Visiting Cascade Locks and The Dalles, we will learn about the great western migration of the early pioneer of the 1840s, the hardships they encountered, and the impact it had on the native population who had inhabited these lands for over 10,000 years.
Early on, many tribes along the Columbia River were very helpful to the early pioneers. The pioneers relied on them for trading food and helping portage boats and supplies around the Columbia River’s major obstacles. However in the late 1850s, conflict arose between the Yakama tribe and the pioneers who had settled the Cascade area across from what is now Cascade Locks.
The Dalles, known as Fort Dalles, served as the final stopping and resting place for the early pioneers before pushing on to the fertile lands of the Willamette Valley. It was here, at the head of the impassable cliffs of Columbia River Gorge, that the pioneers had to make the difficult decision of whether to risk rafting down the unpredictable Columbia River or to cross Mt. Hood’s treacherous Barlow Trail on the final leg of their 2000 mile journey.
Meeting PlaceFor the time being, due to the financial impact of Covid-19 and high Portland business licensing fees, all pick ups will need to arranged outside Portland City limits.
PriceBase Fee: $400 (5 tickets), then $80 per person after that.
(All wine and sightseeing tours are based on $80 per persons except Coastal Tours.)
IncludedWater, snacks, and museum fees.
Lunch OptionsWe recommend bringing your own lunch. Or we can stop at a local restaurant (not included) or we can supply a box lunch for an extra fee.
Wine tastingWe will finish the tour with a wine tasting (fee not included) at the Sunshine Mill Wine Tasting Room in Downtown The Dalles.
OptionsWe can also make this an alcohol-free tour.
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CASCADE LOCKS AND BRIDGE OF THE GODS
Indian lore has it that centuries ago, a natural bridge once spanned the Columbia River at this location. Learn about the history behind the lore and the natural hurdles the pioneers encountered at this site on their way to the Willamette Valley. Also learn about a conflict that arose between the Yakama Indians and the pioneers that built a settlement on the Washington side of the river.
THE COLUMBIA DISCOVERY CENTER
As the official interpretive center for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Wasco County, the museum has a wealth of information on the way of life of the First Peoples/Native Americans, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and insight into early pioneer life. After exploring the exhibits we will have lunch in the museum restaurant.
Venturing into town and up to the old Surgeon’s Quarters, the last remaining building of Fort Dalles, we will hear the history and purpose of this 1850s military outpost and its mission. It was in The Dalles that the pioneers had to decide whether to risk the challenges and dangers of floating down the Columbia River or to travel by foot over the rugged terrain of Mt. Hood on the primitive and treacherous Barlow Trail. Either choice presented its own hardships and dangers yet to be encountered.
SUNSHINE MILL WINE TASTING ROOM
Our last stop will be to partake of some locally produced Columbia Basin wines and hors d’oeuvres at the interesting old Sunshine Mill. This was built as a flour processing mill that operated for over 130 years before being turned into a wine tasting room. Enjoy a flight of delicious wine while sitting under rows of old conveyor-belt pulleys spanning the length of the mill before traveling back to Portland.
S K. | July 2019: Sean is a consummate host and guide, and really understands customer service! Absolutely nothing was left wanting. Sean is knowledgeable about the area, and was very helpful in planning our day to maximize the experience. 100% recommendation, book with Sean, you'll have a great time!
Cedric Nash | March 2019: What an amazing company!! This is a tour like no other in Oregon. Come get treated like royalty!