Hood River Things to Do Tips by mtncorg Top 5 Page for this destination
Hood River Things to Do: 16 reviews and 40 photos
Kayaker drops over Husum Falls
20 miles north of Hood River on the Washington side of the Columbia, is the whitewater center of Husum. Kayakers and rafters can put in five miles upriver at BZ Corner and run nonstop class 4 and 3 rapids at the bottom of a deep lava cliffed canyon. Right at Husum, the 12 foot high Husum Falls, a class five affair, finishes the run. The same ground can be covered by more normal folks by taking one of the several half day rafting trips offered by local companies - wet suits and helmets covered in the price. Immediately downstream from the falls are kayak slaloms which attest to summertime contests.
Blossoms cover fruit orchards of Hood River Valley
The Hood River Valley is filled with fruit orchards - apples and pears of many varieties. It is a great place to be in September driving from one fruit stand to another. But if you come in late March, then you can behold the grandeur of a blossom-filled valley with a snow-bedecked Mt Hood rising regally behind. A great place to treat your eyes to the wonders is at the Hood River County Park at Panorama Point, just southeast of Hood River.
Looking north off the top of Mt Hood
Tallest peak in Oregon - 11,237 feet, 3,426 m - Mt Hood rises above the south end of the Hood River Valley in dramatic pose. See my Mt Hood pages for more tips. There are hiking, skiing and backpacking opportunities galore. Climbs from the north side tend to be much steeper and longer than those from the south and eastern sides.
Mt Adams and Mazama Glacier; SE side
This is the 12326 foot volcanic behemoth lying -- miles north of Hood River, framed by the White Salmon River Valley. Mt Adams is not as known as some of the other large Northwestern volcanoes maybe because it is not as visible as the others. Glaciers drape the volcano. North and south sides present 'easy' climbing routes - the south side actually had a mule road to a sulfur mine atop the peak - a large frozen plateau. You can tell what kind of a snowpack the previous winter was by the amount of the old cabin - left over from the mine days - that shows above the snowy ices. West and east routes demand much more in the way of mountain skills covering steep ice and rotten rock.
The joys of Full Sail on a sunny afternoon
US brewing industry was crushed by the Prohibition of the early 20th Century. The result after the first 50 years following the repeal of Prohibition was an industry centered in Wisconsin and Missouri with a few outliers that brought the country beers known for blandness and lightness - a term thought to denote, inaccurately, diet beer, but really just an accurate description of the taste. Oregonian entrepreneur/beer aficionados had had enough by the 1980's and they managed to change State laws enabling them to ignite the microbrewing phenomenon. Today there are 31 different breweries in Portland alone. One of the original shining stars in the Revolution was Full Sail Brewing Company which set up shop in Hood River with the help of State funds to help with a then still-depressed local economy - 1987. There is a good array of beers brewed here - my favorite is the Mercator Dopplebock which is not always on the list. Over the last 20 years the brewery has grown. The Whitecap Pub, which is directly at the brewery, is still there. There are places to sit inside and out. You can get a few things to eat or just try the beers. A great place to head for after skiing, hiking, windsurfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, etc..
Address: 506 Columbia Street Hood River, OR97031
Phone: 1-541-386-2281 or 1-888-244-BEER
Looking across towards Mt Defiance from atop Dog M
You can 'cheat' and drive 4WD roads up Mt Defiance's backside, but most hikers 'earn' Defiance the hard way, beginning on the Columbia River at Starvation Creek State Park. The climb is 4960 feet up to the summit on a trail that takes five miles to get there - the first mile is flat, which means you gain almost 5000 feet in four miles! There are two trails. The Mt Defiance Trail is the shortest way. As I wrote, the first mile is flat and the second is not. Nor are the other three, though it is the second that you will remember. After about two mile, there is a nice viewpoint of the Columbia and Wind Mountain on the Washington side of the Columbia. Look at it well, though, because there is not a lot else to see as you climb through evergreen forests for what seems to be an eternity. The view from the top of Defiance is very nice - Hood River Valley, southern Washington's Cascades, the wild high regions of the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge and Mt Hood's glorious north face. It is a bit marred by the communication station and the road atop. If you see someone hiking not looking tired, you know that they 'cheated'! The other trail goes up a ridge fatter to the east - it still will gain the 5000 feet! - the forest is a bit taller and more open with several short - very short - flat areas to recoup. You also pass the small Warren Lake. I personally prefer going up this route and going back the Defiance Trail. In springtime, many of the people you will meet on the paths are trying to harden themselves for summer mountains that might lie in their future. If you do Defiance in the summer, you are truly masochistic for there are much better options awaiting you after the summer melts up higher. See: for more opinions on this trail: http://www.localhikes.com/HikeData.asp?DispType=0&ActiveHike=6&GetHikesStateID=1&ID=4384
Directions: Take I-84 eastbound approximately 50 miles, ten miles past Cascade Locks. Take the Starvation Creek exit near milepost 54. (From Hood River take Wyeth exit #51 turn around and head back east).
Balsamroot fowers blooming atop Dog Mountain
Dog Mt sits directly on the Columbia River, rising almost 3000 feet above. The Dog and its smaller companion, Wind Mountain, are very impressive riverside sentinels of the river. Even taller and directly across from the Dog on the Oregon side, is Mt Defiance, almost 5000 feet above the river. From the Washington side of the Columbia next to the Hood River Bridge, you can look downriver at this wondrous part of the Gorge, two glorious giants and one mighty canyon. While hiking up Mt Defiance lies in the realm of the masochist or budding mountaineer - one in the same? - the Dog falls back into a Joe Everyman category, as long as 'Joe' - or 'Mary' - have determination and a modicum of physical fitness. The Dog is a wildly popular place to hike because of its wide-ranging flower gardens covering the summit. At the peak of the floral extravaganza, the display almost seems artificial, so dramatic and vast the sea of yellow balsamroot flowers, interspersed with red Indian paintbrushes, lomatian whites, phlox pinks, delphinium blues and an assortment of others.
The trail up is fairly steep. You wind first up through dry oak forests - careful of poison oak and the occasional tick. At about 1000 feet up, you enter an evergreen forest at a small and short plateau. Then it is up, up, up. Two branches -old and new - are encountered. The new has a couple of viewpoints and - on weekends - lots of people. The old is slightly steeper with no viewpoints but many fewer people. Both trails merge higher up, still in the forest. A couple more switchbacks and a few hundred feet from the top you emerge into the vast steep meadows of balsamroot. Heaven should look so nice. May is the month you want to visit. I see people climbing the Dog at other times and I ask myself why. There are better options during the heat of the summer. Come in May and behold the beauty.
Directions: 13 miles east of Stevenson, WA on State Route 14. Between mileposts 53 and 54, there will be a sign on the left side of the road reading "Dog Mountain Trailhead", set in a large turnout area.
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