Park Bench Chat

Native Peoples & Wildflowers of the Columbia Gorge

Explore the historic Columbia River Gorge, with its 600-foot waterfalls, 800 species of wildflowers, rich Native American and pioneer history, many Trust for Public Land projects, and scenic vistas at every turn.

Following a welcome dinner in Portland, we will head upriver along the Columbia River Highway, begun in 1916 as America’s first scenic road. We will stop at the lofty Crown Point Vista House, pass four cataracts within five miles, and hike to 620-foot Multnomah Falls. After lunch and a talk on river history at the Multnomah Falls Lodge, we will head to our home base, the 1921 Columbia Gorge Hotel, perched on a cliff near Hood River. After dinner, we will hear about the gorge’s geologic history.

A guided bike tour is one option for the next morning—or you may join Chinook tribal leaders for a walk along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. We will spend the afternoon at Lyle Point, a tribal fishing site protected with TPL’s help for the Yakama Nation.

On day three, an easy hike on the Rowena Plateau will take us through oak savannah splashed with wildflowers, with Mount Adams and Mount Hood looming in the distance. Following lunch at Celilo Village—former site of Celilo Falls, an important tribal trading site—we’ll visit the Maryhill Museum of Art, once home of railroad magnate Sam Hill, with its extensive collection of Native American and 20th-century European art.

Our trip will conclude with a visit to Horsethief Lake State Park, where artist and educator Elisabeth Woody of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will interpret the story “She Who Watches,” an ancient rock-art face that sits high on a park bluff.



    Dates: July 13-17, 2011
    Days/Nights: 5/4
    Max Group Size: 14
    Price (Per Person):
    Double $2,816  Single $3,216