* Latourell & Multnomah
Falls (viewing bridges) hikes are typically automatically included
in your tour itinerary. Wahkeena (viewing bridge) & Bridal Veil Falls hikes are often included in the itinerary, and are
recommended. These are short hikes (15-30 minutes RT max.).
All other hikes ('extended hikes') are an option and must be pre-arranged before your tour;
otherwise they are not an option. NOTE: All hikes are self-guided hikes
and are optional; including the standard hikes, where your driver/guide will not be accompanying your group. To add the
Bonneville Dam, please notify us or your tour guide ahead of time; the 5-6 hour tour option
You do not have to participate in any hike as views of all of the
standard falls (except Bridal Veil) are all
had without hiking.
Trailhead Release Agreement
form is required from your group (see below *) to hike on any optional/extended hike.
This does not apply with the standard (viewing bridge) hikes. Be prepared for inclement
weather (rain, snow, cold, ice, wind etc.) during winter time tours. Be prepared for rainy weather during summer time tours,
and dress appropriately.
* ALL HIKES ARE SOLO 'SELF-SERVICE' HIKES;
your driver and/or tour guide WILL NOT be accompanying your group on your hike due
to Forest Service regulations. While we
consider our extended hikes to be completely safe; in wilderness areas, possible
wilderness dangers are always present, including Falling—Please stay on the maintained trail. A Trailhead Release Agreement form
exonerating My Chauffeur of any responsibility on the trails will be required for your tour. Hikes
are not recommended for children or pets. Trails are typically not near restrooms or running water, so you should plan on carrying
your own water supply. Cliff sections (if applicable) are exposed, so anyone subject
to vertigo should proceed carefully, and turn back if the first set of
cliffs are uncomfortable... If you
have any apprehensions about nature hiking and/or nature areas, you should
not do the extended hikes. The trail surfaces are often rocky and uneven, and anything less than
a good pair of hiking shoes or boots is not adequate. Also keep in mind that
the Columbia Gorge is home to
and it grows along some sections of the some trails. If you're
susceptible to it, keep an eye out in sunny, open cliff-tops and open oak
forests. Long pants are a good idea is you're particularly sensitive.
We are here to help plan your Gorge tour, answer questions and/or make
suggestions. Give us a call at 503-969-4370 (toll-free
EMAIL US. If you have already made a reservation,
** The options of Bonneville Dam and Upper Horsetail Falls require more
time than our standard stops. Please notify your guide ahead of
time to be able to accommodate this in your schedule (we will drop out
other stops) unless you want to extend your tour to the 5-6 hour option.
*** Mt. Hood tour option is
between 8-10 hours long.
Much more than a dam awaits visitors to
this historic site
A 'stones throw' from Multnomah Falls, this addition is convenient to add or
substitute for other stops. See salmon & sturgeon up close and view
the inner workings of this magnificent dam.
Built in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the lock & dam is the oldest
of about 14 federal dams built on the Columbia River. Enjoy watching
salmon and other fish swim up the ladders; take a tour and visit the
powerhouse and the navigation lock.
The historic Bonneville Fish Hatchery
is located just below the dam and has pools of sturgeon (see below) and
trout. You may view young salmon in the rearing ponds and during the
fall see them process the adults.
It was a FDR New Deal project aimed at
providing hydropower production, fish and wildlife protection, recreation
and navigation. Inside the
visitors center you may view the fish ladder, where fish return from the
ocean to their birthplace to spawn. You may take a guided tour through the
powerhouse, and watch the turbines at work. We will also visit the
neighboring historic sturgeon pond & viewing center (see below). And if we see a tugboat
or barge coming, we can hurry to the shipping canal to see them locked through to
the upper level of the river.
The Dam spans the
Columbia River and links the two states. From interpretive hiking trails,
day-use picnic areas, hatchery and powerhouse tours, a full-fledged educational
visitor's center and underwater fish-viewing windows, views of
Table Mountain and wildlife viewing, a
visit to Bonneville Dam will not disappoint.
Take a guided tour through the
visitor's center & powerhouse, and watch the turbines at work. The
Washington Shore Facility offers something extra special. You can walk
on top of an operating generator and look inside the spinning shaft.
The facility features a fascinating array of
historical exhibits, 2
educational theaters, the tour of the powerhouse, fish ladders and views of
the spillway! Picnic areas abound, even for groups of up to 100.
There are visitors' centers on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the
dam, and we typically visit the Bradford Island Center on the Oregon side
(see map below right).
The First Powerhouse Tour provides a
view of the generators. If you are
specifically interested in the production of electricity, you should
consider visiting the Second Powerhouse on the Washington shore, where
visitor areas have been created to allow you to safely walk on
top of a running generator.
The fish hatchery and dam are open year-round from
9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is best to visit the dam in the months of April
through September when the salmon are more abundant, but you can view fish
at any time of the year.
During the fall, when the Chinook
run is at its peak, thousands of these massive fish pass up the dam every
day. A highlight is where the underwater
fish viewing windows
give visitors a mesmerizing look inside the fish
Current fish count
Sturgeon in the Viewing Center
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-
We also can see the spectacular
historic fish hatchery, sturgeon pond & sturgeon viewing center
video). The hatchery highlights include the Hatchery
Operations Building where salmon are processed; rearing ponds for young
salmon; and ponds where live sturgeon and trout may be viewed and fed. For
hatchery tours call 541-374-8393. You'll see Herman the Sturgeon, the 11
foot long, 500 lb., 70 year old resident lurking among his huge pre-historic
relatives in the Sturgeon pond. Sturgeon are 'dinosaurs with fins', the
oldest fish on the planet, about 200 million years old. The Columbia
River has the largest population of white sturgeon on the planet, about
1,000,000 below Bonneville Dam. Hatchery and dam are open year-round
from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
During summer months, the Sternwheeler,
operated by the Port of Cascade
Locks may be boarded at the dock near the Bradford Island Visitor Center
parking lot. For schedules and reservations contact the Port of Cascade
Locks, Oregon at 541-374-8619
* Because of security concerns, visitors may
be required to show ID, and it is not possible to cross the entire dam.
During most of the year, more fish use the Washington shore fish ladders, so
fish viewing may be better on the Washington side of the dam. Guided
powerhouse walks (free; 45 minutes) on the Oregon side are scheduled hourly
or bi-hourly from 10-4 daily and on the Washington side they are scheduled
at 10:30, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. every day. Call 541-374-8820 on the
morning of your tour to check on tour availability or schedule a private
tour for large groups. Self-guided tours of the facilities (9-5pm) are
For security reasons: Backpacks & purses are not allowed on the Powerhouse
tour. In addition, a COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF ALL ATTENDEES ON THE POWERHOUSE
TOUR IS REQUIRED. Give the list to your Bonneville Dam guide when you
arrive at the Dam visitor center.