Things to Do in Hood River: Hood River Fruit Loop
Hood River Fruit Loop
What is it? In summary, the Hood River Fruit Loop is about a 35 mile stretch of road that in general starts in Hood River, specifically near Grace Su’s Chinese Restaurant and goes south through a highway known as Highway 35 to the town of Parkdale, OR. Along the way you will see absolutely magnificent views of Mt Hood and be able to stop along the route for shopping for locally made products such as jams and jellies, locally made foods. You will enter the town of Parkdale, which has some interesting points of interest for visitors along with gorgeous views of Mt Hood as well. Then the route takes you through another highway Dee Highway back into Hood River and along the way you can stop along more places to shop, eat, or take photos as well. The Fruit Loop is a local attraction for visitors to really get into and experience many of the local attractions that make Hood River such a gem in Oregon.
I made a list that you can click on Google Maps at this public link: https://goo.gl/maps/gKuuVe9eYNx2JnBy6
The list may fit perfectly into your GPS if you wish.
Before You Go
Before you go on the fruit loop here in Hood River: Be sure that you have a brochure that you probably obtained at one of the local hotels or the Chamber of Commerce as it would have a detailed map of recommended stops along the Hood River Fruit Loop.
You can also see a detailed map here: https://hoodriverfruitloop.com/travel-tips/fruit-loop-map
Also keep in mind that some places may not be open during certain seasons in some of the stops along the Hood River Fruit Loop visited during the summer and spring seasons however that does not mean that the scenic route along the Fruit Loop will not have any places to stop, I am just mentioning this because some places may be closed during the winter season. If by chance you are going to visit the Fruit Loop in the winter months please check with the local weather forecast to make sure that it will not be snowing and that the conditions are OK to drive through the Fruitloop.
If you are going to visit the Fruit Loop be sure to check out local weather reports as during the wintertime the snow conditions can be pretty challenging. Also, drive safe!! Although absolutely beautiful both Highway 35 and Dee Highway are pretty fast paced highways and be aware of possible animal crossings when you are going on the highways.
Key Point: Check the below websites to make sure the stop you want to make is open when you get here and for hours!!!!!
Scenic Stops Along The Fruit Loop
So, you want to take that awesome shot that Hood River is known for? Here are some very basic recommendations
1.) Panorama Point: This is not on the official map but if you want that stunning photo this is early if you are starting on Highway 35 you’ll be driving towards Parkdale and it will be on your left hand side, the road is on your left if you are headed to Parkdale, now I highly suggest you be so careful as you may have to stop on a highway with fast moving cars going behind you, so be extra careful, one thing you could do is visit a stop on your right, then pulling out head back to Panorama Point and get that photo.
Here is the link from trip advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51909-d6561149-Reviews-Panorama_Point_County_Park-Hood_River_Oregon.html
2.) Stop along the right hand side of the road on the way to Parkdale. Before you get to Parkdale there will be a few places along the road where you can pull over and get a magnificent shot from your camera or phone.
3.) Mt View Orchards: I would also recommend this stop here for yet another amazing photo. Just have a look at their website in the link provided to see the types of photos available from this location.
4.) Lavender Farm: Many picture opportunities here but being a lavender farm in season would be best to see the purple lavender bloom while you take that amazing photo!!!
Why visit the Hood River fruit Loop?
Probably the biggest attraction to completing the Hood River fruit Loop is the awe inspiring scenery that you will see along the way such as Mount Hood and beautiful orchards along with not to mention the lavender farm which is along the way and is known outside of Hood River as being an absolutely stunning view of Mount Hood especially if you can get there when the lavenders are in bloom you will see absolutely stunning scenery and the type of photography that you can accomplish while on the Fruit Loop is unforgettable and shows just what Oregon has to offer as far as natural beauty and natural landscapes.
Along with the beauty and natural scenery there are many places to shop and stop along the Hood River fruit Loop and on this journey you are able to shop for locally made jams and jellies and other food items that local vendors have prepared.
How long does it take?
