Oregon Nature, Waterfalls September 09, 2019
The Columbia Gorge Express In Oregon Will Lead You To Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls is one of the
most popular waterfalls in the Beaver State, but it holds a special place in the hearts of locals. It can be quite a boondoggle to visit during summer months, but if you don’t want to do the driving (and try to find a place to park!), the Columbia Gorge Express might be a good solution.
Have you tried driving the Columbia River Highway on a holiday? It's a complete mess, with both locals and tourists trying to get to the gorge's most popular spots. There's a better way.
The Columbia Gorge Express will get you there without all the fuss. Bring a book and relax while the shuttle driver deals with the traffic.
The shuttle runs between Gateway Transit Center in Portland, Rooster Rock State Park, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks, and Hood River. You can park at any of the stops except Multnomah Falls. Parking is free at the large lot at Gateway Transit Center. You'll pay $5 to park at Rooster Rock, and you'll have to find street parking or public lots at Hood River and Cascade Locks.
If you've ever visited Multnomah Falls during the summer, you know what a mess parking can be there. No worries - the shuttle will pull right up and let you out. Stress free!
No matter how many times you drive back and forth through the gorge, its views are alway jaw-dropping. It can be pretty dangerous to crane your head up to see everything while you're driving, but when you're on the bus, you can gaze out the windows to your heart's content.
The Columbia Gorge Express only stops at Rooster Rock State park during summer months. The company switches to its fall schedule in mid-September, so if you want to check this park out without parking, hop aboard soon.
For a cool day trip, take a hike, then stop for beers at Thunder Island Brewing Company in Cascade Locks. Show 'em your bus ticket, and get a discount, then drink up all you want...you'll be taking the shuttle back, so you won't have to worry about driving while intoxicated.
The Columbia Gorge Express is a great way to get to and fro without the hassle, and you might even meet some interesting people along the way! The shuttle is particularly popular with PCT hikers, who hop on at Cascade Locks and take a ride into town.
Does this shuttle sound like the solution to all your driving hassles to and from the gorge? If so, there are a few more things to know.
Only water is allowed on the buses, so finish your snack or soda before boarding. Pets aren't allowed on the bus (service animals are welcome). All buses are wheelchair accessible, and each bus can also carry up to three bikes as well as strollers that are fully-collapsible.
Passengers ages six and younger ride for free; for everyone else the fares are still pretty reasonable. You can ride round-trip from Portland to Multnomah Falls for just $5. If you want to thoroughly explore the gorge, get an all-day pass for just $12, and if you're traveling with friends, get the all-day group pass for four people for $40. The best way to get your ticket is online.
Have you ridden the Columbia Gorge Express? Tell our readers about your experience!
Visit Columbia Gorge Express’
website for details and to get your ticket, and follow the company’s Facebook page for the latest updates.
While you’re at the falls, you’ll want to dine at Multnomah lodge.
Check out our feature article here.