Summer is officially here in the Columbia River Gorge. With schools out nearly everywhere, it’s the perfect excuse to get outdoors and explore somewhere new! Whether you’re from another part of Oregon, out of state or out of the country, there is something for everyone and for any length of visit.
Here are some ideas for a weekend getaway in Cascade Locks!
Multnomah Falls Breakfast + Hike
Enjoy upscale Northwest style cuisine with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients, in the beautifully preserved Multnomah Falls Lodge. Their lodge features romantic fireside dining in the Great Room, beautiful falls view tables in our atrium style Falls Room, or dramatic falls view and sounds from the Patio in the summer months. A great way to start your day off, right.
After breakfast, you can then hike up to the bridge at Multnomah Falls or to the very top. If you make it to the top, at 620 feet, you get an incredible view and photo opportunities! This waterfall, one of 77, is the most popular so prepare for summer crowds. There has been a shuttle developed to alleviate the car traffic during the busiest months, it can be taken from Rooster Rock State Park (exit 25). Extra tip: Once you’re at the top of the falls, you can take the six-mile Wahkeena Loop Trail, or continue on to the top of Larch Mountain to extend your colorful hike.
Lunch + Art in Cascade Locks
To replenish your energy stop in at Bridgeside for a variety of lunch items and a fantastic view of the Bridge of the Gods. Formerly known as Charburger, Bridgeside still retains historical character and memorabilia. The building was originally built as a drive-in style restaurant in 1946. After lunch, visit the gift shop for trinkets and treats.
With restaurants, a fish market, hotels, grocery store and other amenities in downtown Cascade Locks it’s easily a walkable town. Be sure to stop in at Lorang Fine Art located just on the other end of town, a ten minute walk from Bridgeside. More than 120 artists are represented in this eclectic store. Oil, acrylic, pastels and watercolor paintings add splashes of color throughout the gallery. Themes range from local landmarks, such as Mt. Hood and the Gorge, wildlife, along with Asian, and Native American motifs. The gift lines include cards, jewelry, glass art, wood work, baskets and pottery all made locally.
Dinner With a View
Thunder Island Brewing is located across from its namesake, Thunder Island on the Columbia River. Dog friendly outdoor seating is available as well as an indoor dining room. Check out the hiking artifacts and decor, they are bound to have stories behind them. If you’re lucky you can catch a community talk with topics about outdoor adventures.
At the end of the day check in at your lodging accommodations. There are a variety ofaccommodations in Cascade Locks. Whether you want to stay in acabin or travel in your RV or stay in a traditional hotel room, there is a spot for you! You can find tent camping, cabin stays and RV pull ins at the KOA minutes away from downtown Cascade Locks. (There’s even free all you can eat pancakes Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends!) If you prefer a smaller property, cabins are available at Cascade Motel or Bridge of the Gods Motel and RV Park. For a more “traditional” hotel room check out Best Western Plus Columbia River Inn or Columbia Gorge Motel. For a complete list of lodging visit here.
Brunch + Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler
Enjoy a 2 hour Brunch cruise aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler. This bountiful buffet featuring locally sourced breakfast items prepared fresh on board includes champagne. Ever changing views and a narration of the sights will make this Brunch quite memorable.
For an extra special treat, stop in at East Wind Drive-In famous for its triple decker ice cream cones and popularity with the PCT Hikers. East Wind Drive-In is even mentioned in Wild by Cheryl Strayed!
If you’re feeling guilty, head into the forest and hike off the morning’s delicious adventure. From the Bridge of the Gods you can hike to Dry Creek Falls, a 4.4 mile round trip. Even though you are hiking close to the freeway the luscious greenery melts your cares away.
Round out your day with a meal or craft beer at the Cascade Locks Ale House located in downtown Cascade Locks. With ten beers on tap you can also enjoy salads, pizzas, sandwiches and more! Take home a jar of their Sauerkraut, made with the same recipe since 1965. Extra tip: Call ahead or visit their website for a brewer’s tasting event.
For more information about what to do and see in and around Cascade Locks be sure to visit our main website page! We also have a list of events during the summer available… Who knows you may stop in on a Movie in the Park night, the Gem & Mineral Show or PCT Days.
The summer months haven’t officially kicked off but here in Cascade Locks it’s been feeling like summer for a few months! The Northwest has had record breaking temperatures in April with temperatures continuing to be bountiful in May.
