Like a Local
Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
The Ice Caves
No matter how warm it is outside, these caves are full of icy stalactites and stalagmites. Created from lava tubes under Mt Adams, the caves trap in moist cold air meaning you can find ice down there into June. The cave is 650-feet long and features all kinds of cool geological features like a natural bridge and the ice crystal grotto.
The Cabin Drive Through
This kid- and fido-friendly shack off Highway 14 is a tradition to local hikers who pop in to fuel up before heading into the woods and mountains for the day. This little log building is known for its superb coffee and tea drinks as well as simple and tasty breakfasts to-go like their signature breakfast bombs made of sourdough rolls stuffed with meat, cheese, potatoes, peppers, and onions.
Moon River Home and Living
If you’re looking to take a little bit of Washington home with you, Moon River is the place to stop. The shop is full of rustic and antique finds served with a side of espresso drinks and baked goods from the onsite café. This shop is great for browsing or having a friendly chat with the owners who overflow with small town friendliness.
Out on a Limb
This shop blends a chic style with the laid-back cool of Washington. You’ll find everything from moto jackets and embroidered cotton tops to organic skin products and engraved stainless flasks. Whether you are looking for a souvenir for yourself or someone back home, Out on a Limb has just the thing.
Dog Creek Falls
Despite being a rather large and beautiful waterfall, it is one that is often overlooked while hikers head up the Dog Mountain Trail. Keep an eye out for a small pull off just two miles east of the Dog Mountain trailhead. The 25-foot cascade is tucked just .1 miles off the road.
How to spend 48 hours in Stevenson, with Skamania Lodge as your base camp.
6 p.m. | Catch the Sun Setting on the Highest Waterfall in Oregon
Multnomah Falls is a stunning 611-foot falls made up of two cascades spanned by a picturesque bridge. Unlike many of the falls in the area, Multnomah doesn’t dry up in the summer months and is an amazing sight in any season. The best part? The viewing area is right off of I-84 so there is no strenuous hiking necessary.
8 p.m. | Grab Pizza and Beers at Backwoods Brewery
Just six miles from the resort, this brewery is known for more than its 16 taps pouring exclusively their own brews, like the ever-popular Off Grid IPA. A long with their many brews, the brewery’s pub slings out some of the best pizza in the area. As an added bonus, in warmer weather, there is live music on the patio
9 a.m. | Shop North Bank Books
Stevenson’s downtown is full of charming shops and restaurants. A walk through town peeking into boutiques is the perfect way to spend a morning. Stop into North Bank Books for the chance to bump into an author giving a reading, or just peruse their shelves of new and used books focused on local culture, nature, and “all things literary.”
2 p.m. | Late Lunch at Ferment
After a long hike, take a load off at Chef Matt Hale’s favorite brewery, Ferment, just 13 miles from the trailhead in Hood River. Along with a wide array of ales and lagers, Ferment also offers its own line of kombucha. You can try both while snacking on lamb, falafel, and pork-based sandwiches and wraps in their sleek and modern tasting room overlooking the river gorge.
6 p.m. | Catch a Show at the Bingen
This community theatre is home to everything from theatrical productions like The Odd Couple and Chicago to touring artists from the area and around the country. You’ll also find special events like community dances and shadow-casted screenings of Rocky Horror Picture Show.
9 p.m. | S'mores by the Fire Pit
Finish the night tucked up around a firepit outside of the Tree House Suites. Located away from the lodge, these pits feel like they are deep in the forest, while still offering the convenience of a full-service resort, like providing the necessary ingredients to make s'mores on site.
10 a.m. | Coffee at GottaHavaJava
After breakfast in bed delivered by the resort’s Green Apron delivery service, it’s time to hit the town. Start off with a stiff cuppa’ from this local favorite. GHJ (as it’s known locally) is less a full-service café and more a little log shack/drive through coffee stand. The coffee, tea, Italian sodas, and milkshakes are great, but most people keep coming back for the down-home feeling. Make it before the crowds and you’ll find a friendly staff, excited to tell you all about their favorite things to do in the area.
11 a.m. | Hike Dog Mountain
Getting to the summit of any mountain is a treat, but there is something truly special waiting at the top of this 2,800-foot mountain. The 3.5 miles to the top can be difficult in places, but well worth it to reach the wildflower meadow that caps the top of this “bald” mountain. From your vantage point among the fields of yellow flowers you’ll be offered a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and the gorge below.
The best food artisans, farms, and local markets.
ROOTS Farmacy Cooking Classes
Making use of the Columbia River Gorge’s many sustainable farms and orchards, ROOTs Farmacy offers group classes on how to make one of a kind dishes using entirely farm-to-table ingredients. Classes can be tailored to the group, meeting the needs of any dietary restrictions.
Skunk Brothers Spirits
Normally when talking about liquor, saying something is “skunked” means it’s gone bad, but that isn’t the case here. Keeping to the traditions passed down from their moonshiner grandfather, these modern day “moonshiners” make gin, vodka, and whiskey along with brandies and cordials made from locally sourced pacific northwest ingredients.
The Fruit Loop
Not the crunchy, multi-colored cereal from your childhood, this fruit loop is something your doctor would approve of. The Hood River area is home to almost 30 different fruit stands all clustered around the base of Mt. Hood. Stop in for fresh fruit and vegetables as well as homemade baked goods and plenty of locally vented wines.
Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association
Imagine sipping organic and handcrafted wines in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain. That’s what you’ll find across the Columbia River Gorge’s two AVAs (we’re talking more than 90 vineyards!) These grapes produce mostly boutique wines that can be sampled at the areas 50 wineries.
When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.
Rock Climbing up Beacon Rock
Beacon Rock juts up out of the forest as a 400-foot shear rock face unlike anything else in the Columbia River Gorge Area. The climb is rigorous and varied offering challenges for even the most experienced of climbers, though if you are looking for something a little more accessible, consider just following the cliffside walkways that will take you to the base of the climbing face (still just over 400 feet above the river).
Located right on site, this adventure park offers two ways to get into the trees. The two-hour zip line tour offers seven different zip lines through the rainforest’s moss-covered Douglas firs. The aerial park offers a Swiss Family Robinson-type adventure with 23 different challenges, all suspended across the tree tops.
Hood River Waterplay
Hood River’s trained and friendly staff offer wind surfing classes off of their own private beach. The certified instructors offer lessons for all skill ranges as well as rentals for those who are comfortable zipping across the water of the gorge all on their own.
Whitewater Rafting on the White Salmon River
Located smack in between Washington and Oregon, Zoller is the only white-water company on the White Salmon River. Their adventures are entirely customizable, whether you are looking for a fast, high-adrenaline trip, or something longer and more scenic.
- Like a LocalQuirky, below-the-radar highlights only a local could recommendRead More
- The WeekenderHow to spend 36 hours here, with the resort as your basecamp.Read More
A Benchmark Resort & Hotel
Skamania Lodge, 1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way, Stevenson, WA 98648 P: 509-314-4177 Toll Free Reservations: 844-432-4748