When is the best time of year to visit the Columbia River Gorge?
To be honest, there really isn’t a BAD time to visit the Columbia Gorge. There are a few months in the winter, when ice can be an issue, but even then the waterfalls are beautiful when they are half frozen over.
For wildflowers, the best time to visit is generally in late April through June. April is also peak bloom time for the orchards of the Hood River Valley and around The Dalles.
For the best weather (i.e. least chance of rain) late July through August are always a safe bet.
My favorite time of year in the Gorge is the fall, from about mid-September through the month of October. Most of the summer crowds are gone, the fall foliage puts on a stunning show (consistently one of the best in the US), and the bounty of the harvest is at its peak in the Hood River Valley. The weather is usually still pretty pleasant too.
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Vernon A. McDannald says…
Have had the good fortune to visit Oregon during each of the seasons the beauty is wonderful in each one
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?
- I’ll be traveling the western side of the state from North to South in a couple of weeks. Any suggestions on spots/things to do?
- Where can I get information about the sightseeing train trips around the Mt. Hood? Also, can one get to the station from a local hotel by public transportation? – Bo B.
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.