Playing all day long is easy when you have access to miles upon miles of incredible hiking trails, one of the largest rivers West of the Mississippi, and access to world-class golf courses and any activity you could ever dream of. If you’re only visiting the Columbia River Gorge for a couple of days and don’t want to miss any of the fun, you could try for a classic 3-sport day. In the Gorge you can usually hit 2 or 3 sports in the same day for one epic day filled with adventure and explorations. Here are a couple of our favorite combinations for the ultimate outdoor lovers.
Even if you don’t rise at the crack of dawn, you can still enjoy a sunrise salutation and channel your inner yogi any time of the day. Roll out a mat or a towel before or after breakfast and get into your flow while gazing out upon Dog Mountain and evergreen trees. Want somewhere special to practice? Check out the Best Spots to Get Your Vinyasa On in the Gorge to find your perfect spot.
After you’re all limbered up, take off on a bike ride through the Gorge. Whether you prefer road biking or the rugged terrain of mountain biking, the options are limitless and just minutes away. For a moderate road biking route riddled with thick shoulders and jaw-dropping views take the Historic Columbia River Highway. The 4.5 mile stretch between Hood River and Mosier is the perfect distance to exercise your legs and drops you in Hood River for a delicious lunch. If forested routes are your passion, you can choose from easy to difficult trails that lead you to waterfalls or mountain tops. Peruse through Our Favorite Mountain Biking Trails to find the path that will lead you to new heights.
We’re not gonna lie, you’ll be exhausted after a morning yoga session and a scenic bike ride, but cruising around on a stand-up paddleboard can be perfectly soothing and allows you to relax while you take in the views. Waucoma Basin at the base of Hood River is sheltered from the rest of the river and allows you to gently float around. Hood River SUP and Kayak will rent you your floatation device of choice. Soak up the sun and enjoy the fresh air of the Gorge.
Looking at the steep mountains along the Gorge, you wouldn’t suspect it but there are incredible golf courses tucked away into the valleys and shores on both the Washington and Oregon sides. On the Washington side, both the Skamania Lodge and the North Bonneville Golf Course offer unique courses with rolling hills and evergreen pines. Book an early tee time and watch the Gorge come alive for the day.
After your game of golf, set out to explore the mountains that you’ve been staring at all morning. Even driving along the Gorge you’ll most likely spot Bald Eagles flying high in the sky along with several other large birds of prey who inhabit the area. Near the river you’ll find many birds named after Lewis and Clark including Clark’s Grebe and Lewis’s Woodpecker along with plenty of waterfowl. Travel up any of the mountains and you’ll find woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and all sorts of songbirds.
Embark on a sunset kayak tour through the Gorge and watch as the golden hour lights up the valley. The Gorge Paddling Center offers guided tours with all the gear included so all you have to do is show up at the right time and bring a camera.
Strap on your hiking boots, fill your water bottles, grab your poles, and hit the trails. Whistle Punk Trail is a fun and easy 1.5-mile loop that leads you through an old logging site filled with informational signs and old relics of times gone by. Indian Racetrack Trailhead to Red Mountain Lookout is a 5-mile round trip hike through old evergreen forests, sunny meadows filled with wildflowers, and serene mountain lakes. This area was used by the local tribes as a place to race horses and unwind. Finish the walk to picturesque Red Mountain Lookout, one of the last manned fire lookouts in the state.
As one of the consistently windiest areas in the country, the Columbia River Gorge offers ideal conditions for kitesurfing. Between 10 am and 2 pm, the winds are consistent and strong enough to let you glide around the water with nothing but a sail to pull you. You can take lessons from one of the many tour groups in Hood River and try a completely new and exciting sport.
After a hefty hike through the Washington wilderness and a kitesurfing lesson, kick back and relax with a line in the water. The river is overflowing with Bass, Salmon, Walleye, and Trout. Along the Washington shores of the Gorge, there are secluded lakes that offer a serene and calm spot to hang out at for a couple of hours. Pack a picnic and admire the expansive beauty all around you.
The Columbia River Gorge has so much to offer that you won’t want to miss a thing. Test your endurance and get the most out of your trip with a classic 3-sport rally. Afterward, your luxurious cabin will be waiting for you with a bubble bath, cozy campfire, and a delicious s’more to congratulate your amazing day.
Planning a trip to the Columbia River Gorge? Book a stay at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, our upscale B&B in Carson, Washington offering dreamy cabins and gorgeous mountain views to make your getaway an unforgettable experience.