Located on the banks of the Columbia River between Hood River and The Dalles, the agriculture community of Mosier Oregon is in the heart of the Gorge.
With a front row seat to some of the area’s best activities like bike trails, windsurfing and waterfall hikes, it’s come a long way since its beginnings at a stop on the Oregon Trail and the arrival of the railroad.
Perhaps best known for its lush cherry orchards, arid hills and vineyards, the compact main street welcomes visitors with a cheery plaza, a towering totem pole, cute cafes and an old fashioned burger joint. From waterfalls to wineries to watersports, here are some of the best things to do in Mosier, Oregon.
Ride the Mosier Twin Tunnels trail
With its mind-blowing views and gorgeous scenery, it’s easy to see why Mosier Twin Tunnels is one of the most popular Gorge trails. You can walk, bike and even cross-country ski along the 4.5 mile paved pathway linking Mosier and Hood River, and with only a couple of inclines it’s a great option for all ages.
The Mosier Twin Tunnels trail traces the path of the original Columbia River Highway, overlooking the waterfront and spots across the river like White Salmon and Lyle in Washington.
Most people prefer to tackle it by bike, which takes about 30 minutes each way at a brisk pace plus time spent at the scenic pullouts. Those up for even more of a ride can continue over to the scenic Rowena Crest lookout point, which adds a few miles and is well worth it for the great views.
Go wine tasting at the Mosier wineries
No trip to Mosier is complete without visiting the Columbia River Gorge wineries, and the community has three vineyards with fantastic views. Conveniently they’re all located very close to each other, so it’s easy to visit all of them in just one day.
Analemma Wines: This pretty spot in the Mosier Hillsstarted as a cherry farming operation, which eventually expanded into vine planting with a focus on being a Biodynamic grower-producer. The property now has lavender, gardens, 10 acres of orchards and the vineyards, and you can sip the varietals from the tasting room which has sweeping views.
Garnier Vineyards: Garnier has one of the best views in Mosier from its tasting room, which overlooks the Columbia River, Syncline, the arid hills and sun-soaked vineyards. Guests can sample sweet cherries grown right on the property while sipping their fantastic Pinot Noir, Rosé, and best-selling Cuvée Rouge which blends Merlot, Syrah and Grenache
Idiot’s Grace Winery: Located just across the road from Garnier Vineyards, Idiot’s Grace focuses on organic winemaking and has vineyard plots on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the river. The property is surrounded by cherry trees, and there’s an on-site tasting room as well as an outdoor pergola and picnic area.
Mosier Creek Falls and the Mosier Plateau hike
This waterfall hike is one of the top things to do in Mosier, thanks to the gorgeous falls, viewpoints and pristine swimming hole.
The Mosier Plateau Trail is a 2.7 mile out-and-back, and with only a few switchbacks it’s a quick and easy hike. The trailhead starts on the east side of Mosier Creek, and it’s not long before you’ll see the spectacular, 100-foot high waterfall at the end of the deep canyon.
Those visiting in spring will be treated to wildflowers blooming along the trail, and in summer it’s common to see locals jumping into the plunge pool to cool off. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a deer, bald eagles or wild turkeys. Enjoy the views of Coyote Wall across the river in Washington, and continue up to the Mosier Plateau for a panoramic vantage point.
Gorge Guide tip: Don’t have time for the hike? You can see the top of the two-tiered falls by pulling off to the side of State Road/3rd Ave, where a dusty trail leading to a viewpoint starts on the other side of the guardrails.
Sample fruit at a U-Pick
Once summer rolls around, one of the best things to do in Mosier is sample the sweet fruit this area is known for.
There are a handful of U-Pick spots in town, with the best known being the Evans Fruit Company found just down the road from Analemma Wines. This family farm has been around since the 1880s, and its orchards hold 10 varieties of sweet cherries, two types of sour cherries and two kinds of peaches.
The tasty Bing, Santina and Lapin cherries grown in the Mosier Valley typically start to ripen around mid-June/early July, while the juicy peaches are usually at their peak from mid-July to August.
Spend a day at the beach by heading down to Rock Creek, which is one of the area’s best windsurfing spots.
Located just off I-84 down Rock Creek Road, it’s a popular day use area with picnic tables and washroom facilities, and has pretty views of the surrounding Gorge. A pathway winds east along the river, leading to Mosier Creek and the trailhead for the Mosier Plateau Trail which heads up to the waterfall.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:
- The scenic Rowena Crest viewpoint in Oregon’s Columbia Gorge
- The best things to do in Hood River, Oregon
- Oregon lavender farms in the Columbia River Gorge
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Tamara Elliott is the travel editor and founder of The Gorge Guide, which highlights the best experiences in the Columbia River Gorge. She’s an award-winning writer based in Hood River, Oregon, who particularly loves the area wineries and waterfall hikes. Tamara is also the founder of Globe Guide, which offers savvy tips for exploring destinations around the world.