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Fruit Loop, Mt Hood, Gorge Boat Tour - One Day?

Tucson, Arizona
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Fruit Loop, Mt Hood, Gorge Boat Tour - One Day?

Is it possible to do a Sternwheeler 2 hour boat cruise out of Cascade Locks, stop at Multnomah Falls, drive the Historic Columbia River Highway, see Timberline Lodge, stop in downtown Hood River, drive the Fruit Loop in Hood River Valley all in one day? If not, what is a recommended full day tour to get in as much as possible of this area? Thanks in Advance for your help!

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Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Fruit Loop, Mt Hood, Gorge Boat Tour - One Day?

I was with you until you mentioned Timberline.

It is doable if you hurry, but if you want to relax and enjoy things, it would be a long very long day.

You could drive on 84 to Bridal Veil Exit and head into Multnomah Falls. The Lodge there has a restaurant and a hot dog stand. The visitor information center is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers. They can give you maps and brochures.

Then you can finish (you'll be on the Old Scenic Highway) by driving to Ainsworth Park where you pick up 84 again and go on to make your reservations for the Sternwheeler. (unless you have them) You could drive around the Fruit Loop while you are waiting to board.

Then after the trip finish up the Fruit Loop, and take highway 35 about another long hour and have have dinner at Timberline (by Government Camp). The sunset is beautiful there as you exit after dinner.

You can take Highway 26 on down to 84 to return to Portland.

Longview, Washington
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for Mount Rainier National Park
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2. Re: Fruit Loop, Mt Hood, Gorge Boat Tour - One Day?

Unless the Sternwheeler cruise goes thru the locks at Bonneville (and I'm pretty sure the 2 hr cruise does not), I would skip the sternwheeler. It's fun, but it takes too much time and is not really that exciting IMO.

Start your trip from Troutdale and take the Scenic Historic Columbia Gorge Hiway, stopping at the Women's Forum, Vista House, and the numerous waterfalls along the road. Most are just short walks to the foot of the falls. Stop at Bonneville Dam and see the fish ladders and fish counting station, the sturgeon ponds and feed the fish at the trout/steelhead pond.

Continue on I-84 to Hood River, then take Hiway 35 (Fruit loop)thru Parkdale to Hwy 26. You might want to have supper at Timberline Lodge, then return to Portland via Hwy 26.

There is plenty to do and see without the sternwheeler cruise and it just doesn't make sense to try to include it into the loop trip. If you were just driving to Hood River and back and not going to Mt. Hood, then it would probably be doable.

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3. Re: Fruit Loop, Mt Hood, Gorge Boat Tour - One Day?

Ditto to everything Kitters recommended. I do this same trip quite often, and it really is an enjoyable day around the mountain!

IMHO, there isn't much you are going to see on the Sternwheeler that isn't easily seen from land. So unless you specifically want to take a cruise on the river, I would skip it and spend that time exploring the waterfalls along the historic highway, or some other point of interest along the way.

Many visitors make the mistake, IMHO, of just stopping at Vista House, and then hightailing it for Multnomah Falls. Do take the time to explore some of the other waterfalls along the way, such as Latourell, Wahkeena, and Horsetail Falls.

Keep in mind, during summer months the parking lot at Multnomah Falls fills up fast. So, you may want to take that in to consideration and get an early start.

4. Re: Fruit Loop, Mt Hood, Gorge Boat Tour - One Day?

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