Hills, Hotel & History - Unbusying in Dufur

Sample eons (and eras) of history with a 45.8-mile bike ride from Hood River to Dufur along the Historic Columbia River Highway, America's first scenic highway. Find Mosier's erratic, dropped by the Missoula Floods. Consider the Columbia River as a commerce center for American Indian tribes. Follow the route taken by Lewis & Clark and later Oregon Trail pioneers. Sample agricultural products from land farmed for generations by Japanese-Americans.

Schedule unscheduled time and un-busy yourself

Photo: The Balch Hotel

Photo: The Balch Hotel

In Dufur, put your feet up at the Balch Hotel. Read. Nap. Wander about. Poke around museums and shops. Chat with locals. Journal. Lie in a hammock. Get restored with Reiki. Sleep. Repeat. Take your time. Un-busy. Unwind. The Balch Hotel and Dufur are best enjoyed with a stay of at least two nights and days. Reserve lodging ahead of time.

Get a flavor for Dufur. Listen to a Hear in the Gorge teaser about a coming podcast episode on the Barlow Road.



Click image to download map

Click image to download map


Getting to Dufur

On your way to Hood River, listen to Almost Home, and episode of the podcast series Hear in the Gorge, about the Yasui family story.


Ride the Columbia Gorge Express from Portland to Hood River. Bring your bike (the bus can carry 3 bikes) or rent one in Hood River. Visit ColumbiaGorgeExpress.com for more information and to purchase your fare.


Pedal 45.8 miles one way from Hood River to Dufur through spectacular Gorge scenery. It’s a hilly ride - 2,805’ up and 1,883’ down. 4.5 miles are car-free between Hood River and Mosier. Click here for detailed turn by turn directions (pick up the directions at mile 52.3 in Hood River). Appreciate the views from Rowena Crest. Stop at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum and steep yourself in geologic, natural, and human history.

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Click here to connect to bike rentals and shops in Hood River.
Three bike shops are located in The Dalles:

  • Dalles City Cyclery, 121 E 2nd St, (541) 769-0771

  • SPR Bicycle Shop, 408 Washington St, (541) 980-8418

  • T & Nae's Cycles, 815 W 12th St, (541) 993-4961

Stay a night or two


The Balch Hotel offers a historic inn setting with garden patio, Mt Hood views, homemade chocolate chip cookies, beer, wine, breakfast, light fare, weekend dinner with locals, spa, games and books, and wifi.

Day 1

Arrive in Hood River on the Columbia Gorge Express
Two options depending on your arrival time in Hood River:

A. Evening arrivals, stay in Hood River. Sample the nightlife. Go to Day 2A.
B. Daytime arrivals, pedal to Dufur. Take in the sights. Stay at the Balch Hotel. Go to Day 2B.

Day 2

A. Pedal to Dufur. Take in the sights. Stay at the Balch Hotel.
B. Unscheduled in Dufur; stay another night. Or, go to Day 3 for trips with only one night in Dufur.

Day 3

Pedal to Hood River. Take in the sights. Depart Hood River on the Columbia Gorge Express.


Points in time - car-free from Portland to Dufur

For a review of Hills, Hotel & and History by Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance's car-free team coordinator, click the image.


Click for more information:

Photo: Gorge-Us Photography

Photo: Gorge-Us Photography