1 541-387-0042. Double Mountain is a local brewery started by former Full Sail employees. Food and beer are available at their downtown taproom.
- 2 Full Sail Brewery, 506 Columbia St, ☏ +1 541 386-2247. Th-Su 11AM-8PM. One of Oregon's early breweries is now one of the state's largest. The brewpub offers food and drink, and brewery tours are also available.
- 3 pFriem Family Brewing, 707 Portway Ave #101, ☏ +1 541 321-0490. 11:30AM–9PM. A brewery specializing in Belgian style ales founded by former employees of Full Sail has grown to be very popular in the region. Their waterfront tasting room offers food and beer on tap.
- 4 Everybody's Brewing, 177 E Jewett Blvd, White Salmon, WA, ☏ +1 509 637-2774. 11:30AM-9:30PM. A true microbrewery on the main strip of White Salmon.
- 5 Camp 1805 Distillery, 501 Portway Ave #102, ☏ +1 541 386-1805. Su noon-8PM, W-F 3PM-9:30PM, Sa noon-9:30PM. Local craft distillery with a tasting room at the Hood River Waterfront.
- 6 Hood River Distillers Tasting Room, 304 Oak St #3, ☏ +1 541 716-5276. noon-6PM. A local distillery with over 80 years of history in the Hood River area. They have a store and tasting room in downtown Hood River.
- 1 Columbia Gorge Hotel and Spa, 4000 Westcliff Dr, ☏ +1 541 386-5566. A historic hotel with cozy 1900s-era gardens out front and spa services available. $130/night.
- 2 The Society Hotel, 210 N Cedar St, Cook, ☏ +1 509 774-4437. This hotel with hostel-style accommodations and amenities is in a newly renovated historic schoolhouse (and former hostel) in Bingen, across the river from Hood River. A new bathhouse and sauna building is available for use by both guests and the public (a single visit pass is $25). For those who are interested in a social experience, there are outdoor and indoor common areas, as well as a gymnasium. Bunk $35, shared bath $80, cabin $200.
- 3 Hood River Hotel, 102 Oak St, ☏ +1 541 386-1900. A 1911 hotel in central Hood River offering bunks, rooms, and suites. Sauna and cafe are available to guests. Bunk $60, rooms $100-150, suites from $200.
|Routes through Hood River|
|Portland ← Cascade Locks ←||W E||→ The Dalles → Boise|
|Portland ← Cascade Locks ←||W E||→ The Dalles → Boise|
|END ←||N S||→ Government Camp → Ends at|