Hood River is located along I-84 just south of the border between Oregon and Washington, defined by the Columbia River. The closest airport is Portland International Airport, about 60 miles (95 km) away, the largest airport in the state. The five terminals service airlines that offer non-stop flights to cities across the United States as well as a few other countries, including Canada, Japan, and the Netherlands, with connecting flights to many other countries. Flights to cities in the west, including Alaska and Hawaii, are particularly numerous, though large international airlines such as American, Continental and Delta fly to major hubs in the Midwest and East as well.

Portland is also a major transit point for Amtrak. The Amtrak Cascades line runs from Vancouver to Eugene-Springfield and stops at Seattle and a few other Washington cities. Coast Starlight is an option for Californian travelers; the line runs along the coast through to Los Angeles. There is also the Empire Builder for visitors from the northern Midwest and Rockies region. Portland is the last stop on a line that includes Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Fargo, North Dakota.

The best way to get from Portland to Hood River is to rent a car and take I-84 going east. Hood River is located at Exit #63. Greyhound also offers buses several times daily between Hood River and Portland. The trip takes just over an hour. Most other buses going to Hood River require transferring at another station.

Small jets and private planes can also land at Hood River Airport, but has a much smaller landing strip