Ready to be wowed by the winds?
The Columbia Gorge is an iconic canyon that carves its way from the mouth of the Columbia River on the coast down to the eastern reaches of the Portland metro area. The surrounding hills are part of a nationally protected scenic area, and their stunning visual beauty attracts visitors year-round. It has much to offer: hikes, waterfalls, vistas and the restless flow of the Columbia River.
It also has a special appeal to a niche group of outdoor recreationists – windsurfers.
The Gorge is often considered a windsurfing mecca, as stretches of it reaches constant 15-30 knots of wind-power every seven out of 10 days. This is because The Gorge works like a giant funnel for the winds that barrels down along the river throughout the summer.
And when those high winds blow, thousands of people follow. In fact, in 2012 avid windsurfers from places as distant as Australia, Finland and Germany flocked to The Gorge to participate in the 2012 U.S. Windsurfing Nationals, held in Oregon’s own Hood River.
If you want to get in on the fun, there are local businesses up and down The Gorge ready to help beginners and experts alike get their share of the wild winds. Places such as Big Winds Hood River, Hood River Waterplay and Brian’s Windsurfing offer everything from 10-day rentals to lessons. Or check out the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association for a windsurfing community with an environmental cleanup bent.
When it comes to windsurfing in the Columbia Gorge, if you’re looking for something, they probably have it. Especially when it comes to those magical winds.
Price can vary for rentals and/or lessons, but click the Learn More button to link to outfitters.