By CatherineDecember 2, 201924 Comments
The Columbia River Gorge, on the border between Washington and Oregon, offers dramatic scenery. For good reason: The gorge was formed at the end of the last Ice Age about 14,000 years ago when glaciers chiseled through the landscape. Bingen, WA and White Salmon, WA are two small towns along the Gorge that serve as ideal jumping-off points to explore this stunning area.
Both Bingen and White Salmon, WA were originally blue collar towns. They’ve both added hotels, shops and restaurants that cater to visitors, especially for nearby Portland, Oregon.
Both towns are also terrific launchpads to see the Gorgeo’s natural beauty. Hiking and white river rafting are only minutes away.
So if you’re looking to visit Bingen, WA ad White Salmon, WA, this post has all the details you need: the best restaurants, hotels, hikes and other things to do in Bingen and White Salmon, Washington.
Things to do in Bingen and White Salmon, WA
Bingen and White Salmon lie just a few minutes for each other along Highway 14 in Washington, directly across from the Hood River Bridge.
Both towns are small—population 2,200 for White Salmon and just 700 in Bingen—so you can cover most of the things to do in the White Salmon, WA area pretty efficiently.
Here are my favorite activities.
Wine tasting in the Columbia River Gorge
Ok, so wine tasting in the Columbia River Gorge is not in Bingen or White Salmon themselves. But you can find excellent—and scenic—wineries within a short drive.
My favorite is Syncline Winery, just a 10 minute drive east from Bingen, WA. In my opinion, it’s the prettiest place to taste wine in the fall in the area. The turning trees, campfires and, of course, stellar wine make Syncline my top recommendation of where to go wine tasting in Washington in the Columbia River Gorge.
(Don’t miss tasting their Subduction Red. Most restaurants in White Salmon serve it, and for good reason: It’s a crowd pleaser.)
Antique shopping in Bingen, WA
I love a good antique store, and they always seem to be the best in small towns. Antiques & Oddities, the shop in Bingen, WA, is no exception. It’s large and well organized, with entire sections dedicated to dishware, vintage cowboy boots and Asian artifacts.
I snagged a few finds at the antique store in Bingen for what I felt was a reasonable price. I’ll definitely return to this antique store the next time I’m in the Gorge.
Maryhill Museum of Art in the Gorge
A half-hour drive east from Bingen, Maryhill Museum of Art perches on the ridge of the Gorge. This beautiful art museum not only offers an unparalleled view of the Columbia River, it also exhibits impressive art and Native American artifacts.
Inside the museum, a mansion more than 100 years old, you’ll see European and North American fine art, decorative arts and miniatures of high fashion. My favorite section highlights Native American baskets, collected from tribes around the Pacific Northwest.
Cross your fingers for good weather when you visit the Maryhill Museum because you’ll definitely want to see its outdoor sculpture garden. Keep an eye out for the resident peacocks wandering among the Rodins.
Know that the Maryhill Museum of Art closes between November 16 – March 14.
Hikes near White Salmon, WA
The Columbia River Gorge has only this problem with hikes: With so many options, it can be hard to choose one!
The Oregon side of the Gorge has most of the waterfalls, so if that’s what you’re going for, simply cross the Columbia. Bridal Veil Falls, Multnomah Falls and Latourell Falls are all terrific, nearby waterfall hikes.
On the Washington side, you’ll get expansive views of the Columbia River. The area around White Salmon and Bingen is also more characterized by sage and wildflowers rather than the evergreen forests more common on the Oregon side.
These are my two favorite hikes on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge near Bingen and White Salmon:
Catherine Creek Hike, Washington
The Catherine Creek hike leads you up rolling hills overlooking the Columbia River. It’s a fairly gradual uphill climb, nothing too strenuous. (For context, I’ve hiked this trail with pregnant friends and women wearing babies in carriers.)
My favorite part of the Catherine Creek hike (besides its awesome name, obvi) is seeing Mt. Hood from a fresh perspective. I consider Mt. Hood my home mountain, and we see it every day from our house. I rarely see its back, though, and cherish my favorite mountain from every angle.
