5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

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  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Duration:9 hours (approx.)

Private Tour: Columbia River Gorge Day Trip from Portland

Head from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area for an educational private day trip. Follow a naturalist guide on several short walks to view wildlife and stunning waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls. Admire the diverse scenery, including high desert landscapes, rivers and basalt cliffs. You'll learn about the Columbia River's early pioneer history at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center or see exhibits on American Indians of the Pacific Northwest at the Maryhill Museum of Art. Lunch and round-trip downtown Portland hotel transport by private vehicle are included.


  • Private Columbia River Gorge day trip from Portland
  • Admire views of waterfalls, desert landscapes and cliffs on several walks with a naturalist guide
  • Round-trip downtown Portland hotel transport by luxury vehicle included
  • This private tour ensures a more personalized experience

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

After time on the nature trails, you'll learn about regional history in The Dalles, a former trading center and the end of the Oregon Trail.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Private Tour: Columbia River Gorge Day Trip from Portland

See Some of the Regions 90 Waterfalls!

After pickup from your downtown Portland hotel in the morning, you'll be driven by Mercedes van or luxury SUV to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, located just 20 minutes outside the city. Travel along the mighty Columbia River and admire the towering basalt cliffs, formed from the river cutting through the Cascade Mountains.

When you arrive, your naturalist guide leads your private party on a series of short walks to view some of the more than 90 gorgeous waterfalls here, including the second-tallest perennial waterfall in the US: Multnomah Falls. Enjoy morning tea and snacks as you admire the sights and ask your guide any questions you have.

Continue farther up the river to the town of Hood River, where breathtaking natural beauty and high winds create a paradise for windsurfers, kite boarders and sightseers.

You'll stop here for lunch (see below for a sample menu) and then continue driving east across the Cascade Divide, where the landscape changes suddenly and dramatically to high desert. Take out your provided binoculars and spot wildlife such as bald eagles soaring above the basalt cliffs and among the sagebrush and pine trees.

Finish your tour in the town of The Dalles, where you can visit one of two museums with your guide. At the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, learn how the early pioneers made their way west along the difficult and often deadly Oregon Trail. Hear stories about the American Indian tribes along the Columbia River and the treacherous journey of Lewis and Clark through this region in 1805.

If you visit the Maryhill Museum of Art (open March 15 through November 15), you'll encounter an impressive collection of art from around the world, including more than 80 works by French sculptor Auguste Rodin. View an array of artifacts like petroglyphs, intricate baskets and beadwork from the Pacific Northwest’s indigenous groups.

After a full day at the Columbia River Gorge, travel back to Portland in your private vehicle with drop-off at your downtown Portland hotel.

Sample Menu:
  • Local organic chicken
  • Frittata or lasagna
  • Selection of soups
  • Selection of cold salads: pasta, corn, mixed greens, beets and other seasonal items


Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

great guide !

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

Really fantastic! Guide Jeff was extremely knowledgeable and informative. Beautiful day, beautiful scenes, good food.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2013

My day-long trip was wonderful! My guide/driver was very knowledgeable about the history of the Columbia River, and the plants, trees and birds we saw along the way. He brought along some excellent coffee and homemade coffee cake for a mid-morning snack, and took me to a really good casual restaurant for lunch. I felt relaxed at all times--even though I'm normally a nervous passenger. It was altogether a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend this tour. I just wish I had taken along a camera. Thank you!



5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2013

After a smooth hotel pickup, our guide was a very pleasant, well informed young man who was a careful driver. He gave us lots of relevant information on the way to the first stop. The Mercedes van was comfortable and quiet. We followed the well trodden path up the gorge, and were given good briefings at each stop. There were short walks to each waterfall, but no hikes. The museums and visitor centres we stopped at were very interesting. Lunch was at a small very nice deli, where a good range of freshly cooked, interesting meals were available, and everyone said that the one they chose was delicious. Mine was too. Small, but delicious. Overall the tour was very good.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2013

Daniel, the guide was charming and very knowledgeable. The mini bus was very comfortable and gave a good ride. There were 2 other ladies with us from USA. Daniel gave us information on the geology and formation of the gorge as we drove along and pointed out landscape features. We stopped at three waterfalls and 2 or three view points before lunch. A couple of waterfalls, right by the road we drove past very slowly. None of the walks were long or difficult. At Multnomah Falls, Daniel made coffee for us while we climbed up to the falls on our own and then he served coffee cake with the coffee which we had by the bus. He provided information on important people involved in the building of the road and also about the trees and climate. Before we stopped for lunch we drove up through the fruit orchards, pears and cherries to a magnificent view point looking across the river to Mount Hood. The lunch stop in Hood River was nice and we ate at a cafe called, Bodas kitchen. The town was quaint and attractive and we had time for a brief stroll before resuming our journey. The lunch was delicious. Roast chicken with a choice of fresh salads or vegetables. This was a great day out and so much easier than driving ourselves.
From USD $ 188.88

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Tour code: 5412COLUMBIA


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