Wildflowers and Wine | Play & Stay Weekend

Eastern Gorge Hikes, Vineyard Tours & Farm-to-Table Meals
April 27-29, 2018

Wildflowers and Wine | Play & Stay Weekend
Wildflowers at Dalles Mountain Ranch (photo: Scott Christianson)

At the peak of springtime in the eastern Gorge, hike a newly leafed-out vineyard with a viticulturist, walk clifftops abloom in balsamroot, taste estate grown wines, picnic amid the flowers, and come back each night to the luxury of a restored, century-old hotel in Dufur, Oregon.

Over the 36-hour weekend of hikes, flowers and wine, local experts and Friends staff join the group to talk about sustainable farming and wine-growing in the Gorge, and new plans for a Gorge gem, Mosier Plateau.


Arrive Friday evening at The Historic Balch Hotel in Dufur, OR and enjoy a wine dessert reception to meet and mingle with the innkeepers and other weekend guests. A short evening presentation by Friends Outreach Manager Maegan Jossy will introduce you to Friends of the Columbia Gorge and weekend logistics.

Saturday enjoy breakfast at the hotel before a hike at Volcano Ridge Vineyard in The Dalles. Its landscape is abloom with spring wildflowers under native oaks. Mount Adams and Mount Hood bookend this beautiful scene. On the vineyard hike, viticulturist Alan Busacca explains how local growers employ sustainable viticulture and farming practices to earn LIVE and Salmon-Safe certifications for environmentally and socially responsible wine-growing. We'll enjoy a custom boxed lunch at a scenic viewpoint on the vineyard.

Continuing the wildflowers and wine conversation, we'll then drive to The Pines 1852 estate for a rare and private tasting of estate-grown zinfandel, merlot, and syrah. 

Back at the hotel in late afternoon, there’s time to enjoy the historic lobby, browse the local art on the walls, play a game in the library or have a drink in the parlor before a Northwest feast with local wine pairings. After dinner, in an hour-long presentation, Maegan Jossy unpacks the stories of the Gorge's stories unique flowers and other native plants.
On Sunday, after a leisurely breakfast, we'll caravan to picturesque Mosier Plateau, a Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust property, for another beautiful wildflower hike. Our guide will teach us the history and future plans for this property. Enjoy your picnic lunch on the trail overlooking the Columbia River with views up and down the Gorge.

We’ll conclude our weekend with a visit to a winery nearby for wine tasting (optional) and socializing with our fellow guests before heading home.

Package rates (double-occupancy)*

$389 for a Traditional room with shared bath (a $431 value)
$499 for a Modern room with private bath (a $570 value)
Taxes not included in above rates
*Inquire with hotel about single occupancy rates

Package includes

  • Two nights at The Historic Balch Hotel in Dufur, OR
  • Buffet breakfasts and picnic lunches
  • Saturday evening gourmet dinner
  • Exclusive, expert-led hikes 
  • Friday night wine-and-dessert reception
  • Evening presentations

How to Book:

Call the Historic Balch Hotel at 541-467-2277 to book your weekend.


Contact Outdoor Programs Coordinator Kate Lindberg at katel@gorgefriends.org or 971-634-1265 with questions.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to April 20 | 75% refund. 
April 20 to April 24 | 50% refund. 
After April 24 | No refund. A portion of your payment will be donated for Gorge protection.