The beautiful vistas of the Columbia River Gorge outside Gresham, Oregon, invite visitors to immerse themselves in the wonder. Breathtaking waterfalls, lovely wildflowers and more await those that make the trip to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. There, you’ll find an amazing view of the river and surrounding mountains.
But the area draws a lot of people, which can make it difficult to get to some of the best views. Additionally, paying for gas and finding parking can be a headache. For that reason, there are several ways to make your way to the Columbia River Gorge without having to take your own car.
>> Read “15 Things to Do in Gresham, Oregon”
Find out about the car-free ways to visit the Columbia River Gorge from Senior Lifestyle’s Courtyard Fountains community in Gresham, OR. That way, you can take part in hiking, photography, wildlife watching and more without having to worry about driving, parking or finding your way around an unfamiliar location.
How To Visit the Columbia River Gorge Car-Free
There are a number of ways to get to the Columbia River without driving there. You can take transportation by yourself, take a guided tour or visit more often with a pass. Here are a few of your options.
Buses and Rail
Amtrak – This rail service has daily trains around the area, with connections to other transportation to the Columbia River Gorge. Check for routes and times.
Columbia Gorge Express – This bus service runs between Portland and The Dalles seven days a week, with connections to other routes. It’s operated by Columbia Area Transit (CAT).
Gorge Translink – Gorge Translink is a group of public bus transportation providers connecting travelers with services in the area. Among its members are CAT, Mt. Adams Transportation Services, Sherman County Transit, Skamania County Transit and The LINK in Wasco County. Vanpools and other options are also available through Gorge Translink.
Greyhound Bus – Service is offered from Portland to The Dalles, with connections to the Gorge. Check for routes and times.
Mt. Hood Express – This public bus service runs along Highway 26, and takes you to transit centers that will connect you with service directly to Mt. Hood.
Tours and Shuttles
America’s Hub World Tours – Tours are available for Mt. Hood, for a half-day or full-day Gorge expedition. Other packages, including for wine stops, are available.
Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler – Sightseeing cruises on an authentic sternwheeler are available May through October. Cruise along the Columbia River on one- or two-hour narrated sightseeing excursions to the Bridge of the Gods, Wind Mountain and more. Brunch and dinner cruises are available.
Gorge Guided – This company offers several guided bus shuttle tours of the Columbia River Gorge, along with helicopter tours.
Gorge Waterfalls Tour – This van package, offered by Wildwood Adventures, is a four-hour expedition around the area, with snacks and water provided. An eight-hour Gorge Waterfalls and Mt. Hood Tour is also available.
Gray Line Tours – A half-day tour by Gray Line features stops at the Bonneville Dam, Latourell Falls and Multnomah Falls and Lodge. Daily tours are offered from mid-June through early September, with limited tours at other times. Another open-air narrated trolley tour along the Historic Columbia River Highway is also available.
Sasquatch Shuttle – This service offers convenient parking and allows passengers to hop off and explore along the Historic Columbia River Highway and the Columbia River Gorge. Pets are welcome, too.
Vintage Tour Bus Company – Learn about the history of the area and migration of the pioneers of the 1840s during this tour in a vintage bus. You’ll also learn the geology and history of the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway. Other options include wine tours, Oregon coast tours and more.
Gorge Pass – One of the most popular options for visiting the Columbia River Gorge is the Gorge Pass, which offers unlimited annual access and rides to and from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge.
Experience the Beauty of Gresham, OR, at Courtyard Fountains
Senior Lifestyle’s Courtyard Fountains community in Gresham offers Independent and Active Living options in a resort-like environment. The fun, inviting staff at Courtyard Fountains surrounds residents with the care they need and a smile they deserve.