One of the best parts about living in Portland is the immense amount of day trips you can take, many of which are less than a two-hour drive away. The Columbia River Gorge is full of day trip destinations. Home to hikes galore and outdoor activities for every season, the Gorge is a little slice of paradise just a day-trip away from Portland. One of the most popular destinations in the Gorge is Hood River. A little less than an hour and a half away from Downtown Portland, Hood River is full of activities and places to eat, and a great place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Hood River, Oregon is known for its perfect windsurfing conditions, campsites, quaint downtown, and hikes. While Hood River is beautiful in all seasons, summer and early fall is a great time to take advantage of all the outdoor activities Hood River has to offer! If kitesurfing isn’t your thing (that’s okay, it’s pretty hard!) there are parts of the Columbia River in Hood River that are peaceful enough to kayak and paddleboard, and even go for a little swim.
On the Columbia River in Hood River is a gorgeous waterfront, and along this waterfront path, you will find the Gorge Paddling Center. Located on a peaceful inlet, the water is perfect for kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. The Gorge Paddling Center rents kayaks and stand up paddleboards, and they provide daytime and sunset kayak tours where you will find incredible views and Pacific Northwest scenery. The Gorge Paddling Center has its own dock for customers to easily launch from, and the water is protected from the strong winds and currents that are found on the main part of the Columbia River.
Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented for $20 an hour, $10 for each additional hour, or $60 for the entire day. Tandem kayaks are $30 an hour, $15 for each additional hour, and $75 for the entire day. The Gorge Paddling Center provides help with launching and docking, as well as life vests. Parking is easy as the center has its own free lot for customers. The staff is friendly, knowledgable, and makes your experience in Hood River memorable!
Like Portland, weather in Hood River isn’t sunshine year-round, which means the Gorge Paddling Center’s hours depend on the weather. On warm and sunny days they are open from 10-5 and on cloudy/windy days they are open from 11-4. They are closed on rainy days and tend to close for most of the winter season, so it is best to give them a call if you decide to go past September!
There is nothing like getting a taste of the great outdoors when you live in a place as abundant with outdoor activities as the Pacific Northwest, and Hood River is a great place to get outside. Kayaking and paddleboarding is an activity the whole family can enjoy, and the Gorge Paddling Center makes the experience seamless! Get some fresh air and love where you live! To learn more about the Gorge Paddling Center head to www.gorgepaddling.com. Happy adventuring!