A friend and I are planning a trip to Oregon, by Amtrak from Minnasota. We are both disabled but need no extra equipment for walking. Rugged trails, bicycling, rafting are not options. Yet we want to see the ocean, mountains, great nature… all Oregon has to offer. Any suggestions?
Good news!!! Most of the waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge are very accessible. Many are visible from the highway, or a short walk on a paved trail. A few that immediately come to mind besides the most famous, Multnomah Falls, are Latourell, Wahkeena, Horsetail, and the beautiful tunnel at Oneonta Gorge. Vista House on Crown Point is another must see, and they even have a ramp and elevators if the stairs are a little too much for you (same goes for the lodge at Multnomah Falls).
A visit to Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood is also a must do. Again, easy to maneuver and you literally drive right up to the mountain. Depending on the time of year, you can even ride the chair lift to the top of Palmer Glacier. You can also drive to Trillium Lake, which has a beautiful view of Mount Hood, reflected in the lake, and an pretty flat, easy trail along the east side of the lake if you are so interested.
If you are also planning a trip along the coast, there are some beautiful viewpoints along Highway 101. Cannon Beach and Seaside, the town closes to Portland, also offer some waysides with easy beach access.
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Other questions about Mt Hood & Columbia Gorge
- We’ll be visiting Oregon in August and driving from Portland to Hood River one day, and then to Bend the next day. What would be the best way to experience Mt. Hood? Is there any way to get to the snow in that period of time?
- Where can I hike to a view of all the mountains?
- Are sites in the Gorge accessible to people with limited mobility?
About Ask Oregon Expert Cari Gesch
Cari, a resident of the Mount Hood foothills, is a photographer, writer, and wanderer of hiking trails and scenic byways. She captures images and stories of the experiences and destinations that make Oregon such an exciting place to live and play in on her blog, Wahkeena Exposures.