Columbia River Gorge
Travel through the millennia in the awe-inspiring Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, where geologic wonders – including breathtakingly beautiful, world-famous waterfalls – are seemingly at every turn, and all within easy reach of Comfort Suites, one of the most budget-friendly Columbia River Gorge lodging options. Those seeking an adrenaline rush will cavort down the river between canyon walls by windsurfer, kiteboard or sailboat. Not a thrill-seeker? Explore the miles of hiking and biking, bird watching, boating, photography opportunities, kayaking and the area’s many wineries and brew pubs.
After a comfortable night’s sleep at one of the best Columbia River Gorge lodging options, Comfort Suites, you’ll be rested and ready to tackle all the sightseeing this gorgeous region demands. Start with a leisurely drive through the Gorge, where the road skirts the Columbia River, North America’s second largest river, flowing from northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia all the way to the Pacific Ocean, some 1,200 miles away.
Visitors to the region often start with a couple of the inspirational waterfalls – the Gorge is blessed with North America’s greatest concentration of waterfalls, with most along the Oregon side. Favorites include the 160-foot Bridal Veil Falls, 620-foot Multnomah Falls and 220-foot Elowah Falls, a hidden favorite.
Wine aficionados will want to take time into indulge at the area’s more than 50 vineyards and over 30 wineries. The Columbia River Gorge climate provides a diversity of moisture and elevation that results in some of the world’s most acclaimed wines. Columbia Wine Tours is happy to arrange wine tastings, gourmet picnic lunches and more as you travel by private van with likeminded travelers or just your own small group.
Arts-lovers will find plentiful opportunity to enjoy the area’s history and culture, through an intriguing collection of museums and art galleries. Start at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum, where your introduction to the region includes a look at the fascinating Skamania County history and its earliest inhabitants. Learn about the impact of the Ice Age on the local geology and explore Lewis and Clark’s archaeological finds through educational exhibits and attractions.
Those with a thirst for excitement can whitewater raft along the White Salmon River with a number of local outfitters. Care to watch the local adventures from the sidelines? Visit the Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery and you’ll have front-row viewing for windsurfing and kiteboarding escapades on the river, just a short ride from your Columbia River Gorge lodging.
If you’re fortunate enough to visit in the fall, follow the 35-mile Hood River Fruit Loop, a collection of fruit stands and orchards, vineyards and alpaca and lavender farms. You’ll find a preponderance of pears grown here, the nation’s largest pear-growing region, as well a huge variety of heirloom apples.
Looking to get on the river itself? Consider a ride on the Portland Spirit or Gorge Sternwheeler. These dinner ships offer superb service, amazing views, live entertainment and decadent Northwest dining on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers for a particularly special memory.
Of course, with its rugged landscape and bountiful waterfalls, the Columbia River Gorge is particularly appealing for hikers of all ability level. Start with an easy .75-mile exploration of Balfour-Klickitat trail, which follows the river and offers bald eagle viewing in the winter months. Looking for more mileage? Tackle Angels Rest in the Western Gorge, a winding trail that leads to 270-degree views of the Gorge, Beacon Rock and Silver Star Mountain. It’s a five-mile hike with a well-deserved reward – rest assured, you’ll sleep soundly at Comfort Suites, one of the most well-positioned Columbia River Gorge lodging options for taking advantage of all this outdoor playground has to offer.
Guided, scenic tours for individuals, families, or groups.
See breathtaking waterfalls, wildflowers and rock art, or try the Winery & Brewery tours.