When traveling in the Gorge, support local communities.

Why? The Gorge is a working landscape on which people’s livelihoods depend.

Plan to connect with local communities. 

  • Plan to arrive at the trailhead early (before 10 a.m.) to avoid congestion in parking lots and on trails.
  • Make plans to stop in a local Gorge community to eat, relax and explore. 
  • Before you leave, research the operation hours of cultural and tribal museums and visitor centers, which tend to vary seasonally.
  • While COVID-19 poses a risk to you and others:
    • Recreate locally as much as possible. Give communities time to recover before you travel outside your community or start taking overnight trips.
    • If venturing outside of your community, check with the local chamber of commerce about travel restrictions.
    • Respect any closures that remain in place.

Prepare for your trip.

  • Print or download a map of where you plan to go, as cell service may be unreliable.
  • Pack essentials to survive an unexpected night outdoors (find the list at ReadySetGorge.com).
  • Grab cash to pay recreation fees.
  • Plan to arrive early (before 10 a.m.) to avoid crowds.
  • Check the latest road and weather conditions before heading out.
  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
  • While COVID-19 poses a risk to you and others:
    • When traveling in cars and boats, travel with members of your own household only.
    • Avoid gathering in groups greater than 10 or lingering in parking areas longer than needed.
    • Be self-sufficient with all your supplies in case the communities you are visiting have shortages of supplies.
    • Be prepared for many facilities such as bathrooms, playgrounds and picnic shelters to be closed.
    • State health authorities recommend bringing soap, water, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper, as well as a mask or facial covering to shield your noses/mouth.
    • If you are headed out on trails, bring outdoor essentials such as food, water bottles, illumination, a map, compass, sturdy shoes, and warm clothing layers to minimize the need for a rescue, as this can burden first responders and increase the chance of exposure to the virus for yourself and others.

If bringing your dog:

  • Pack a leash and poop bags.

Connect with Gorge communities. 

First check with the local chamber of commerce about travel restrictions.

  • Support local communities by eating, drinking, shopping and staying local.
  • Research volunteer opportunities such as trail work parties, and sign up in advance.
  • Consider how and where you share information on social media and the actions your images may encourage others to do.
  • Explore cultural and tribal centers to learn more about history and people’s relationship to place.

Once you return home:

  • Consider volunteering with or making a donation to an organization that helped make your visit special (see the list below).

Some nonprofits in the Columbia River Gorge working to maintain parks and trails include: