The Classic Columbia River Gorge Tour

Columbia River Gorge Itineraries

STANDARD TOUR INCLUSIONS

OPTIONS/ADDITIONS

3-4 hours

Classic Standard Tour - ½ day

5-6 hours

Classic Standard Tour with ¾ day options

7-8 hours

Classic Standard Tour with full-day options

View All Custom Gorge Tour Itineraries on 1 page (Includes Restaurants & Lodging)

* Latourelle & Multnomah Falls (viewing bridges) hikes are automatically included in your tour itinerary.  Wahkeena & Bridal Veil Falls viewing bridge hikes are often included in the itinerary, and are an option if you notify us ahead of time or your tour guide at the beginning of your tour.  All other hikes an option and must be pre-arranged before your tour; otherwise they are not an option. To add the Bonneville Dam, please notify us or your tour guide ahead of time; the 5-6 hour tour option may apply. You do not have to participate in any hike as views of most of the the falls are all had without hiking.

** Mt. Hood tour option is about 8-10 hours long.

A Trailhead Release Agreement form is required from each member of the group (see below *) to hike on any hike, including the standard hikes and optional hikes.  Be prepared for inclement weather (rain, snow, cold, wind etc.) during winter time tours.  Be prepared for rainy weather during summer time tours.

* ALL HIKES ARE SOLO 'SELF-SERVICE' HIKES; your driver and/or tour guide WILL NOT be accompanying you on your hike. While we consider our recommended hikes to be completely safe; in wilderness areas, possible wilderness dangers are always present—Please stay on the maintained trail. A Trailhead Release Agreement form exonerating My Chauffeur of any responsibility on the trails will be required for your tour.  Hikes are not recommended for children or pets.   Trails are typically not near running water, you should plan on carrying your own supply. Cliff sections (if applicable) are exposed, so anyone subject to vertigo should proceed carefully, and turn back if the first set of cliffs are uncomfortable...  If you have any apprehensions about nature hiking and/or nature areas, you should not do this hike. The trail surfaces are often rocky and uneven, and anything less than a good pair of hiking shoes or boots is not adequate. Also keep in mind that the Columbia Gorge is home to poison oak, and it grows along some sections of the some trails. If you're susceptible to it, keep an eye out in sunny, open cliff-tops and open oak forests. Long pants are a good idea is you're particularly sensitive.

We are here to help plan your Gorge tour, answer questions and/or make suggestions.  Give us a call at 503-969-4370 (toll-free 1-877-692-4283) or EMAIL US.  If you have already made a reservation, contact your personal concierge.

The Classic Columbia River Gorge Tour

Words fail many travelers who drive the exquisite Historic Columbia River Highway. Every twist and turn brings a new treasure, from majestic waterfalls to astounding views from the tops of cliffs over 900 feet above the river. During the spring, the Gorge area erupts into magnificent wildflower displays, including many plants that only exist in this area.The Gorge

Our tour meanders along the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Historic Highway...

...Included are stops at Horsetail Falls, Oneonta Gorge Bridge & Tunnel, Multnomah Falls & Viewing Bridge, Wahkeena Falls & Viewing Bridge, Latourelle Falls lower trail & bridge, Shepperd's Dell SP,  Bridal Veil Falls trail and/or overlook hike trail*, the historic Bridal Veil Lodge, views of Beacon Rock, Crown Point Vista House (pictured below) with its panoramic view of the mighty Columbia River and Gorge and the Historic Bonneville Dam is on request... We'll see all of this and more.  See all the custom options HERE.

* You may view the Shepperd's Dell, Latourelle Falls & Bridal Veil Falls Video HERE or the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Historic Highway video HERE.