With the beautiful weather comes a lot of visitors from near and far partaking in many activities. We see many eating ice cream at East Wind Drive Thru when the temperatures are soaring. We see many hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail and throughout the numerous hikes in and or around Cascade Locks.
Dogs of all sizes are more present in these sunny days, too! We see them often on Thunder Island or in Marine Park. Sometimes we get to see great shots of dogs next to Seaman in Marine Park. If you do not know who Seaman is, he’s a famous Newfoundland. He was on the Lewis and Clark expedition and it’s reported he’s the only dog that completed the journey. Lewis was rather found of Seaman, of course, and named a creek after him. Seaman was quite the protector chasing off squirrels, beavers and buffalo.
Another thing we start to see in Cascade Locks is more water activities. Whether it’s Gorge Flyboarding, the Sternwheeler cruises, children swimming on the beach the water “comes alive” during warm months. In June the town is active with the Sternwheeler Days in which numerous activities happen throughout Cascade Locks. There is music, a parade, teepees set up on Thunder Island and so much more! This year Sternwheeler Days will be June 24th through June 26th.
There are great opportunities for those who love the water and fish is Always Catchin’, a boat charter for all levels of experience. With tours lasting four or eight hours you truly get acquainted with the ins and outs of fishing. In May Salmon and Sturgeon are abundant with Sturgeon being extremely abundant in June!
No matter your adventure, you can “find your wild” in Cascade Locks during the Spring and Summer. We encourage you to check out an activity that peaks your interest and if that doesn’t help, we have plenty of water, mountains, grass, beer, locally caught fish, lodging accomodations and MORE, to hold you over.
Fall has certainly arrived in Cascade Locks. The trees are changing colors and the air is crisp. People are bundled up in scarves, jackets, hats while rain boots are making appearances. For some it may be unfathomable to enjoy the outdoors while it’s raining and brisk…. We beg to differ in Cascade Locks! This is the time to experience the hues of orange, red and yellow while hiking. This is the time to go fishing, hunting and mushroom picking. This is the time to experience the waterfalls at their grandest, they swell from rainfall.
Still don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions for the best hiking in the Fall around Cascade Locks. Hiking is fantastic in the Fall due to less traffic: car wise as well as people. Sometimes you may have a trail all to yourself!
On the Eagle Creek Trail you may witness spawning Salmon along the trail along with an autumnal color showcase amongst the surrounding trees. The trail is 3.3 miles and is quite popular on nice days. It’s a moderate hike with a round trip of 6.6 miles. First you will see Metlako Falls with a side trail leading to a view of Punchbowl Falls with the turn around being at High Bridge. This point is a sight crossing over a channel 120 feet high.
Directions: Follow I-84 east to exit 41. At the bottom of the ramp turn right. Go about 0.5 miles to the end of the road. You will go past a footbridge (that takes hikers up to Wauna Viewpoint) as the road narrows to one lane. Continue a short ways to a large parking lot at the road’s end. Coordinates: 45.63653, -121.91947. More information on trail directions here.
Dry Creek Falls offers bright gold, lush maple trees with a fantastic finish at a scenic 75-foot waterfall. This easy to moderate hike starts below the Bridge of the Gods running along the Pacific Crest Trail. This trail is great for families as it’s well marked and you feel like you have the whole trail to yourself.
Directions: Drive east on I-84 to Cascade Locks. Take the first Cascade Locks exit. Drive under the Bridge of the Gods and immediately turn right on the road toward the Bridge of the Gods. Before you get to the tollbooth, you’ll find the trailhead parking lot and large marker on the right, in the center of the road loop. Coordinates:45.6622, -121.89599. More information on trail directions can be found here.
For even more hiking information, visit our hiking section! Whether it’s Summer or Fall our area offers plenty of hiking throughout the year.
Cascade Locks, Oregon—BRIDGESIDE is the new name of the former Charburger, a Cascade Locks restaurant with a history stretching over a half-century. The fresh name reflects a new vision for this popular tourist stop, while much will remain the same and be familiar to long-time customers.
It’s never an easy decision to rebrand an established restaurant, especially one of regional significance along the historic Columbia River Highway, and the new Bridgeside brand is no exception. “Owners spent a great deal of time weighing pros and cons of a name change, and ultimately decided the Charburger name limits the vision we have for the restaurant,” explained Chuck Hinman, general manager at D.M. Stevenson Ranch. “The name Bridgeside tells a better story about the restaurant’s incredible location, and allows more flexibility to promote breakfast, lunch, dinner, and banquets.”
