Columbia River Area - Itinerary

Sep 1st, 2019, 08:19 AM
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Columbia River Area - Itinerary

As part of our first trip to the Portland area (about 2 weeks from now), we will be driving from Dundee to the Timberline Lodge, where we"ll be staying for 1 night. What scenic drives or loops do you recommend we do, once we"re there, in order to maximize and enjoy the beauty of the River area? We would appreciate any suggestions for sightseeing in the area. Afterwards, we'll be driving to Portland. Thank you very much for your advice!
wkwb42a is offline  
Sep 1st, 2019, 09:16 AM
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Let's see if I have this right: day 1, Dundee to Timberline Lodge, day 2 Timberline to Portland. Right?

If so, then you're going to have to choose between numerous attractive options. Here's what I'd do.

First, download and print the map of the Hood River Fruit Loop -

Day 1 - Drive from Dundee through Portland to I-84, then east to Biggs Junction and the US 97 bridge over the Columbia. Visit the quirky copy of Stonehenge on the cliffs over the river, then travel a couple of minutes west to visit the Maryhill Museum. This is a lovely and eclectic little museum with some terrific displays including many of Rodin's plaster models of his sculpture, a great Native American arts display, and the fascinating Theatre de la Mode, miniature French postwar fashion mannequins with sets designed by the Paris Opera. The cafe at the Museum is also quite good.

Then head west on WA 14 (better views from the Washington side) and head to Hood River. If you're interested (you should be) hit some of the destinations on the Fruit Loop map. Watch the windsurfers and kiteboarders on the Columbia, stop for a craft beer or at one of the numerous wineries in the town. Spend the afternoon in the town and don't forget a visit to Panorama Point, before heading up to Timberline Lodge for the evening. Here's a map for this day -

View from Panorama Point -

Day 2 - Do whatever activities around the mountain (chairlift, etc.) then head to Trillium Lake for (hopefully) a good view of Mt. Hood reflected in the water. Then head back down the Hood River Valley (more Fruit Loop stops if you want) to the Columbia, then head west. Visit the Bonneville hatchery to say hello to Herman the Sturgeon (giant, ancient fish viewed through underwater windows) and maybe feed the baby trout with 25c bags of food. Then it's on to the waterfalls - Multnomah, Bridal Veil, Latourell... with stops at Vista House and the Portland Women's Forum viewpoint at Chanticleer Point for its iconic view of the Gorge.

Stop for a break and a pint (or two) at McMenamins Edgefield, a very fun and quirky "resort" near Troutdale, and from there it's into Portland. Map for this day - .

Obviously you can move things around, but I'd regard these as the highlights for a very full couple of days.

Last edited by Gardyloo; Sep 1st, 2019 at 09:21 AM.
Gardyloo is online now  
Sep 1st, 2019, 06:18 PM
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Thank you for your prompt and detailed response. We are driving from Dundee directly to the Timberline Lodge, so I think that the Fruit Loop itinerary would be great for that day. The next day after breakfast at the Lodge, we plan to explore the Gorge area on our way to Portland. So I think your suggestions would be great but just in reverse order. How far would it be from the Timberline Lodge to the Bonneville dam area? Then we could go the the Vista House, Multnomah Falls and the Panorama Point before we arrive in Portland. What do you think would be the best order to do these activities, and would they fill up a good part of the day? Thanks again for you input.
wkwb42a is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2019, 05:27 AM
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Timberline to Hood River without stops is right around an hour; Hood River to Portland via the Historic highway (waterfalls, etc.) is around 2 hours not counting stops. The hatchery is free and right off the freeway; give it an hour or so. So if day 2 is just going from Timberline to Portland via the Gorge, you're looking at half a day or less, unless you want to do some hikes or other time-consuming activities en route. Day of the week matters - some of the attractions, particularly Multnomah Falls, can be slammed on weekends.
Gardyloo is online now  
Sep 2nd, 2019, 07:10 AM
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Thank you again for your helpful advice. We will be doing our touring on Friday morning and afternoon, so hopefully we will be OK. Any lunch ideas along the way before we get back to Portland?
Again, thanks for you prompt response!
wkwb42a is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2019, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by wkwb42a View Post
Any lunch ideas along the way before we get back to Portland?
Sure, stop at McMenamins (link above.)
Gardyloo is online now  
Sep 5th, 2019, 12:59 PM
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Thanks again for the good tip!
wkwb42a is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Sure, stop at McMenamins (link above.)
Another good choice for lunch would be the Multnomah Lodge restaurant at the foot of Multnomah Falls (Oregon's tallest).
tomfuller is offline  
Sep 7th, 2019, 10:26 PM
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Another vote for McMenamins. It was once the county poor farm. Amazing murals and decor across multiple buildings. Power Station hamburger and a beer.

​​​Hood River is a cute town. You might want to spend more time there depending on where you need to be later in the day.

If you are running late, Brigham Fish Market in Cascade Locks is very good for lunch. It's just a little place. There are tables outside for a beautiful view. It is Native American owned and I believe they catch some of their fish.
5alive is offline  
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