The Eagle Creek fire in the summer of 2017 broke Portland’s collective heart, and left many of us wondering what we could do to help restore our beloved Columbia River Gorge.

Here’s one answer: Go visit, and help out those who depend on tourist dollars. Base yourselves in the hip little burg of White Salmon, Wash., just across the Columbia from Hood River, where you’ve got easy access to some of the region’s best (and fire unaffected) trails. Our pick is Falls Creek Falls in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 3.4 miles out and back with minimal elevation gain. For indoor fun, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center has neat exhibits on the history of the area. Visit the friendly G. Willikers’ toy store in Hood River, or buy books for everyone on your list at the independent Waucoma Books, just up the street.

When it’s time to eat, we like Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon — their kid’s menu has a pick-three, build-a-plate option for $7 and includes healthy choices like black beans, roasted sweet potatoes and red grapes; their beer selection can throw down with the best of PDX’s brewpubs. Bunk down at the historic old Inn of the White Salmon, where the family king suite comes with bunk beds and a comfy king-sized bed for you. 

Gear Guide
All gear available at Next Adventure or online at Click on the image for more details.

Day pack: Collapsible pack for everyday adventures, on or off the trail.

Dry bags: Keep all the toys and snacks dry.

Water bottle: Collapsible water bottle for hydration on the go.

Compass: Teach kids how to navigate their way out of any situation.

Hiking staff: Great for extra support on scramble trails.

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