Ready, Set, Gorge!

Vista House and Gorge at sunset


Avoid crowds and enjoy stunning vistas by following these tips!


Plan ahead to get the most out of your experience

  • Go Early – Start before 10 a.m. to beat the crowds.
  • Go Late – Crowds tend to leave after 4 p.m., so quick stops at waterfalls and vistas work well late in the day, when temperatures are cooler and sunsets are amazing. If you plan to hike, however, early starts are safer because they ensure plenty of time to explore and still return before sundown.
  • Go East – Head east of the waterfall corridor (which ends after I-84 Ainsworth Exit) to find less traveled trails. One exception is the ever-popular Eagle Creek site. 
  • Go North – Get a fresh perspective on the scenery by discovering the Washington side of the Gorge.
  • Go Mid-Week – Venturing out on Tuesday - Thursday means smoother drives and fewer crowds.

Sit back and let someone else do the driving

  • The Columbia Gorge Express will return in 2017 to run Fridays through Sundays. It's expected to start Memorial Day Weekend and run through September 5. Stops include Multnomah Falls and Rooster Rock State Park for $5.00 per roundtrip -- be prepared to pay by card, cash not accepted. The air-conditioned bus is equipped with wifi and bicycle racks.
  • The Portland Gray Line offers half day tours of the Gorge that include Crown Point, Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Gorge, Horsetail Falls, and Bonneville Lock and Dam. Bus departs from Pioneer Courthouse Square daily during the peak summer season with services offered fewer days per week during the spring and fall. Tickets start at $39.
  • Explore Washington with Skamania County’s West End Transit (WET) seasonal weekend bus, which runs weekends from April 15 to June 18. It departs Fisher's Landing Transit Center in Vancouver at 7:20 a.m. and leaves from Stevenson at 5:00 p.m. Dog Mountain shuttle runs 8 am to 4:30 pm through the peak season every 40 minutes. Kids 12 and under are free. Bring cash as cards are not accepted.
  • Get a ride with your bike across the Mt. Adams Transportation Services bus across the Hood River Bridge ($1/way). Info at:
  • Meet friends at a designated location, such as Gateway Transit Center, to carpool.
  • Find a ride at
  • Consider joining a guided hike or tour. Check out our list of permitted guides.

Experience the Gorge by bike

There is perhaps no better way to experience the Gorge than by bicycle. Enjoy breathtaking views, spectacular waterfalls, abundant wildflowers and world-class trails. Learn more… 

Share the road respectfully

  • Park in Designated Areas only to ensure emergency vehicles can respond and helps alleviate congestion.
  • Avoid idling your car and blocking driving lanes or trailheads for long periods of time.
  • Park within the white lines of road shoulders.

Find more travel tips and itineraries for visiting the Gorge at