The Classic Columbia River Gorge Tour

Columbia River Gorge Itineraries



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 Itinerary options on 1 page

* Latourell & Multnomah Falls (viewing bridges) hikes are typically automatically included in your tour itinerary.  Wahkeena (viewing bridge) & Bridal Veil Falls hikes are often included in the itinerary, and are recommended. These are short hikes (15-30 minutes RT max.). All other hikes ('extended hikes') are an option and must be pre-arranged before your tour; otherwise they are not an option. NOTE: All hikes are self-guided hikes and are optional; including the standard hikes, where your driver/guide will not be accompanying your group. 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 all of the standard falls (except Bridal Veil) are all had without hiking.

A Trailhead Release Agreement form is required from your group (see below *) to hike on any optional/extended hike.  This does not apply with the standard (viewing bridge) hikes. Be prepared for inclement weather (rain, snow, cold, ice, wind etc.) during winter time tours.  Be prepared for rainy weather during summer time tours, and dress appropriately.

* ALL HIKES ARE SOLO 'SELF-SERVICE' HIKES; your driver and/or tour guide WILL NOT be accompanying your group on your hike due to Forest Service regulations. While we consider our extended hikes to be completely safe; in wilderness areas, possible wilderness dangers are always present, including Falling—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 restrooms or running water, so you should plan on carrying your own water 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 the extended hikes. 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 options of Bonneville Dam and Upper Horsetail Falls require more time than our standard stops.  Please notify your guide ahead of time to be able to accommodate this in your schedule (we will drop out other stops) unless you want to extend your tour to the 5-6 hour option.

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

Columbia River Gorge Tour w/Oneonta Gorge Falls

Oneonta is a narrow steep gorge leading back into the hills for about a mile; the sides imbedded with 50 species of ferns, plants and wild flowers. Along its course runs a silvery stream, fed from a beautiful water-fall. The old bridge is part of the original highway which carried motorists over this bridge and through Oneonta tunnel.  The bluff is solid basalt rock which was tunneled to permit the roadway to parallel the railroad in continuing the Columbia River Highway without bridging the railroad or climbing the steep grades. The bluff gives the impression of the one-time flood waters that washed over the mountains in the ice-age geological period.  The route was changed and the tunnel filled with debris during the 1940s when it became hazardous for larger cars and trucks. The tunnel was rebuilt & reopened in 2003 for foot and bicycle traffic.

Here the stream has sliced through 200 feet and 25 million years of great basalt flows.  Ask your guide about the prehistoric "tombs" inside the gorge. Imagine that the falls were once at about the location of the highway before it receded and formed the gorge, demonstrating that things are still and always changing in the gorge, albeit very slowly. Evidence of the constant erosion and mud slides characteristic of the relative unstable nature of the gorge can be seen throughout this area.  The falls is one of the most spectacular in the whole Columbia River Gorge. There’s the narrow passageway into the main part of Oneonta Gorge (If you want to see the falls and you don't mind wading knee high in cool water, bring your rubber boots or waders or an extra pair of sneakers to hike through the stream to the falls about 1000 feet from the highway. 

Hike to Oneonta Falls (5-6 hour + tour recommended) - For the adventuresome - Oneonta Creek runs through the gorge. There are four major waterfalls on the creek: Upper, Middle, Lower and Triple Falls.  Lower Oneonta Falls (type: Horsetail, seen below) can only be seen by walking through water (bring rubber boots or extra pair of socks & shoes**) upstream from the creek's outlet at the Historic Columbia River Highway. To get to a vantage point where the entire lower falls is visible requires wading through water for about 1000 feet that in some places can be chest-deep but usually no higher than knee-deep, depending on the season and the relative amount of snow-melt. The reward for this refreshing journey will be a gorgeous view of the falls plummeting 100 feet into a crystal clear pool; seen below.

The upper falls are about 1 mile upstream from the middle falls and require scrambling up the creek or climbing down a canyon wall to view. The fourth falls which is "Triple falls" can be seen from a vantage point on the upper trails in the canyon. For the adventurous, a hike to the lower falls is an option.

Click to view full size image

Oneonta Tunnel

Oneonta Tunnel on the Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Photo postcard by Cross and Dimmitt. ca. 1916.

We'll walk across the Oneonta Bridge to view beautiful Oneonta Gorge; the bridge is one of two nearly identical reinforced concrete girder trestles on the Historic Columbia River Highway (the other being Horsetail Falls Bridge) and one of four extant structures on the route that have a distinctive cap and arch concrete guard rail system.

** If you choose to hike Oneonta Gorge, do so at your own risk. Storms in the late 1990's washed fallen trees downstream, creating a large log jam near the mouth of the gorge. Climbing over the log jam to access the deeper parts of the gorge should only be done at your own risk, with the understanding that nature is precarious at best. Maximum 47 persons. A Trailhead Release Agreement form is required from your group.  Be prepared for inclement weather (rain, snow, cold, etc.) during winter time tours.  Be prepared for rainy weather during summer time tours, and dress appropriately.


The Oneonta Tunnel, with the railroad to the north (left image) and after bypassing (right image), the railroad now out of view beyond the trees.

Lower Oneonta falls, photographed in late summer.

Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway


photo courtesy of TravelPortland and:

* Wikipedia GNU Free Documentation License applies

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