Hood River’s Top Fall Activities
With beautiful autumn colors, u-pick orchards, unique festivals and seasonal beers, wines and ciders, Hood River offers a cornucopia of activities.
Go apple and pear picking and tasting.
Drive the Hood River County Fruit Loop and stop at orchards, farms, cideries, wineries, farm stands and restaurants along the way. Go to hoodriverfruitloop.com to find out what’s in season when, along with a full calendar of farm events and a searchable map. You can pick up a Fruit Loop map at the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.
Explore Hood River’s cider scene.
The Columbia River Gorge is renowned for the quality and variety of apples and pears grown by local orchardists. With over 400 orchards producing dozens of varieties right in our backyard, Gorge cidermakers are crafting some of the best hard cider in the Pacific Northwest. Explore the 11 cideries via the Gorge Cider Route.
Enjoy 60+ brews at Hood River Hops Fest.
A Silver Medalist in Willamette Week’s 2015 Oregon Beer Awards, Hood River Hops Fest features one of the nation’s largest fresh-hop beer selections in one place. Beer lovers can taste more than 60 fresh-hop beers from more than 36 breweries. Enjoy seasonal food and live music throughout the day. Or sample the region’s best brews along the Gorge Ale Trail anytime.
Indulge yourself at Hood River Valley Harvest Fest.
Celebrate the harvest season at this annual festival staged at Hood River’s beautiful waterfront. Take in views of the Columbia River, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams while enjoying live music and family-friendly activities. With 125 vendors offering seasonal produce, homemade jams, jellies and other food, and fine art and crafts, plan to start your holiday shopping at Harvest Fest. Plus, feast on award-winning pies and sip a wide variety of local wine, cider and beer.
Take in the fall colors.
Hood River and the Columbia River Gorge provide some of the most spectacular fall scenery in the Pacific Northwest. Head to the Tamanawas Falls trailhead (22 miles south of Hood River on OR Hwy 35). During this 3.6-mile round-trip hike, get close to this jaw-dropping waterfall while soaking up spectacular fall colors, thanks to cottonwood, vine maple and western larch that light up the forest in red and gold.
Start your holiday shopping in downtown Hood River.
Hood River offers an eclectic mix of locally owned specialty stores where you can find jewelry, clothing, toys, books, stationary, locally made products, outdoor gear and more. Plus, gift certificates to local restaurants, galleries and stores are a great way to share your Hood River experience with others.
Cruise the Columbia on a Sternwheeler.
Get a feel for the mighty Columbia aboard an authentic sternwheeler! Leaving from Cascade Locks, take a scenic two-hour cruise on the Columbia Gorge while learning about the natural history, landmarks and cultural history of the Gorge. The sights include The Bridge of the Gods, Bonneville Dam, Native American fishing platforms and Wind Mountain — plus windsurfers, sailboats and kiteboarders. The Columbia Gorge operates April–October.
Run or walk a marathon or half marathon.
Known as one of the most scenic marathons in the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia Gorge Marathon and Half Marathon is an out-and-back that includes breathtaking views of the Columbia River from the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway. Be sure to take a photo at Rowena Crest, the panoramic viewpoint that serves as the turn-around. Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome on the course, which ends on the banks of the Columbia River.
Spend Thanksgiving Weekend Wine Tasting in Hood River.
Columbia Gorge Winegrowers’ Thanksgiving Weekend features 30 Gorge wineries hosting open house events. Enjoy new releases, deep discounts and delicious food-and-wine pairings. In an effort to give back to the community, some wineries donate tasting fees from the weekend to their favorite charity. For a list of participating wineries, maps and hours, visit columbiagorgewine.com/thanksgiving. Plus, Oregon wines fly free on Alaskan Airlines.
Bike or hike the spectacular and kid-friendly Twin Tunnels, on the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Starting at the Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead, this 5-mile trail section (closed to vehicles) features amazing views of the Columbia River and two tunnels. It ends near the small town of Mosier. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the iconic Historic Columbia River Highway, America’s first “King of Roads.”