Run Oregon Road Trip to The Historic Hood River Hotel

Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience! The most recent location for our runcation series is a new stay at the Historic Hood River Hotel.

First the Running:

  • Columbia Gorge Marathon: This annual event attracts avid runners from near and far to experience the scenic beauty of Hood River. Participants tackle a 26.2 and 13.1-mile course that winds above the Columbia River, and offers stunning views of the Mighty Columbia.
  • Bridge of the Gods Run: Starting on the historic Bridge of the Gods, which spans the Columbia River, this event offers various race distances, including a challenging half marathon. Runners are treated to breathtaking panoramas on the Columbia River Highway State Park trail, making this race a must for both locals and visitors alike.
  • Gorge Waterfalls 100k/50k/30k: While not for the faint of heart, this ultra-distance race showcases the stunning waterfalls and rugged terrain of the Columbia River Gorge. Runners have the chance to traverse challenging trails and be rewarded with spectacular views of some of the region’s most iconic natural wonders.

Even if you aren’t in town for the race, the Mark O. Hatfield Trailhead is a short drive from the Hood River Hotel. The well-maintained path is ideal for both seasoned runners and those seeking a leisurely stroll. Whether you’re catching the early morning sunrise or experiencing the golden hues of a sunset run, the Columbia River Gorge Trail promises an unforgettable experience, and it’s conveniently just a short jaunt away from the Hood River Hotel. And it leads to the fun Mosier Twin Tunnels!

The Spot:

Nestled in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, the Hood River Hotel stands as an unparalleled basecamp for avid runners and outdoor enthusiasts. Its strategic location in the heart of downtown Hood River places you near most activities in the city. It is mere steps from the Hood River Railway, The Ruins concert venue, and any number of local shops and restaurants.

Beyond that, it is also mere steps away from an array of breathtaking running routes, each offering a unique blend of natural splendor and invigorating challenges. We came into town for the Columbia Gorge Half Marathon (see above) and the spot was perfect – even right on the corner where runners passed by.

Whether you’re drawn to the tranquil serenity of the Columbia River Gorge Trail or the secluded beauty Mark O. Hatfield Trail, this hotel provides swift access to a runner’s paradise.

The hotel was built in 1911 and holds a special place in history as it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the outside, it might seem unassuming, but step inside, and you’re in for a treat. The interior exudes a charming blend of old-world elegance and modern updates. The lobby on the main level welcomes you like a warm embrace, transporting you back in time.

With its inviting fireplace, plush couches, lively jazz nights, and a delightful Scandinavian breakfast joint called Broder Ost, it’s like a nostalgic journey. Even the good ol’ fashioned physical keys add to the vintage charm.

All in all, Hood River Hotel seamlessly marries comfort, convenience, and a prime location, making it the ultimate basecamp for those eager to explore Hood River’s running paradise.

Our Room:

The Columbia River Suite at Hood River Hotel truly felt like a ‘home away from home.’ Its thoughtful design seamlessly blended comfort and convenience, ensuring an exceptional stay. Let me tell you, this suite was something else! It’s perfect for a family getaway or a trip with your running buddies.

The bathroom, though compact, provided ample space. The main bedroom boasted a luxuriously comfortable king-sized bed, and the spacious sitting room was just fantastic – great for relaxation or even setting up some sleeping mats.

And guess what? The suite even had a full kitchen! This was a delightful surprise, especially for those nights when a home-cooked meal was exactly what we needed. With the abundance of fresh produce in the Hood River Valley, it was a game-changer.

Now, let’s talk about the view – it was the pièce de résistance. A captivating panorama of the cityscape and the majestic Columbia River. I have to admit, it was a bit hard not to get lost in daydreams with such a stunning backdrop.

While we did spend a lot of time exploring the local area, coming back to this room at the end of the day was an absolute pleasure.


During our whirlwind 48-hour stay in town, which included running a half marathon, we managed to hit up a ton of fantastic spots for refueling.

Let’s talk food. A solid starting point for any day is breakfast or brunch/lunch at Broder Ost, the on-site Scandinavian-inspired restaurant. It’s always buzzing with activity, and for good reason. The menu offers a unique twist on fare, and it’s all incredibly tasty. Trust me, don’t miss out on the Danish Pancakes – you’ll thank us later.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, take a short stroll west to Mike’s Ice Cream. It’s a classic joint that only accepts cash, check, or IOUs, but their options are seriously top-notch.

When it comes to libations, I’d recommend checking out the Common House. Whether you’re in the mood for a cocktail or a beer/wine to-go, it’s a great spot. Personally, I’m a fan of both wine and beer, and Hood River has some stellar options.

Common House

There are some excellent breweries in town – Ferment and Pfriem are just a short drive away, but trust me, they’re worth it. Both spots offer fantastic settings along the waterfront. If you’d prefer to stay closer, Double Mountain and Full Sail are within easy walking distance, and they both serve food as well.

Grateful Vineyard

As for wine, we dedicated a day to exploring the area around Mt. Hood and had the pleasure of visiting Stave and Stone (gorgeous grounds with a breathtaking view of Mt. Adams) and Grateful Vineyard (equally stunning grounds with a jaw-dropping view of Mt. Hood).

And don’t underestimate the Washington wineries in the Gorge. We swung by Le Doubble Troubble, just across the river in downtown White Salmon, and soaked in some incredible views at South Hill Winery.

South Hill Winery

To put it simply, there’s no shortage of fantastic refueling options, all just a quick jaunt from the Hood River Hotel.


Staying at the Hood River Hotel is more than just a visit; it’s an experience that leaves a lasting impression. Nestled in the heart of the city, it serves as the perfect basecamp for runners and adventure-seekers alike. Its central location means you’re never far from the action, whether you’re exploring the vibrant local scene or setting off on an invigorating run along the scenic riverfront trails.

While chain hotels dot the landscape, there’s something truly special about choosing a historical gem like the Hood River Hotel. It’s a place that understands the delicate balance between old-world charm and modern amenities. From the inviting lobby that whisks you back in time to the thoughtfully designed rooms that cater to every comfort, it’s clear that every detail has been considered.

Whether you’re in search of an active getaway or a serene retreat, the Hood River Hotel effortlessly caters to both, making your stay an unforgettable journey through time and tranquility.


Hood River Hotel






The Hood River Hotel


Many thanks to The Hood River Hotel for allowing us to check out their property! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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