||Pick up at your hotel or location. Head east to the sea-level 4000 foot deep Columbia Gorge, which cuts through the Cascade Mountains by the Columbia River.
||Our first stop will be Chanticleer Point. Situated 700 feet above the mighty Columbia River, we'll be able to see incredible views overlooking the Columbia River, Washington State and the Oregon side of the gorge. This area was also used in some of the scenes of the film "Twilight".
Click for view of the Columbia River Gorge
||Stop at the historic Vista House for a spectacular thirty-mile view of the river and a rest stop with interesting historic photography and native wildflower exhibits.
||Head further east on the "Old Scenic Highway" while you learn about the history of the first mountain highway of the west. We'll stop at several waterfalls with interesting names like Latourell, Wahkeena, Multnomah and Horsetail for short walks or longer hikes (you choose), quiet reflection and photo opportunities.
||Guests always enjoy the visit to Multnomah Falls, Oregon's most famous and tallest waterfall at 620 feet. EcoTours will provide plenty of time for you to enjoy the ten-minute walk up to the Benson Bridge between the lower and upper falls for views and photos, and to visit the Nature Center and Gift Shop.
Click for view of Multnomah Falls
||Still heading east, we'll discuss the life cycle of Pacific Northwest Salmon en route to the Bonneville Dam, where we may see migrating adult salmon through the fish-viewing windows and in the fish ladders.
||Lunch time will be spent at Hood River, "the windsurfing capitol of the U.S.A." We'll drive you through downtown area and point out some of our favorite restaurants, then leave you on your own to eat and look and browse through this quaint, compact town.
||After lunch, we'll head through the picturesque Hood River Valley possible stopping at local fruit stands to sample locally-grown cherries, berries, pears and apples. While climbing Mount Hood's southeast flank, you will learn about Oregon's diverse ecosystems as the scenery changes from the dry eastside Cascades featuring ponderosa pine forests, to the lush westside forests of douglas fir, cedar and hemlock. Many guests enjoy optional stop to see a portion of the original Oregon Trail as we continue the drive to the high alpine forests of Mount Hood's upper elevations. NOTE: If road conditions get dangerous in winter, we may not make it into the higher mountain areas. If this happens, we will take the guests up to the snow and then head back for more sightseeing in the Eastern Columbia Gorge Area. The Eastern Columbia Gorge offers great beautiful dry desert mountain views and historical areas. We may cross the Columbia River into Washington State for additional terrific photo stops. We finish the tour at about the same time if we follow the alternate winter itinerary (5:30 PM).
||Arrive at the pinnacle of our day, Timberline Lodge, at 6000 feet. Here, you'll be treated to incredible high alpine views of snow-capped Mount Hood and the surrounding Cascades. Guests enjoy a walk through the historic lodge and the trails with sweeping views of the Cascade Range. This is the Lodge featured in the Jack Nicholson film "The Shining".
Click for a view of the South side of Mt. Hood
||On our drive back to Portland, we'll pass through beautiful mountainous terrain and quaint small towns into the fertile agricultural fields of the Willamette Valley.
||Arrive back at your hotel or home.