Hood River is here for everyone to enjoy for generations to come — that’s why we’re counting on you!
In Hood River, surf, sand, soil, and snow are lovingly served in abundance. Here, there’s an experience to be had around every corner, usually served up with a side of spectacular scenery and small-town friendliness. You’ll quickly realize why locals walk with an extra spring in their step, and why we are so passionate about the place we call home. Like those of us who live here, we hope you’ll find a meaningful connection to this place. We also hope you will share our passion by leaving Hood River a little better than you found it, so everyone can enjoy it, as you have, for generations to come. Whether you’ve been here for 30 years or 30 minutes, we’re confident Hood River will change you for the better. Let’s all do our part to return the favor.
So, take care out there, and make the most out of your adventures by understanding how to prepare, care for, connect with, and enjoy this precious place:
PREPARE: Plan ahead by taking the time to research current guidelines and local recommendations. Need some help? The Visit Hood River Visitor Center, located inside the Hood River History Museum, is happy to assist you!
CARE: Respect the people and places. Let’s pick up that piece of litter and don’t forget to smile at (and tip) your beertender. Be respectful of private property, as well as culturally-significant landmarks and places. From town to trails, we all have a part to play to ensure safety and fun in the greater experience for everyone.
CONNECT: Be curious! Gain a sense of gratitude by asking those burning questions, doing the Google search, and getting to know the deeper stories and people of the region
If you’re looking for the true insider’s take on how to plan and execute the perfect trip, look no further than the many experts who call Hood River home. Whether you’re hoping to try your hand at windsurfing or take a paddle out on the Columbia, the number one focus of our guide services and water sports schools is on making sure you and your crew have a safe, memorable, and stellar time.
How to get the local’s-eye view:
- Book as early as possible.
- Come prepared—most guides will send out a checklist of things to remember.
- Don’t forget to tip!
Pro tip: Book local! While there are many amazing guided services in Portland and beyond, it’s best to choose a company that’s local to the Gorge.
Bonus: Each time you go guided you support anywhere from 5-10 small local businesses!Find Your Tour
Be a Stellar Swimmer
What’s more glorious than plunging into cool water on a hot summer day? We’d contend that there’s very little. But no matter whether you’re hopping into the Columbia or you’ve found a secret river or lakeside spot, keep a few key tips in mind.
Tips for jumping in with both feet:
- Leave no trace – if you pack it in, please pack it out
- On the Columbia, distance yourself from kiteboarders launching and landing
- Fully investigate river current before you swim out
- Know the rules and recommendations for life preservers – this isn’t a swimming pool and even accomplished swimmers will tell you that the currents here don’t mess around! Strong underwater currents, steep underwater drop-offs, and very cold water are all a factor
- Drowning danger is no joke in the mighty Columbia, we recommend children wear life jackets and be closely supervised by a responsible adult AT ALL TIMES.
- SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!
Pro tip: The wind is typically calmer in the early morning and evening.Port of Hood River
We’ll just say it outright: we love biking. From road rides through the Mosier Tunnels to downhill in Post Canyon or e-biking around town, our preferred mode of transportation whenever possible is definitely two-wheeled.
Before you hit the trailhead remember:
- Don’t ride muddy trails
- Uphill riders have the right of way
- All bikes should stay on designated roads/trails
- When pedaling HR’s streets obey traffic laws and use hand signals
- Hopefully this goes without saying, but always wear a helmet, closed-toe shoes, and carry a water bottle or hydration pack
Pro tip: Nothing hits the spot like a cold beer with a view after a long ride!Hood River Area Trail Stewards
Tread Lightly, Hiking Hero
Who can deny the magic of hiking to a hidden waterfall, or among a field of Alpine wildflowers? If there is one thing Hood River offers in abundance, it’s hiking. All we ask you tread lightly when hitting the trails.
Know before you go:
- Follow the trail protocols. Guidelines will vary from place to place, and may require a reservation or parking pass. Check the destination’s website or call ahead to know what to expect and how to be ready. Ready, Set, GOrge! is a handy site to help you prepare.
- Make a backup plan in case of trail or trailhead is closed or at capacity
- Let someone know where you are and don’t forget to check in with mom when you’re back in the car
- Consider public transit or shuttle to cut down the stress of parking
- Pack IN everything you need, and carry the Ten Essentials
- Pack OUT everything you brought, and any extra you may see lying around
- Check the weather before you head out, and be mindful of the weather during your trip. From sunshine to rain showers, it can change in minutes
- Headed to the waterfall corridor? Know the roads – check to make sure roads are open and accessible with a quick search on www.tripcheck.com
Bonus Points: Take a guided tour with a local expert, you may even find a wild mushroom or two!Gorge Waterfalls
Lush forests and rolling hills blanket the land in and around Hood River, making it a true nature-lovers paradise. But all this beauty comes with the risk of wildfires, and the Columbia Gorge has seen its share of human-caused wildfire devastation in recent years. So let’s work together to prevent and prioritize our cherished lands.
- Prevent human-caused wildfires by understanding current fire restrictions
- Use established fire rings when building a fire and be sure to fully extinguish any fire that will be unattended. Fires should be DEAD OUT when hitting the sack
- When wildfires do occur, stay updated on current conditions and closures to ensure the safety of you and first responders
Connect and Respect
Here, we all share the same feeling: no matter what we’re up to, when we look around, we pinch ourselves. And we’d all like for it to stay that way. Find our quick tips on how to Love HR and make sure HR is able to love us all back for generations to come.
- Be welcoming and respectful. A friendly wave goes a long way! We are an open and accepting community whose unique triumphs and challenges have shaped the local culture. We want it to stay that way and ask that you adopt our open-armed approach.
- Your experiences and views may vary greatly from others, but a welcoming and respectful attitude can help build a stronger, more unified community
- Be gracious to the people and the lands who make your experience truly incredible. A little (or a lot) of gratitude goes a long way with frontline workers, service staff, park rangers, and anyone else you may encounter during your time here
- Treasure the uniqueness of this special place by choosing to eat, drink, shop, and stay locally – and ensure that our treasured community thrives
- Stay off of private property – yes, even for that vineyard selfie – please respect signs and a property owner’s spaces