Hood River’s Top Summer Activities

With long, sunny days and access to two mountains, the mighty Columbia River and numerous trails and parks, Hood River offers endless vacation opportunities. Don’t miss these top five activities for experiencing the area like a local!

Go with the wind.

The Columbia River’s consistent summer winds attract windsurfers, kiteboarders, stand-up paddle boarders (SUP) and other wind junkies to Hood River every summer. Give one of these water sports a try by taking a lesson with Big Winds, Gorge Surf Shop, or Hood River WaterPlay. Or, just sit by the shore and enjoy watching boarders crisscross the Columbia.

Get loopy.

Drive the Hood River County Fruit Loop, a scenic 35-mile drive that follows the county’s Scenic Tour Route and passes through countless orchards and farms. Pick strawberries (June) or flowers at one of the numerous u-pick farms. Go wine or cider tasting, stock up on fruit jam and pet alpacas.

Hit the water.

The swimming beach at Hood River Waterfront Park offers easy access to an adjacent modern playground. Another option, the Hood River Marina Beach, offers a long, safe stretch of shallow water for playing. Or, take a side trip to Cascade Locks’ newly improved swimming beach, kiteboarding and windsurfing launch. Alternatively, fish, raft, kayak or stand-up paddle on the regions numerous world-class rivers.

Hike or bike on Mt. Hood.

Drive south on OR Hwy 35 to access numerous trailheads on the northern and eastern sides of Mt. Hood. The Hood River Meadows Trailhead, which is about 35 miles south of Hood River, is the start of an easy 4.6-mile round-trip hike to Umbrella Falls. For mountain biking, check out the Knebal Springs/Eightmile Trails figure-eight loop (about 15 miles). For trail maps plus other cycling supplies, stop at Discover Bicycles or Mountain View Cycles in downtown Hood River.

Join the festivities.

Hood River is home to numerous summer races and festivals, including the Hood 2 River Relay, 4th of July parade and fireworks display, Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim and dozens more. On Wednesday nights, saunter downtown for live music in many of the local bars, hotels and wineries