Welcome to the enchanting world of Hood River's Fruit Loop, a 35-mile scenic drive through Oregon's famed apple, pear, and cherry orchards. This picturesque trail offers a taste of the region's abundant agricultural heritage, charming farm stands, and stunning natural beauty. As your friendly guides, we'll help you navigate this splendid route, sharing our top stop recommendations, tips on when to visit, directions, what to pack, and more. Let's embark on this fruit-filled adventure together!
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Hood River is nestled in the picturesque state of Oregon in the United States. It's situated at the confluence of the Hood River and the Columbia River in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Hood River is approximately 60 miles east of Portland, making it a fantastic destination for a peaceful weekend getaway. This welcoming town is renowned not only for its breathtaking natural beauty but also for its vibrant community, unique culture, and the famed Fruit Loop.
The Fruit Loop in Hood River is a scenic 35-mile drive through Oregon's orchard country, offering a vibrant feast for the senses. This self-guided tour takes you through picturesque farms, quaint roadside stands, and inviting wineries, all set against the stunning backdrop of Mount Hood. Renowned for its bounteous fruit orchards, the loop leads you to a variety of family-owned farms where you can pick your own apples, cherries, peaches, and more, depending on the season. Furthermore, you'll have ample opportunities to taste local wines, hard ciders, and lavender products, making it a must-visit destination for foodies, wine enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike.
How to Get to Hood River, Oregon
Getting to Hood River, Oregon, is relatively straightforward, with a variety of options available depending on your starting location and preferred method of travel. If you're flying, the nearest airport is Portland International Airport (PDX), approximately 60 miles west of Hood River. Numerous major airlines serve this airport, offering flights from various domestic and international destinations. Upon arrival, you can rent a car to reach Hood River, a scenic drive of about an hour along the Columbia River Gorge on Interstate 84. For those who prefer land travel, Amtrak offers a train service to Bingen, Washington, which is just across the river from Hood River. Alternatively, Greyhound provides a bus service to Hood River. If you're driving from Portland, simply take the I-84 E and you'll arrive in Hood River in about an hour.
Best time of year to visit the Fruit Loop
The best time of year to visit the Hood River Fruit Loop largely depends on the type of fruit you're keen to pick. If you're a cherry lover, aim for late June through mid-July. For the best peaches and berries, plan your visit in August. Apple and pear enthusiasts should target late August through October. However, the Fruit Loop is a delight to visit any time from spring through fall, with each season offering its own unique charm. Spring welcomes you with vibrant blossoms, while summer boasts a bounty of fresh fruit. Autumn, on the other hand, presents a stunning display of fall colors, and a variety of apples and pears to choose from. Do remember that the Hood River Valley has a diverse microclimate, causing fruit readiness to vary from year to year, so it's always a good idea to check with individual farms for their fruit picking schedules.
How long does it take to complete the loop?
Completing the Fruit Loop in Hood River can take anywhere from half a day to a full day, depending on how many stops you make and how much time you spend at each location. If you're planning to leisurely explore the farms, sample local produce, indulge in wine tasting, and immerse in the scenery, it is recommended to set aside a full day. However, if you're mainly driving through for the magnificent views with a few brief stops, half a day might suffice. Remember, the joy of the Fruit Loop is in the journey, not just the destination. So, take your time, savor the experiences, and enjoy the scenic beauty of Hood River at your own pace.
Is the Fruit Loop kid friendly?
Absolutely, the Fruit Loop in Hood River is a fantastic destination for families with children. Kids will delight in the hands-on experience of picking their own fruit, and many of the farms offer additional attractions such as petting zoos, corn mazes, and hay rides, especially during the harvest season. The picnic areas scattered throughout the loop also make for great lunch spots. Moreover, the fruit stands often sell kid-friendly treats like homemade apple cider donuts, fresh fruit smoothies, and berry jams. However, do keep in mind that some wineries may have age restrictions for tastings. Overall, the Fruit Loop offers an enriching and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.
Are dogs allowed on the Fruit Loop?
Unfortunately, each farm, winery, brewery, and vendor has different rules regarding dogs on property. Always call the specific farms ahead of time to ask about their pet policy. It's certainly much easier to travel the Fruit Loop without a dog, but some stops are very welcoming to four legged friends. We were traveling in our truck camper when we did the Fruit Loop and it was cool enough outside to leave him in the camper during the non dog friendly stops so we were glad we brought him with us to enjoy the dog friendly spots!
Best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop
Each stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop offers its own unique experiences, from tantalizing fruit tastings to remarkable scenic views. Whether it's a family-run orchard, a charming winery, or a quaint farm stall, these top places will truly enhance your Fruit Loop journey.
Apple Valley Country Store
The Apple Valley Country Store is a quintessential stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop that simply cannot be missed. Nestled amidst the lush orchards, this charming country store is a treasure trove of homemade goods and local produce. It's renowned for its wide variety of delicious jams, jellies, and syrups, all made from locally sourced fruits. Their selection of delectable pies, both fresh and frozen, is a crowd favorite, with the marionberry and apple pies being particularly popular. The store also offers a range of other baked goods, including cookies, turnovers, and their signature apple dumplings. While all those options sound great, what really caught our attention was the sign for their huckleberry milkshakes!
