: Courtesy of Modoc Stories / hood-gorge.com

Fall Adventure Weekend in Hood River

October 28, 2021 (Updated November 15, 2021)
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Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here. 

With its mix of warm, sunny days and crisp, sprinkly weather, fall is a great time to get outside and experience firsthand the changing of the seasons. That’s especially the case in Hood River, when the summer crowds peter out, the riverfront trees change colors and the farms and orchards pop with the bounty of harvest season. To skip the hassle of driving and parking, consider a car-free trip via one of many bus, shuttle, train and bike routes. Here’s everything you need to know to plan the ultimate fall trip to Hood River. Whenever you’re visiting, make sure to have a Plan B and C ready in case Plan A is too crowded. Find more tips for the best experience at Ready, Set, GOrge.

An overhead shot of a hotel lobby with black and white checkered floors and a fireplace
Book your Hood River lodging far in advance, as rooms fill up. The historic Hood River Hotel is a great choice if you're looking to stay downtown. (Courtesy of Hood River Hotel)

Choose a Cozy Place to Stay

To maximize your adventures in town, consider booking a stay at any of Hood River gorgeous lodings — all perfect for warming up your soggy feet and wind-kissed faces after a day of exploring. (Midweek stays will be easier to make and attractions will be less crowded.) Dating back to 1912, the Hood River Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been lovingly restored to include modern touches, resulting in a beautiful and relaxing stay. For more of a homey feel, check out the rooms at Inn at the Gorge, a bed-and-breakfast that includes a wraparound porch, terrace and hot tub. If waking up to stunning views is more up your alley, check out the cliffside Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa and consider opting for a deluxe room, which includes an in-room fireplace. 

Hikers are in the foreground of a tall waterfall
When visiting popular outdoor areas in the Gorge like Tamanawas Falls, consider going midweek or early in the day to avoid crowds.

Get Outside in the Autumn Air

No matter what your outdoor passion, Hood River is chock-full of inspiration. With its prime position in the Columbia River Gorge and at the base of Mt. Hood, the activity menu includes hiking, biking and snow sports if the forecast calls for flurries. Booking a guided tour with a group like Hood River Mountain Bike Adventures, Sol Rides (e-bikes) or MountNBarreL lets you enjoy the ride (and sometimes the tasty stops along the way) and leave the planning to experts. Ever wanted to rock climb in an old church? Brimstone Boulders, located in the upper level of the old Asbury Church, offers indoor and outdoor rock-climbing sessions (its website even includes a live occupancy counter). There are many hiking trails near the riverfront city, and if the forecast includes snowfall, you can even plan a day trip to go snowshoeing or skiing. (Check conditions: It’s not unheard of for Mt. Hood Meadows to open in November.) Remember to pack your Ten Essentials, stay on designated trails and follow other tips to Take Care Out There.

A fancy egg dish is in a white bowl
Fuel up for adventure with a tasty brunch at KickStand Coffee & Kitchen one of Hood River's top eateries. When dining out, be kind and patient with restaurant staff, who are working their hardest. (Courtesy of KickStand Coffee & Kitchen)

Gorge-Worthy Food Stops

Restaurants bursting with inventive dishes are around nearly every corner in Hood River. Enjoy the elegant dining room at Celilo Restaurant and Bar, an upscale eatery featuring Northwest ingredients and flavors. If pizza is sounding right, head into Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar, with woodfired pies and an outdoor heated dining area right on the waterfront. There’s no wrong time of day to pop in to KickStand Coffee & Kitchen, which has an eclectic food and cocktail menu for brunch or dinner. When dining out, be patient and kind to restaurant frontline staff, who are working their hardest to serve you.

Along with a long list of award-winning wineries and eateries, the famed Hood River County Fruit Loop is a blueprint for a tasty road trip. The 35-mile route also features a number of U-pick farms and orchards. Pick and choose your own stops to sample fresh produce, craft beverages and artisan goodies of the fall harvest. 

About The
Author

Emily Gillespie
Emily Gillespie is a travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, CNN Travel and Afar magazine. She’s lived in three of Oregon’s seven regions, currently calling Portland home. She and her husband look for every opportunity to hike to a view, bike through wine country and eat their way through a new city.

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