Portland, Oregon Viewing points

Our most recommended Portland, Oregon Viewing points

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Tour

1. From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Tour

Discover the scenic beauty of the Columbia River Gorge on a small group tour with an expert guide in a luxury passenger van. Explore Columbia River National Scenic Area stopping at several picturesque waterfalls typical of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Depart from downtown Portland and drive towards Troutdale, known as the Gateway to the Gorge. Enjoy the journey along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned scenic roadway in the United States. Arrive at Crown Point Vista House, an overlook that sits high above the Columbia River. From there, continue along the historic highway deep into the Columbia River National Scenic Area. Arrive at the first waterfall of the day, the dramatic Latourell Falls, which plunges 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt.  Proceed next to the grand Multnomah Falls, which plummets to the ground from 620 feet in two major steps. Explore the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge and stand on the easily accessible viewing platform that offers a full view of the Benson Bridge and cascading falls beyond. Next, visit the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and take a short walking tour of an impressive hatchery and sturgeon viewing center. You will also meet the local celebrity: “Herman” the sturgeon. Afterward, relax on the journey back to Portland via the Columbia River scenic route.

Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Afternoon Tour

2. Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Afternoon Tour

Explore the beauty of these unique canyon walls and rock formations, encountering breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring visas that make the Columbia River National Scenic Area one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Your enthusiastic guides will introduce you to the most amazing places in the gorge, while providing a comprehensive narrative of this spectacular landscape and its transformative history. Your adventure will take place along the Historic Columbia River National Scenic Byway, where some of the locations you may stop include the Portland Women’s Forum, the Crown Point Vista House, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Shepperd’s Dell.

Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour

3. Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour

Enjoy a half-day guided tour to discover the breathtaking landscape of the western Columbia Gorge. After pickup at your accommodation, travel down Waterfall Alley, known for having the highest density of hanging waterfalls in the world during the winter and spring. Stop at a viewpoint where you'll get a spectacular vista of the western Gorge, with the Vista House in the foreground.  You'll have 15 minutes to spend inside the Vista House, the fanciest rest stop in the world. It was built in 1918, and provides interpretive displays and sublime views. Be careful⁠⁠—sometimes the wind gusts to 160 km/h (100 mph). Stop and do a short and easy hike at a cathedral waterfall. You'll feel as if you're in a fairy tale as you walk through rainforest and discover a magnificent rock formation harboring an elegant waterfall and fluorescent-yellow lichen. As you walk through the rainforest, your guide will highlight some of the plants and animals you'll see along the way. As you drive the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway, inspired by the Axenstrasse in the Swiss Alps, admire the towering basalt cliffs as you make additional waterfall stops. Explore the tallest waterfall in Oregon during a 30-minute stop at Multnomah Falls, where you can walk up to the Benson Bridge, visit the interpretive center, or peruse the gift shop. Afterwards, you’ll head back to Portland to be dropped off at your hotel.

Portland: Mt. Hood Day Tour

4. Portland: Mt. Hood Day Tour

Your 8.5-hour trip begins early with a hotel pickup from downtown Portland. Embark on an exhilarating morning drive through the Columbia River Gorge. Catch spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains that flank the river and glimpse a waterfall or two. Along the forested highway, visit Oregon’s famous waterfall Multnomah Falls. Join your guide and fellow visitors on Benson Bridge and snap a picture of the 611-foot-tall cascade of water as it crashes below. Next, continue to Hood River, a picturesque valley town renowned as a prime destination for wind sports. Watch kiteboarders and windsurfers skate across the water as you learn about Hood River’s rich environmental and cultural history.Then take some free time for lunch, shopping or wine-tasting (if whimsy strikes you!). Then visit Rowena Crest which has spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge. The final stop on your guided tour is the glorious Mount Hood, Oregon’s tallest peak at 11,249 feet (3,429 meters) and Timberline Lodge. Take a mountain walk or a self-guided visit through the renovated lodge that was once the setting for the classic film The Shining. Your day concludes back in Portland by early evening.

From Portland: Multnomah Falls & Columbia River Gorge Tour

5. From Portland: Multnomah Falls & Columbia River Gorge Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of central Portland for the morning on a half-day coach tour of the Columbia River Gorge. Experience the natural beauty of the Rose City’s most scenic area. Follow the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition, more than 200 years after the famous explorers. View the gorge from Vista House at Crown Point, and marvel at the world famous Multnomah Falls. Depart Portland at 08:30 AM, enjoying the downtown sights as you leave the city via one of its many bridges. Once out of the metropolitan area, drive the historic Columbia River Highway, enjoying panoramic views hundreds of feet above the river at Crown Point. Descend through the famous highway loops to pristine Latourell Falls. Continue past Wahkeena Falls to Oregon’s most famous natural attraction — Multnomah Falls and Lodge. See the Oneonta Gorge and Horsetail Falls. Return to Portland along the river level route of the Lewis and Clark expedition, taking in panoramic views of Beacon Rock, Cape Horn, and Rooster Rock along the way.

Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

6. Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

Millions of years ago, during the formation of the Cascade Mountain Range, lava and other pyroclastic matter flowed west from what would be the Cascades all the way to the Pacific Ocean, creating a thick shell of basalt rock that covered Western Oregon. Then, during the Pleistocene Ice Age, roughly 15,000 years ago, water from the Lake Missoula Flood carved out the Columbia River Gorge as hundreds of cubic miles of water, ice, rock and mud rushed from present-day Montana to the Pacific Ocean. Explore the beauty of the canyon walls and rock formations, breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring visas that make the Columbia River National Scenic Area one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Our enthusiastic guides will introduce you to the most amazing places in the Gorge while providing a comprehensive narrative of this spectacular landscape and its transformative history. Your adventure will take place along the Historic Columbia River National Scenic Byway, where some of the locations we may stop include, Portland Women’s Forum, Crown Point Vista House, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Shepperd’s Dell. Perched atop one of the most panoramic overlooks in the Columbia River Gorge, Vista House provides an unrivaled, majestic view. Often referred to as “The Crown Jewel of the Columbia River Gorge,” Vista House was built between 1916 and 1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers, a scenic viewpoint, and a comfort station for those traveling on the newly constructed Historic Columbia River Highway. Built with expertly carved sandstone and stunning marble, then finished with bronze lining and amber-green opalescent art glass windows, Vista House and the view it offers are sure to amaze and inspire you. Latourell Falls plunges 249 feet (76 m) over a massive wall of basalt and then rushes through the forest into the Columbia River. The falling water of Latourell is framed by some of the most perfect columnar basalt formations in the Pacific Northwest that are adorned with a large florescent patch of yellow lichen and shrouded in brilliant green flora. We’ll venture down to the punch-bowl pool below the falls, where you’ll hear the tremendous rush of water and feel the cool mist that it creates. You’ll easily realize why this special place is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon. Multnomah Falls is fed by underground streams that originate miles above on Larch Mountain. This ancient 620 foot (189 m) waterfall is divided into two sections; the upper falls plummets an impressive 542 feet into a pool and again drops 69 feet to form a creek that runs into the Columbia River. Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States and the highest in Oregon, and is Oregon’s number one natural attraction, drawing over 2.5 million visitors a year from around the world. At the base of the waterfall sits the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge, a full-service day lodge complete with a restaurant, gift shop, snack and espresso bar.

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls and Mt. Hood Tour

7. From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls and Mt. Hood Tour

Explore the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood National Forest on board a luxury passenger van. Enjoy picturesque Pacific Northwest scenery on well-maintained trails with an expert guide. Depart from downtown Portland and drive towards Troutdale, known as the Gateway to the Gorge. Enjoy the journey along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned scenic roadway in the United States. Arrive at Crown Point Vista House, an overlook that sits high above the Columbia River. From here, go deeper into the Columbia River National Scenic Area to the first waterfall for the day, the dramatic Latourell Falls. This waterfall plunges 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt. Depending on the season, a short walk will take you closer to the falls. Proceed next to the grand Multnomah Falls, which plummets to the ground from 620 feet in two major steps. Explore the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge and stand on the easily accessible viewing platform that offers a full view of the Benson Bridge and cascading falls beyond. Next up is Hood River, known as the "Windsurfing Capital of the World", where you can explore and grab some lunch. After, set out heading south, through the Fruit Loop orchards and lavender farms. If time permits, you may even make a brief stop at one of the farm stands. Then, climb about 6,000 feet in elevation to Timberline Lodge. This National Historic Landmark sits proudly against Oregon’s highest peak, Mount Hood. Take a walking tour at the lodge and enjoy the Cascade Mountain Range views from the lodge’s patios, before a relaxing journey back to Portland.

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Hike and Winery Lunch

8. From Portland: Columbia Gorge Hike and Winery Lunch

Hike the forests and steppes of the Columbia Gorge, discover the natural and cultural history of the area, and get intimate with the most climatically diverse wine region in the USA on this small-group tour. Together with the other members of your group, learn about the history, terroir, and character of Columbia Gorge wine from your wine industry-honed interpretive guide. This day trip is a customized tour of up to 15 km of hiking, depending on the physicality of the group, 2 tasting room visits, and a visit to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum. In the morning, travel east of Portland as your guide takes you through the dramatic cliffs, terraces, and monoliths of the Columbia Gorge, a sea-level passage through the Cascades, containing the highest density of hanging waterfalls in the world. Stop at a fruit stand or fish stand for a bite to eat if you wish. After spending the morning hiking this sublime landscape, stop for lunch at a boutique winery, where you can taste wine in a historic building with a fascinating story. After lunch, visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum, where you can peruse the interpretive displays for more in-depth information on the natural and cultural history of the Columbia Gorge. Afterward, wander through the valleys, terraces, and synclines of the Columbia Gorge wine region, passing through charming little villages, while making another stop at a unique winery. Finally, head back to Portland and get dropped off at your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Portland, Oregon

What top attractions are a must-see in Portland, Oregon?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Portland, Oregon?

The best day trips and excursions from Portland, Oregon are:

Cannon Beach

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Other Sightseeing Options in Portland, Oregon

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What people are saying about Portland, Oregon

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 59 reviews

Our guide I think his name was Michael was very informative and knew a lot about the history of the local area. He kept the tour very interesting and was helpful answering questions I had . He even dropped us off at our Hotel instead of the pick up point . I really appreciated that so we didn’t have to do the 20 minute walk back .

This tour is a must see. The MULTNOMAH FALLS is absolutely stunning. The whole tour was perfect. Out tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable with this History of the area. We took the half day tour and at 67, was able to keep up which I was worried about but did it. Highly recommended!!❤️❤️

Enjoyable trip in a comfortable van to 4 waterfalls with interesting knowledge from the guide at each stop. Well worth the cost.

It was great and Gunner was an excellent guide. Very knowledge and communicated very well.

Awesome time. Great tour guide. Beautiful scenery.