Multnomah Falls and other waterfalls and vistas of the Columbia Gorge are astonishing icons of geology, the sort that have inspired mythology and lore of warriors, gods and passions in every world culture. Meet the tallest waterfall in the state, and a few of the shorter but even more stunning ones, too; falls which could only be the daughters and sons of legend. In this half-day experience, we will explore and meditate on wonders in our customizable small-group, half-day experience with hikes (up to 3 miles/5 km) and visits to overlooks and vistas that will have you gasping in awe. While Multnomah Falls and its iconic Benson Bridge are together the most-visited tourist attraction in the Portland area, they are only a part of our experience. The 80 miles of the Columbia River Gorge’s steep rocky sides offer much more scenery. We will meet at our shop in inner SE Portland, where we'll ride in our Mercedes Sprinter vans to the nearby gorge. Depending on weather conditions, we could visit a few small hidden waterfalls or spectacular plunge-style falls whose columnar basalt has us learning words for "amazing" in other languages. We'll also tell you stories, geology, botany and oft-repeated tales of pioneers and road-builders, but also the old stories we've learned, of gods and wild spirits and about the oldest North American civilization, forever altered by “manifest destiny.”
I'm Sarah Gilbert, co-founder of Around Portland Tours and together with partners & guides Edwin, Evan, and Jeri will host the experiences. I'm a published writer of essays and professional storyteller, and each of the narratives around which our tours are based is a collaboration between us, writers and route designers, as a movable narrative, what we call place-based storytelling. Among us, we have decades of experience guiding bicycling, hiking and scenic tours in the Columbia Gorge, as well as full liability and injury insurance, City of Portland driver for hire permitting, wilderness readiness training and education in the botany and geology of this place. We have taken the best parts of our 1000s of visits and applied it to what we do here. More: aroundportlandtours.com @aroundportlandtours on Instagram
Meet in central Portland at 1210 SE 7th Ave to head to the Columbia River Gorge, full of waterfalls and wonders! We'll stop at the Vista House, conditions permitting, what we call the "fancy bathroom," so there will be options for gift shops, coffee, and photos galore. Each waterfall will include a short hike, so you may hike up to three miles (5 km) in total. If your group has appetite for more strenuous hikes, just ask; hiking is our business!
Multnomah Zen, a Gorge waterfall hike