Hi we are planning a trip to Mount St Helens in July. We are coming in from Calgary with two tough girls aged 9 and 11. We will be very close to Oregon, and was wondering what fun things are there to do in Oregon? We had fun last year on the Hiawatha Trail in Idaho. I heard there were volcanoes near the coast? What fun ideas are there for a family visiting Oregon? – Jason W.
I think your girls would really enjoy spending some time hiking a few of the waterfalls along the Historic Highway in the Columbia River Gorge. I spend a lot of time there with my girls (5 and 11). We also enjoy visiting Bonneville Dam and feeding the trout at the fish hatchery there.
Further out of the way, but really an adventure my family enjoys, is visiting the Painted Hills and John Day Fossil Beds in Eastern Oregon. It might be worth going out of your way on your return trip to visit. The kids can even dig for their own fossils behind the high school in the town of Fossil, then head over to the ghost town of Shaniko.
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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?
- Are sites in the Gorge accessible to people with limited mobility?
- We are traveling to Portland and would love to take right off and go on a nature excurion. We are considering Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen’s. Can you tell us which you would recommend and why? In both cases, can you recommend a wonderful place to stop for exquisite dining and wining? something we would never find on the East Coast? – Jan M.
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.