An Epic Day Trip to Fruit Loop, Hood River

Looking to spend an epic day trip at Fruit Loop, Hood River?  I have got the guide for you!

Let’s start with the basics.  What exactly is Oregon’s Fruit Loop?  The Fruit Loop is Oregon’s largest fruit growing region featuring 28 farm stands among the rolling hills beneath infamous Mount Hood.  Farmers market lovers will be in their prime purchasing local fruit and veggies for miles surrounded by storybook scenery.

The Fruit Loop Trail is a charming, highly underrated day trip from Portland.  Upon exiting Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway, visitors are embraced with a hillside, mountain town known as Hood River.

Many visitors unknowingly skip the Fruit Loop trail altogether while prioritizing a trip to Multnomah Falls or Mount Hood.

Check out all this breathtaking itinerary has to offer on an epic day trip to Fruit Loop, Hood River here!

Fruit Loop, Hood River

Fruit Loop Details

Location: 45 minutes by car from Portland, Oregon

When to visit: The best time of year is undoubtedly late April – July during peak harvest season for most crops.  Fall is the best time to visit if you are looking for apple picking.  Winter is the low season so it will be less crowded, but most Fruit Loop stands will be closed because they are not in season.

Keep a lookout on the official Hood River website for when crop abundance begins as this will be weather contingent and shift each year.

How many days: Exploring the Fruit Loop as a one day trip from Portland is the perfect amount of time.  If you want to spend longer exploring the town of Hood River, hiking neighboring trails, or visiting Mount Hood, plan for 3-5 days.

Getting there: Rent a car from Portland for a 45 minute drive via Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway.  Consider combining your trip with a couple of Columbia Gorge stops such as the infamous Multnomah Falls.

Fruit Loop, Hood River is one of the most underrated Portland Trips.  Consider adding this charming stop to your Pacific Northwest Itinerary!

Best stops on Fruit Loop

The best stops are of course subjective, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, well, the whole Fruit Loop is pretty amazing!  I recommend driving the loop and stopping when something catches your eye.  Give yourself a full day to take your time, and fully enjoy the experience.

Best viewpoints

Hood River Lavender Farm on Fruit Loop
Hood River Lavender Farm

Enjoy a blanket of vibrant, purple lavender beneath snow-capped Mount Hood- it doesn’t get much better than that!  You can cut your own lavender, purchase items from the shop, wander the fields, or simply take in the views (no charge)!

Panorama Point in Fruit Loop, Hood River
Panorama Point

While technically not a farm stand, drive up to this beautiful, free, panoramic viewpoint of the Fruit Loop.   A spacious parking lot and bathroom house are available at the viewpoint.

Draper Girls Country Farm
Year-Round stops

Most farm stands operate seasonally aligned with harvest.  The following stands have indicated on the official Fruit Loop website that they are open year round:

  • Draper Girls Country Farm and U-Pick Orchards
  • Draper Girls Cider Company
  • Grateful Vineyards
  • Marchesi Vineyards and Winery
  • The Old Trunk, Treat &tiques
  • Apple Valley Country Store
  • Cathedral Ridge Winery

Check each stand’s website or social media page for official operating hours.

Where to stay near Fruit Loop

There are several accommodation options located in Hood River.


Valley Dreaming

Top features: Every room includes a patio

Valley View Retreat

Top features: Every room includes a balcony.

Mid Range

West Cliff Lodge

Top features: Sweeping views overlooking the Columbia River

Hood River Hotel

Top features: Charming interior, ski pass sales point, Scandinavian restaurant


Mount Hood Oregon Resort

Top features: Heated outdoor pool, outdoor whirlpool, putting course, croquet court, full service spa on site

Hood River Fruit Loop Map

Access a PDF copy of the Fruit Loop map on the official Fruit Loop website here.

Other thing to do in Hood River

Downtown Hood River
Downtown Hood River

Downtown Hood River has got it all, from fun restaurants to local shops.

Hood River Waterfront Park
Hood River Waterfront Park

Just a 5 minute walk from Downtown Hood River, walk along the river for incredible sunset views and enjoy the scenery along a paved path.

Mount Hood Railroad
Mount Hood Railroad

Consider exploring Hood River and Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway via rail.  Best known for scenic passenger excursions.  Scenic train rides begin at $49/person for adults and $39/person for children.  Railbiking begins at $199 for a two person bike.

Hiking in Hood River

There are several hiking and mountain biking trails in Hood River, Oregon within and in the surrounding area of Hood National Forest.

Hood National Forest
Hood National Forest

Even if you’re not interested in hiking, Hood National Forest draws over 1 million visitors annually to drive through the scenery and stop at scenic overlooks.

Mount Hood

Oregon’s highest peak, Mount Hood, is also an active volcano.  Check out the infamous Mount Hood that you can see overlooking much of the Fruit Loop Trail

Packer Farms and Orchard on Fruit Loop, Hood River
Seasonal Events

Seasonal events and festivals are typically held July – October.  Each of the 28 Fruit Loop stands is independently owned and decides what special events to put on or participate in, like easter egg hunts, apple and pear events in the fall.  Check the official Fruit Loop website and local business websites for the most up to date information.

Hood River Packing List

Here are a couple of can’t-miss items to toss in your suitcase when going on a day trip to Fruit Loop, Hood River:

Water bottle– I always recommend a water bottle for long days exploring.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Packable backpack– if this is what you fancy!  Love it because it collapses/folds so easily into your travel suitcase or backpack.  It’s an ideal size for day exploring.

If you decide to go hiking in Hood River for the day, I recommend the following additional items:

Trail Shoes– I cannot stress the importance of comfortable shoes with strong traction.  Be good to your feet!

First Aid Kit– Safety first.  Never know when you’ll need a first aid kit!  Always be prepared on the trails.  Band-aids, gauze wrap, motion sickness medication, etc.

Water Bottle– Hydration, hydration, hydration!  I recommend at least a gallon of water per person for a full hiking day.

Hydration Backpack– Consider packing your water into a Hydration Backpack like a Camelback or similar..  I have found this much less strenuous on my back, and there are still enough side pockets to hold your camera, snacks, and a sandwich.

For the chilly weather…

Base layers– Wear warm clothing under your jacket and pants.  Alternatively, consider fleece-lined leggings with a water-resistant exterior.

Puffer jacket– I prefer a puffer jacket to a long parka because this is also packable, and easy to roll up into your backpack if you get hot.

Rain shell– Wear this over your puffer jacket to make sure you stay dry if it snows.  The best part is these are lightweight and packable!  Weather fluctuates, but your comfort shouldn’t.

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As a full time employee who loves her job, learn how I honor my wanderlust while working a 9:00-5:00 (because I want to!) This blog welcomes all, and specifically provides resources for those seeking travel intertwined into a busy schedule (3 days to 5 weeks).