It is roughly about a 35 mile loop, so if you drove straight it would take about 45 minutes, however, making multiple stops may make that longer depending on where you stop. If you stop at every single place it may even take a full day or so to stop and do everything along this route!!
This is a very open question because it depends on how many stops you plan on taking so for example if all you want to do is take some photos of Mount Hood you can complete the loop in about one hour. If however you want to make some stops along your journey through the Fruit Loop it can be as long as one to two days if you want to stop at every single recommended stop. So this actually depends on what your plan is and of course how much time you have to spend here in Hood River as there are other things besides the fruit loop that you can see and do in the area.
Keep in mind that you do not have to take one direct route through Hood River and along a highway named Dee Highway you can actually take Highway 35 to go the other way so there are two different ways to complete the route to Parkdale and back.
Things to Do in Parkdale
Of course speaking of Parkdale, this small town lies in between Hood River and Mount Hood and is a very small town however they have some very interesting things to check out such as a very small museum and a local brewery named Solera brewery. Of course there are a few places to stop in Parkdale to capture more photographs and images of the mountain. There is actually a place to stay in Parkdale named the Old Parkdale Inn and the website is under hoodriverlodging.com, so if you’re looking to actually stay in Parkdale I would definitely check out this website and they are not far from the brewery along with an absolutely amazing place to eat called Apple Valley BBQ. I can personally attest to the fact that Apple Valley BBQ is absolutely amazing food, everything that I have had there has been top quality and I am not sure exactly what the secret is for the recipes but you will find some of the best country cooking there at Apple Valley BBQ in Parkdale. Of course the before mentioned Solera brewery is not far away I believe it is only about a one minute walk across the street to the brewery.
What about for kids?
If you do have kids with you I do recommend if you can check on the time of the museum there in Parkdale to check that out because I believe they have some small activities for kids which small children may enjoy. Also when it comes to kids you can also check out the WAAM Museum which stands for Western automobile and airplane museum and is very unique here in Hood River however they do have an incredible small area for kids which many kids have enjoyed and others may enjoy the antique automobiles and airplanes that they have in there they have incredibly interesting machinery. For more information and photos check out my article I wrote a few years ago on the WAAM Museum.
To Eat Along The Hood River Fruit Loop:
Soth Kitchen: A Filipino/Italian food truck located at the Mt Hood Winery one of the first stops assuming you are starting on the highway 35 route first.
There are numerous places, mostly farm stands where you can buy unique things such as locally made james and jellies, things to eat, things to take back home along the way. Most of these are located on Highway 35, either going into or out of Parkdale, OR but I also recommend the Apple Valley Store mentioned in the link above to stop in there for delicious things to eat! I highly recommend getting a brochure at a hotel or the chamber of commerce to help guide you along your journey.
Maps of the Fruit Loop:
If you want to have automatic maps from Google just click the link on the Google maps I created and your GPS should be able to take you automatically to wherever you wish to go on the Fruit Loop.
Click this link to open in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/jJcRSNN1iv5PCCeUA
As mentioned above, for a detailed map I did find one at this link here:
Stops/Websites of stops along the Fruit Loop:
*** Soth Kitchen open from Friday through Sunday is located here as well and is a great place to get some Filipino/Italian food!!
13.) https://packerorchards.com/ ** Note** The bakery is different from the number 7 stop.
Thinking of visiting? Check below for local hotels through Expedia!
Another fun filled idea:
There are two musueums that you may run into there in the Hood River Fruit Loop, I thought I would suggest one here on the history of Hood River, for history enthusiasts this may be of interest with historical photos, it is interesting to see photos of the places that you may see on the fruit loop with the following book “Hood River: Images of America” and this book has a lot of locally collected images from locals, which you will see some of the sites during your drive through the fruit loop no doubt, just wanted to mention it:
In case you are eager to go hiking here locally check out the following book: It is called Curious Gorge, not the animal George, or rather not to be confused with Curious George the monkey, but rather Curious Gorge, a book on hiking here and all the many many places to hike here locally!! You can also pick up this book in local shops but I do recommend this one as it is great for your outdoor hiking here in Hood River!!!