Hood River rests on the banks of the magnificent Columbia River, 60 miles east of Portland. Situated in the fertile Hood River Valley, the town is surrounded by beautiful fields, orchards, and vineyards. It lies within sight of snow crested Mount Hood and is nestled within the dramatic cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge. Hood River has a reputation built on bounteous agricultural delights such as apples, pears, peach and cherries, but has recently garnered attention as a world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding destination. There are unmatched opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, and many other recreational activities.
Traditionally a quaint agricultural town, Hood River’s population was last counted at less than 7,000. In recent years it has become a bustling and internationally renowned recreational hub. Hood River’s economy is based on fruit agriculture, tourism and recreation, and has recently attracted high-tech industries. The town has received numerous accolades from major publications, listing it among “Top 20 Dream Towns,” “Best Places to Live,” and recently in Outside magazine as “Adventure Mecca.” Boundless recreational opportunities promote an active outdoor sports community.
Hood River is growing as a tourist destination largely based on its popularity as an “Adventure Mecca.” It provides easy access to the waters of the Columbia River Gorge, internationally famed for superior windsurfing and kiteboarding. The 2009 Windsurfing National Championships were hosted by Hood River, which also hosts the annual Mount Hood Cycling Classic, and Gorge Games—featuring professional 10 sport competitions including windsurfing, kitesurfing, rock climbing, and outrigger canoeing. Year round skiing is available less than an hour south of town on the glacial slopes of Mount Hood.
There are numerous major scenic attractions within and surrounding Hood River. The Hood River Valley is thick with fields, orchards, and vineyards. The area is a gateway to the Mount Hood Scenic Byway which offers panoramic views of rivers, forests, and waterfalls, the snowy peaks of Mount Hood, and provides access to ski resorts. Hood River is located on the Historic Columbia River Highway, built along the awe-inspiring Columbia Gorge cliffs. Scenic rail tours are available through both the Hood River Valley and along the Columbia Gorge.
Agriculture and fruit production have traditionally contributed to the Hood River Valley’s international fame. There are almost a dozen wineries located in the valley, as well as a major Oregon microbrewery. The Hood River Valley Blossom Festival takes place every year in April, and in October the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest and Hood River Valley Hops Fest occur. Several historic sites, buildings, and museums reside in town.
Hood River is located 60 miles east of Portland, off Interstate 84 on the Columbia River Highway. To learn more about Hood River, please select a topic of interest from the navigation bar on the left.