With millions of people flocking annually to popular sites in the Gorge, parking and congestion have become an issue, and the answer is not more parking lots.
Recent changes, however, could have a transformational impact on how people will be traveling throughout the Gorge for years to come.
Five Gorge-based transit services have teamed up to create the new Gorge Pass: Hood River’s Columbia Area Transit (CAT), Columbia Gorge Express, The Link Public Transit in The Dalles, Mount Adams Transportation Services, and Skamania County Transit.
A $30 annual Gorge Pass provides unlimited Gorge travel. The Columbia Gorge Express provides eight trips daily on weekdays and six daily trips on weekends between Hood River and Portland; stops include Gateway Transit Center in Portland, Troutdale, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks, and Hood River. Visit gorgepass.com for details.
For summer visitors headed to Multnomah Falls—the busiest spot in the Gorge—a new reservation system was launched this past July requiring advance tickets (via recreation.gov) to park at the falls. The Forest Service required tickets for Multnomah Falls parking through September 19.
Regardless of season, reservation tickets aren’t needed to visit Multnomah Falls if you travel by bike or bus. In addition to the Columbia Gorge Express, transit options include Gray Line’s Open-Air Waterfall Trolley and the Sasquatch Shuttle. The Waterfall Trolley is an open-air guided tour with hop-on, hop-off opportunities at nine stops starting in Corbett along the Historic Columbia River Highway. See details at waterfalltrolley.com. The seasonal Sasquatch Shuttle also operates shuttles every day from Bridal Veil to Multnomah Falls, twice hourly. The service will resume in May 2022; visit sasquatchshuttle.com for details.