The new name highlights the restaurant’s location next to regional landmark Bridge of the Gods (named after the natural dam of Native American folklore) and alludes to the stunning views overlooking this special pocket of the Columbia River Gorge.
The 200-seat Charburger restaurant underwent extensive renovations last year, shortly after D.M. Stevenson Ranch’s purchase in July 2013. Those improvements included a new kitchen installation, freshening of the building interior and exterior, and an expanded menu. The kitchen remodel included installation of all-new equipment, a complete makeover of floor, ceiling and wall finishes, plus new HVAC and hood ventilation systems. Interior and exterior improvements included deep cleaning, painting, new tabletops, and bathroom remodel.
The 7,500 square-foot complex consists of the dining room, a gift shop, and lower level banquet / special event space. The updated special event space, formerly Sam Hill’s Den, is renamed “Bridgeside Terrace.” Bridgeside Terrace includes 1,800 square feet of indoor banquet space with bar, plus a 1,500 square feet outdoor terrace that seats 80 overlooking the Bridge of the Gods and Columbia River Gorge.
“Although we’ve made numerous improvements, we’ve retained the historic look and feel of the restaurant.” Hinman explains. “The purchase included the collection of Native American and western artifacts that patrons have appreciated over the decades and we intend to preserve them.”
Bridgeside’s menu will continue to primarily offer a variety of char-broiled burgers, French fries, fish and chicken strips, plus salad bar in the traditional Charburger cafeteria-style format. Executive Chef Mark DeResta expanded menus to incorporate his renowned housemade granola and veggie burger, corned beef hash, salmon chowder, and tomato bread soup. Rounding out menus are omelets, pancakes, specialty burgers, housemade chili, fresh Columbia River salmon (in season), steak and desserts. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are available online at BridgesideDining.com. DeResta is also Executive Chef at Riverside in Hood River.
The Bausch family owned Charburger for 50 years before Dan and Judy Bausch sold it to D.M. Stevenson Ranch. Both families have deep roots in Portland and the Columbia River Gorge. The restaurant was built as a drive-in in 1946 and purchased by Les Bausch in 1963—the same year segments of the new Interstate bypassed the old Columbia River Highway. Bausch previously worked for the Manning’s cafeteria-style restaurant chain at Lloyd Center. He expanded Charburger from a drive-in to the current cafeteria eatery in 1972, creating a dining destination complete with panoramic Columbia River views and regional memorabilia.
D.M.Stevenson Ranch also purchased the 63-room Best Western Plus Columbia River Inn next door to the Charburger in 2013. Hotel guests receive complimentary breakfasts at Bridgeside. D.M. Stevenson Ranch also owns the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn and its onsite restaurant, Riverside, 20 miles east of Cascade Locks in Hood River, OR. D.M. Stevenson Ranch is a limited liability corporation based in White Salmon, Washington, made up of 28 partners from the Stevenson family.
For more information, visit BridgesideDining.com.
Flyboarding has become a recent adrenaline junky water sport, it was invented only four years ago by a French watercraft rider. The United States started to adapt this new sport only three years ago. Thankful to Gorge Flyboard owned by Neil and Sue McCormick, Cascade Locks has a new sport in town! The feeling of being a superhero or a dolphin lends to a “perma smile” according to the Gorge Flyboard website.
A Flyboard setup is a bit more simpler than it sounds. It is about the length of a skateboard that is attached to a rider’s feet. The board is then connected to a hose that allows the outflow of a jet ski to propel it. The Flyboard is then steered by the rider with simple body movements. According to McCormick, “Realistically speaking, the flyboard is 1,000 gallons of water per minute, at over 60 PSI and almost 400 pounds lift of pure adrenaline-pumping, heart-pounding, eye-catching fun.”
Gorge Flyboard has two locations in the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River and Cascade Locks. They are the only certified flight school operating in Oregon and is one of about 30 currently in business in the United States! Learning to Flyboard seems to come naturally to most and is rather easy to learn. Within 5 to 10 minutes, most people are able to take off and soar through the sky. After approximately 15 to 20 minutes, clients are able to accomplish full basic control of their movements. Clients are provided with the proper safety equipment and a certified instructor who’s available to control your speed along with giving tips and tricks to make the experience that much better.
Flight experiences range from 30 minutes to four hours, giving lessons to individuals as well as groups. Booking is now available for summer and can be reserved via Gorge Flyboard’s website: http://gorgeflyboard.com/