The Rowena Plateau is truly a sight to see in the springtime. The normally dry scrub oak savanna bursts forth with color between late March to early May. Thousands of blooming wildflowers carpet the hillsides as far as the eye can see. From the showy yellow Balsam Root to the varying shades of blue or yellow Lupine to the brilliant clusters of red or orange Indian Paintbrush. Be sure to bring a sack lunch to eat when we stop off at a local vineyard for a wine tasting. We will continue on to the wildflowers, and later watch ospreys and hawks soaring high above while enjoying a snack at the Rowena viewpoint that overlooks the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge.
Meeting PlaceFor the time being, all pick ups will need to arranged outside the Portland City limits until I get all my licensing taken care of.
PriceBase Fee: $540 (6 tickets), then $90 per person after that.
(All wine and sightseeing tours are based on $90 per persons except Coastal Tours.)
IncludedWater and snacks.
Wine tastingTasting fees not included due to some people wanting to share a flight or wanting to buy two bottle in which the tasting fee is include into the purchase price.
Lunch optionsWe recommend you bring a sack lunch or picnic. Gus the Bus will have water and snacks.
OptionsWe can also make the tour alcohol-free and go right into the wildflowers
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HISTORIC COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE SCENIC HIGHWAY
Travel I-84 to Mosier at the east end of the Historic Columbia River Highway to drive up into the wildflowers country.
MEMALOOSE ISLAND VIEWPOINT
Before hiking out into the wildflowers of the Rowena Plateau, stop at the Memaloose Island Overlook. Memaloose comes from Chinookan menalust, meaning “to die” or Iiahee meaning “Land of the Dead”. Memaloose Island was one of the larger islands used by the native peoples to bury their dead.
Rowena Overlook is a place to walk out among the wildflowers. There may be a chance to see ospreys or hawks playing in the wind thermals created by the nearby cliffs. Bring a good camera because this is a photographer’s paradise.
ROWENA LOOP DRIVE
After having a wonderful time in among the wildflowers, descend down the winding old highway (often used for national car commercials) to I-84 and back to Portland.
Here are two wonderful wineries in the Rowena Plateau area that we will make reservation for. However we may substitute these wineries with others if they are unavailable for your party.
ANALEMMA Analemma Wines was built upon the opportunity to lease one of the oldest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest: The Atavus Vineyard. With just twelve acres of history and a vision, the two set out to breathe life back into the old vines, ferment rare fruit and bottle a truly unique vinous expression of the Columbia Gorge.
GARNIER VINEYARDS On the old highway, we will stop at Garnier Vineyards for a box lunch and enjoy a flight or glass of wine. The vineyard, sitting on the edge of a bluff overlooking the vineyard, offers a breathtaking view of the dry end of Columbia River Gorge and is a nice way to kick off a day of exploration.
mtaddeo | April 2019: I was beyond impressed by the experience! Sean (the owner) called me days before the tour to make sure the itinerary was just right for the experience we wanted. He even went above and beyond and checked to make sure the wildflowers were blooming before the tour. Thank you, Sean, for a great day!