Address: 2363 Tucker Rd, Hood River, OR 97031 | Google Maps
Tucker Park is a wonderful stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop, offering a serene spot for relaxation and recreation. Situated along the Hood River, this county park is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. It provides opportunities for camping, picnicking, and fishing. The park also boasts scenic hiking trails, perfect for a leisurely stroll amidst nature. Tucker Park's picturesque surroundings and peaceful ambiance make it an ideal location to unwind and soak in the beauty of Hood River.
Address: 2440 Dee Hwy, Hood River, OR 97031 | Google Maps
The Old Trunk
The Old Trunk is a quaint and charming stop along the Hood River Fruit Loop. Offering a unique blend of antiquity and modernity, this place is a combination of an antique store, soda fountain, and fruit stand. Visitors can browse through an enchanting collection of vintage items and collectibles, reminiscent of a bygone era. The soda fountain serves up scrumptious ice cream, milkshakes, and a variety of homemade sodas, making it a hit among both kids and adults. The fruit stand boasts a selection of fresh, locally-grown produce, offering a taste of the valley's bountiful harvest. There's also a u-pick flower garden onsite for those flower loving folks like myself!
We found ourselves browsing the shelves at this little vintage shop longer than we thought we would as we rummaged through odds and ends. If you like quirky stores, this is a must visit place!
Address: 2958 Dee Hwy, Hood River, OR 97031 | Google Maps
Hours:Shoulder Season(s) April & November: call for hours, Closed for Winter Dec-March,High Season May-October: everyday 10:00 am-5:30 pm
Punchbowl Falls is another must-visit location on your Hood River Fruit Loop tour. A serene natural wonder, the waterfall is aptly named for the bowl-like depression it pours into, creating a captivating sight. The waterfall is part of the West Fork Hood River and is easily accessible via a short, gentle hike, making it a perfect spot for families and nature enthusiasts alike to get out and stretch their legs. The area around the falls offers opportunities for picnicking and simply enjoying the majestic beauty of the falls. It's a picture-perfect spot that encapsulates the stunning natural beauty of the Hood River area.
Note: These falls are unique in that they are surrounded by basalt columns similar to those seen at Svartifoss in Iceland.
Address: Punchbowl Rd, Hood River, OR 97031 | Google Maps
Van Gogh Lavender
Van Gogh Lavender is one of the more enchanting stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop. This idyllic lavender farm offers an influx of soothing scents and splendid purple hues, making it a sight for sore eyes. The farm grows several varieties of lavender, each with its own unique aroma and properties. Visitors can walk amongst the lavender fields, pick their own bunch of fresh lavender, or purchase an array of lavender products including essential oils, soaps, and more. A visit to Van Gogh Lavender is a sensory delight that truly encapsulates the beauty and tranquility of Hood River.
Address: 6468 Sperry Rd, Mt Hood, OR 97041 | Google Maps
Hours: U-Pick is available during peak season, call for hours.
Mountain View Brewing
Mountain View Brewing is a family-friendly brewery, perched amidst the scenic Hood River valley, offering a variety of craft beers that encapsulate the flavor and spirit of the region. With a welcoming taproom featuring an outdoor beer garden, it's the perfect spot to sit back and soak in the stunning mountain views while savoring their signature brews. Their beer list is always rotating, ensuring there's always something new to try.
In all honesty, the beer here wasn't as good as some of the other breweries we tried during our mini food tour of Hood River, but the views were so incredible that the mediocre beer was worth the drive!
Address: 6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd, Mt Hood, OR 97041 | Google Maps
Hours: Everyday 12:00-6:00 pm
Mt View Orchards
Mt View Orchards is a delightful destination on the Hood River Fruit Loop renowned for its stunning vistas and diverse selection of fruits. This 50-acre apple and pear orchard, interspersed with cherries, peaches, and berries, is a fruit lover’s paradise. The orchard offers a u-pick option, allowing visitors to spend a sunny afternoon picking their favorite fruits straight from the trees. Families can also enjoy tractor rides, pumpkin patch, eating cider donuts, and picnicking amongst the orchards. With its panoramic mountain views and lush fruit trees, Mt View Orchards embodies the rustic charm and agricultural richness of the Hood River area.
Address: 6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd, Mt Hood, OR 97041 | Google Maps
Hours: Everyday 10:00 am-5:00 pm during harvest season (August-November)
Grateful Vineyard is an unmissable stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop. This family-owned and operated vineyard offers a serene and intimate environment, perfect for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Nestled amidst the rolling landscapes of Hood River, the vineyard offers a variety of wines, all made from grapes grown in their very own fields. Visitors can partake in a wine tasting, savoring the distinct flavors and notes that make their wines unique. Beyond wine, Grateful Vineyard is a perfect backdrop for picnics, with its panoramic vistas of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams offering a visual feast. It's an idyllic spot to unwind, sip on a glass of good wine, and soak in the tranquil beauty of Hood River.
