Tasty Road Trip: Mt. Hood and The Gorge

October 22, 2014 (Updated June 20, 2016)

It’s okay to indulge. Honor the Historic Columbia River Highway’s 100th anniversary by taking a culinary tour of the region. With dozens of options, from classic homestyle cooking to decadent fusion foods, you won’t go hungry while traveling the historic highway. (Better yet, earn your meal by taking a car-free trip!)

First stop on our foodie road trip through Mt. Hood and the Gorge: one of the many waterfalls that line the Columbia River Gorge. Everyone stops for the photo-op at Multnomah Falls, but we decided to skip the crowds and take a quiet walk at the stunning Latourell Falls, just a bit up the road. We continued our drive through the cute town of Mosier, and up to the incredible viewpoint of Rowena Crest.

Once in The Dalles, we ate delicious burgers and fried pickles at Rivertap, followed by some tasty beer. After checking in for the night at the Celilo Inn, we ate a rich and tasty dinner at the historic Baldwin Saloon. Learning about the history from our amazing server, Fernando, only enhanced the atmosphere. Make sure to check out the paintings that cover the walls there and come on the weekend when the 80-plus-year-old piano player shares her tunes with you.

We woke up early the next day, ready for our trail ride and wine tour with Double Mountain Ranch. We rode through the woods and up to the ridgeline. We arrived at the winery just as the rain began and devoured our sandwiches paired with earthy and woodsy wines from Cathedral Ridge Winery.

After squirreling a few bottles in our saddlebags, we said goodbye to our equine friends and headed over to Sakura Ridge Farm. As soon as we entered the cozy Orchard room, we filled the big tub and opened up one of our well-earned bottles of red.

Rowena Crest
The Historic Columbia River Highway from Rowena Crest
Rivertap in The Dalles
Latourell Falls
Latourell Falls
Horse riding
Trail ride and wine tour

Sakura Ridge is more than a log cabin with thoughtful, curated design. It’s a real working organic pear orchard and sheep farm.

Breakfast on the farm is unforgettable. We sat at a big table with the other guests, and thoroughly enjoyed our farm-to-table meal: Strata with eggs from their chickens, lamb sausage from their pastures, butternut squash from their gardens and pear galette from their orchards.The view is incredible. After breakfast, John, one of the owners, took us out to help move his herd of sheep into the upper pear orchard.

Sakura Ridge
Farm-to-table breakfast at Sakura Ridge

Next up was a stop at Kiyokawa Orchards in Parkdale. We bought bushels of beautiful apples, dreaming up the pie we would cook up later that evening.

We met Jason Stoller-Smith, the executive chef at Timberline Lodge, who took us into the forest to forage for wild mushrooms. After collecting a basketful of beautiful chanterelles and lobster mushrooms, we stopped at El Burro Loco (chef’s suggestion), for surprisingly decadent wild boar tacos, the smokiest refried beans, and super tasty margaritas.

After picking up some final supplies at the little grocery in Zigzag, and checked into the Riversong Cabin where we were greeted with a bottle of nice wine and some treats from Ant Farm in Sandy. We baked a pie from our apples and made a light dinner with the wild mushrooms we’d found earlier.

Kiyokawa Orchards
Kiyokawa Orchards
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Wine by the fire at Riversong Cabin
Mushroom foraging

In the morning we headed up to Timberline Lodge where we were given a special tour by our mushroom guide, Jason. He knows everything about the historic lodge, and we were lucky enough to be able to peek into the beautiful wine cellar, exclusively featuring NW wines.

Our journey ended with sandwiches and beers at the lodge’s Ram’s Head bar. On the way back to Portland, a stop at Trillium Lake brought crisp bright blue skies complete with amazing views of the mountain, where we found ourselves daydreaming our next adventure through Oregon’s magical places.

El Burro Loco
El Burro Loco
Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood
Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood


Timberline Lodge
Timberline Lodge

About The

Emily Katz
Emily Katz is an artistic director, macrame designer and interior stylist with a passion for good food and adventure. Calling Portland her home base, she travels as much as she can, exploring beautiful and delicious places. She grew up in Oregon and continues to be impressed and inspired by all the beautiful culinary bounty the state has to offer. You can find her work at ModernMacrame.com and EmilyKatz.com or follow along on Instagram @emily_katz.

Featured in this story

Baldwin Saloon
Double Mountain Horse Ranch
Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge
Kiyokawa Family Orchards