It’s mid-November and we headed to Hood River, Oregon. We came with plans for fishing but the timing was not on our side. The salmon run was about over and the steelhead were not quite running. It was pretty cool for down wind runs on our standup boards in the Columbia. But a weekend – winter or fall – at the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn in Hood River was just the ticket for some much needed R&R. We came for the views, the room, the food and some amazing local hikes (think waterfalls).
We arrived late afternoon on Friday. Yes, there was music in the bar (beautiful blues) and (what a bonus) buy one amazing entree in the Riverside dining room and get one half off. Such perks are just the tip of the “bonus” iceberg at the Hood River Inn. One of our favorites is the collection of art, featuring the beauty and spirit of the area, gracing every hall throughout the property. We always take the time to stroll the spacious hallways from wing to wing, noticing each unique painting and photo. Nothing gets you in the Pacific Northwest mood like these plentiful images.
Even though we could have enjoyed being on the river in Hood River’s only waterfront dining room, it was winter-dark at 6:00. We decided to sit in the bar with its “Friday Night Fun” energy and ambiance. Food, as always, perfect. We were in the mood for a great hamburger and were not disappointed. From fresh and local seafood to exquisitely prepared pasta, choices abound.
Morning dawned sunny and stellar so we grabbed a riverside table for the (included) freshly prepared breakfast. Check out the menu for all the choices. We chose the shaved prime rib and bacon hash with eggs – yes, it was over-the-moon fantastic. We wanted a stick-to-our-ribs breakfast because the day was perfect for some waterfall hiking.
There are plenty of hikes that are ideal for the crisp days of Fall and Winter in the Hood River area. Our decision about which hike to do was not easy. We stopped at the reception desk and Hood River Inn staff chatted, full of information from their own experiences. They offered a colorful map with eight different waterfall hikes detailed and mapped.
One hike is the easy to moderate 5 mile out-and-back hike begins below the Bridge of the Gods — spanning the Columbia River off I-84 — and runs along the Pacific Crest Trail for a little more than two miles before reaching a dirt road that leads to Dry Creek Falls. Colors are best in mid- to late October. Even in late November the woods and mossy greens are delightful.
This is your invitation to visit Hood River in the Fall and Winter. It’s an experience to savor.