Address: 6650 Trout Creek Ridge Rd, Mt Hood, OR 97041 | Google Maps
Hours: Call for hours.
Mt. Hood Creamery
Mt. Hood Creamery is a delightful stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop that brings the sweetness of the valley directly to your taste buds. Specializing in small-batch, homemade ice cream, the creamery is a testament to the richness and quality of the local dairy. When visiting, you can indulge in freshly made ice cream flavors inspired by the seasonal bounty of Hood River.
Address: 4946 Baseline Dr, Mt Hood, OR 97041 | Google Maps
Baseline Biscuits is a hidden gem on the Hood River Fruit Loop, a must-visit spot for food lovers. This small, family-run business takes pride in serving hearty, homemade biscuits that will surely make your mouth water. Their menu features a variety of biscuit sandwiches and a selection of fresh-baked pastries. With its warm, welcoming atmosphere and delicious comfort food, Baseline Biscuits provides a delightful culinary experience amidst the scenic beauty of Hood River. Chris had a fried chicken sandwich when we visited and I had a breakfast biscuit and both were delicious! You can trust us, we're southerners so we know our biscuits. :)
Address: 4946 Baseline Dr, Mt Hood, OR 97041 | Google Maps
Hours: Thursday-Monday 7:00 am-2:00 pm, closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Draper Girls Country Farm
Draper Girls Country Farm is a delightful stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop and a testament to the agricultural richness of the region. In fact, this was our favorite stop on the Fruit Loop! This family-owned farm specializes in non-pasteurized ciders, free-range eggs, and offers an abundant selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Visitors can partake in a memorable U-Pick experience, selecting their own fresh produce right from the source – apples, cherries, peaches, pears, and berries, depending upon the season. The farm also boasts a country market, where you can find homemade jams, honey, fresh apple cider, and more. Draper Girls Country Farm provides a quintessential experience of Hood River's agrarian lifestyle, making it a must-visit spot on the Fruit Loop. Be sure to read the Draper Girls sweet story before you visit to appreciate the love and hard work this family pours into their produce and products.
Address: 6200 Highway 35, Mt Hood, OR 97041 | Google Maps
Pear Bloom Farm is a picturesque stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop, showcasing the region's abundant pear harvest. Nestled in the heart of the Hood River Valley, the farm offers a variety of pear varieties, including the famous Hood River Bartlett and Anjou. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour of the orchards, pick their own pears during the harvest season, and purchase fresh produce and homemade products from the farm's shop. The farm also hosts various events and workshops throughout the year, making it an engaging and educational experience for all ages.
The Gorge White House is an integral part of the Hood River Fruit Loop, offering a deep dive into the history and agricultural heritage of the Hood River Valley. This 1908 Dutch Colonial home has been sustainably farmed for a century, growing fresh produce and flowers. Along with the opportunity to pick your own fresh flowers, the Gorge White House offers a unique tasting room featuring their own hard ciders, local wines, and a selection of craft beers. For those seeking a culinary treat, the food stand serves farm-fresh food made with local ingredients, while the flower field is a vibrant spectacle, particularly during the spring bloom. A visit to the Gorge White House is like stepping back in time, offering an authentic slice of Hood River's history and a taste of its thriving agriculture.
Address: 2265 OR-35, Hood River, OR 97031 | Google Maps
If you have some time left after exploring the lush Fruit Loop of Hood River, don't miss out on the other recreational activities and attractions this vibrant area has to offer. From outdoor adventures like hiking and windsurfing to cultural pursuits such as visiting local museums and galleries, Hood River has something for everyone. Let us guide you through some of our top picks for other things to do in the Hood River area.
Hood River Waterfront Park: A scenic park offering grassy knolls, picnic areas, and a sandy beach. Perfect for a relaxing day out, it also provides opportunities for windsurfing and kitesurfing, given its location by the Columbia River.
Hood River County History Museum: For those interested in the region’s past, this museum offers a wide array of exhibits showcasing the history of Hood River County, from Native American artifacts to pioneer era relics.
Indian Creek Golf Course: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round in this beautiful 18-hole course that provides stunning views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams.
Mt. Hood Railroad: Experience a historic scenic train journey through the Hood River Valley, complete with seasonal excursions and themed trips.
Hood River Farmers Market: A vibrant local market where you can find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and local delicacies. Open from May through November.
Hiking Trails: Hood River area is teeming with hiking trails, offering breathtaking views of mountains, waterfalls, and lush green forests. Some of the popular ones are the Twin Tunnels trail, Indian Point hike, and Tamanawas Falls hike.
Wrapping up, the Hood River Fruit Loop is a remarkable journey through the heart of one of Oregon's prime agricultural regions. Whether you're indulging in homemade ice cream, savoring farm-fresh biscuits, picking your own fruits, or immersing yourself in the history of the Gorge White House, each stop offers a unique and delightful experience. The beauty of the journey lies not only in the scenic landscapes and fresh produce but also in the hardworking families that make the Fruit Loop such a vibrant and engaging destination. We highly recommend making this trip a part of your visit to the Hood River area, ensuring a taste of the region's rich agricultural heritage and a memorable piece of Oregon's rural charm.
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!