Eat, Play and Stay: There are lots of things you can do with your standard tour; customize this tour with additions or other options. 

tCrown Point Vista House

The Crown Point Vista House (above) was built between 1916-1918 by Multnomah County as a comfort station and scenic wayside for those traveling on the Historic Columbia River Highway, which had been completed in 1913. It is also a memorial to Oregon pioneers. It was formally dedicated on May 5th,Crown Point 1918. Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the nation.  The water of the Falls drops 620 feet from its origin on Larch Mountain.  Unusually cold weather can turn this plummeting falls into a frozen icesicle, with a few drops falling to the bottom. The frozen falls is a sight to behold.  Your tour guide will discuss all of these sights, point out some native wildlife, plus some general information about the Gorge to let you know 'Where did this place come from?', with ice age Glacial Lake Missoula & the Missoula Floods and its affect on the Gorge's formation. Lewis & Clark's Corp of Discovery passed by all these places.  Extended stops (30 - 45 minutes each) at 2 of these locations is possible.  Bring sturdy shoes so you can walk the trails, if desired.   This is the classic Oregon Scenic Tour. (pictures) 


The Columbia River is confined to a gap about sixty yards wide at the entrance to the Long Narrows, shown here in 1882.  The future site of the Vista House on Crown Point is to the far left.
Carleton Watkins, photographer, OHS neg., OrHi 21646

The Long Narrows

This painting (same view as above but from the opposite direction) gives a hint of the awesome force and volume of the Ice Age Floods. It shows the first rush of a Missoula Flood coming into the Long Narrows and lower Columbia River Gorge. The speed of the floods approached 60 mph through the Gorge. Beacon Rock is in the far distance, with the viewer standing behind Crown Point in the right foreground. At maximum flow, the largest of the floods filled the Gorge, overtopping Crown Point.  When Glacial Lake Missoula burst, this was the narrowest constriction all along its route from Montana, where all 500 cubic miles of water were forced between these tall cliffs only 1.5 miles apart. Like a jet of water exiting a nozzle, the flow accelerated from the Long Narrows opening, reaching speeds of 80 miles an hour before slowing and spreading out over the Portland Basin.

THE COLUMBIA RIVER HISTORIC HIGHWAY BEGAN AS THE DREAM of visionary Samuel Hill and engineer Samuel Lancaster.  It became known as a poem in stone, the first scenic highway in America, the first major paved road in the Northwest: 73 miles of highway, three tunnels, 18 bridges, seven viaducts and two footbridges.  Teddy Roosevelt called it the most remarkable feat of engineering of its time.  When the highway opened in 1916, the Illustrated London News called it "the best of all great highways in the world, glorified!  It is the king of roads".  

By 1922, the Columbia River Highway went along a route purposely designed to twist and turn, showing of what Roosevelt called its "unequaled scenic grandeur."

Horsetail FallsIn the early 1900s, drivers stopped their Model T's in the middle of the road to admire the scenery including Horsetail Falls (left) & Multnomah Falls (right).  Now visitors park across the highway and dodge passing cars to enjoy the view.  In 1913 highway engineer Samuel Lancaster wrote:  "Our first order of business was to find the beauty spots, of those points where the most beautiful things along the line might be seen in the best advantage, and if possible to locate the road in such a way as to reach them."

Highway engineer Samuel Lancaster thought the land atop the 733-foot cliff at Crown Point was an ideal vantage point for travelers to see both up and down the Columbia River "in silent communion with the infinite."  Portland architect Edgar Lazarus, who designed the Vista House observatory, said "the pavilion with its outline against the sky will recall the ancient and mystic Thor's Crown for which the point (then called Thor's Crown) was originally named."  During construction of the highway, the name was changed to Crown Point.  More about the Columbia River Highway.

View photos of the Gorge here.

Beacon Rock in the background

 

 

 

* A Trailhead Release Agreement form is required from each member of the group if you plan on taking any extended hike not included in the basic itinerary, described above.  If you choose to take any extended hike, whether short or long, this form will be required from all group members who participate.  The chauffeur/tour guide will not be allowed to accompany your group on any hike.  Be prepared for inclement weather (rain, snow, cold, etc.).  Any trail hike beyond what is described above is outside the parameters of our tour and is at your own risk.  Children must be supervised on any trail at all times.  You must notify our staff if you are planning on hiking in any areas beyond what is described above as the Trailhead Release Agreement is required.  Any digression from the scheduled itinerary described above without notifying staff is unacceptable and will result in the immediate termination of your tour with no refund.

 

* Wikipedia GNU Free Documentation License applies

           
 

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