Photo: Kayaker going down waterfall

A kayaker tumbles down Punch Bowl Falls in the Columbia River Gorge near Hood River, Oregon.

Photograph by Ty Milford, Aurora Photos

By Kim Brown Seely

Of all the trips we offer, this is the one my kids would pick," says Julie Ubben, Bicycle Adventures' assistant marketing manager and mother of three. Her company's five-day customizable sports sampler is a nonstop cycling, rafting, and windsurfing tour through Oregon's Columbia Gorge.

The trip starts with a hike up Beacon Rock for panoramic views of Columbia River and a 15-mile (24-kilometer) cycle to your digs for the next two nights: Mount Adams Lodge at the Flying L Ranch, an 80-acre (32-hectare) spread on the sunny western slope of the Cascade Range. Next you’ll ride Class III and IV rapids on the Salmon River, then hike a steep 1.4 miles (2.3 kilometers) up Sleeping Beauty Peak. Accommodations also include the Hood River Inn, which, with its own beach and windsurfing lessons taught next door, is home base for young boarders.

Where to Play

While guides worry about whether your teens are pedaling the right route, it's just you and the wind for 19 miles (31 kilometers) on the gently rolling hills of car-free Columbia River Scenic Highway, with views of Washington's 12,276-foot (3,742-meter) Mount Adams just across the river. End the trip with a downhill pedal on country roads through Hood River Valley orchards.

At Day's End

Evenings at the Flying L Ranch are reserved for strolling through ponderosa pines or soaking in the outdoor hot tub. From Hood River Inn take a side trip to Cathedral Ridge Winery (www.cathedralridgewinery.com), named after the knife-edge running off Mount Hood's summit, and sip local varietals in front of sweeping mountain views.

Details

5 days; $1,975 (10 to 30 percent discount, depending on age, for children under 17); www.bicycleadventures.com

Based on articles from National Geographic Adventure and updated by Greer Schott

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