Catherine Creek also blooms with wildflowers every spring. I’ve never hiked it at this time of year. If you do, know it’ll be busy: hikers from Portland and beyond come to see the short-lived monkey-flower, redstem storksbill, honeysuckle and other wildflowers.
Beacon Rock hike, Washington
If you’re looking for a hike on your way back to Portland from White Salmon, WA, Beacon Rock is a great bet. This short but rewarding hike is about halfway between White Salmon and Portland on the Washington side of the Columbia.
Beacon Rock is a hunk of cooled magma that Lewis & Clark named on their expedition in the early 1800s. Crisscrossed by switchbacks, the mile-long trail takes you to its summit, where you can see the Columbia stretch to the east and west.
I wouldn’t bring your children to hike Beacon Rock, though. The drop offs along the trail are simply too steep and dangerous. The potential of an accident is too great to risk bringing my kids, ages 4 and 6.
To hike Beacon Rock, you’ll need a Discover Pass ($10 for one day).
Restaurants in White Salmon and Bingen, Washington
One of the good things about exploring small towns is you’re not overwhelmed by options. And luckily, those options of restaurants in White Salmon and Bingen are delicious.
For lunch, head to North Shore in White Salmon, WA. This local cafe serves healthy, filling bowls, sandwiches, salads and omelets as well as coffee, tea and pastries. North Shore also has a large table for groups as well as games and books for children.
For a drink and appetizers, try out Feast Market & Delicatessen in White Salmon. This Northwest-inspired restaurant and deli welcomes diners stopping in to share a few small plates, and the service is excellent.
Feast also has a deli counter, which serves salads and other packable food. That, plus its small shop selling cheese, wine and other goodies, make it this area’s go-to spot for stocking up on picnic supplies.
For a casual dinner in White Salmon, hit up Everybody’s Brewing. This brew pub serves its own beer as well as a full menu. Everybody’s Brewing is terrific for straightforward pub fare and they were more than happy to accommodate our group’s modifications for dietary restrictions. Plus, the brewery’s huge booths can fit large groups.
For a more upscale dinner in White Salmon, Henni’s Kitchen & Bar is the most recommended restaurant. Seven friends and I ate dinner here on a recent trip to White Salmon, WA, and the food was excellent. Vegetarians will find only a few menu options, though.
While we devoured pretty much every single morsel of food at Henni’s, I was surprised by several hiccups at the nicest restaurant in White Salmon. At 6:30 on a Saturday night, they had entirely run out of bread and steak, which featured heavily on the menu and in the specials. Although the night didn’t seem particularly busy, we waited an hour and a half for our food. And my meal—a salad—arrived 20 minutes after everyone else’s. I was pretty disappointed, but maybe Henni’s was just having an off night.
Finally, if you’re really, really hungry, you can’t beat the portions of Ayutlense in Bingen, WA. This family-owned Mexican restaurant in Bingen serves delicious dishes in sizes that could probably feed half the town. Unless you’re sharing (or starving), order off the chico combinations menu. I ordered tortilla soup with a side of beans and rice and still took half my meal home.
Hotels in Bingen, WA
If you’re staying in this area of the Columbia River Gorge, I so strongly recommend the Society Hotel in Bingen, WA. This beautiful hotel renovated an old schoolhouse and retained much of its century-old charm. For example, the hotel kept the school’s gym intact, adding Pendleton pillows for the bleachers and games like foosball and cornhole for guests.
The Society Hotel in Bingen’s most famous feature is its sauna and spa. With an outdoor hot tub, a warm tub, a cold pool for polar bear dunking and a dry sauna, you have plenty of choices for luxuriating. I loved that I could also order wine, sparkling water and snacks in the beautiful bath house.
This hotel in Bingen is also unconventional in its room options. You can rent one of the cabins that surround the bath house. Or in the main building, you can stay in rooms named for classes (Science, French, etc.) or in high-end, hostel-like bunks. These three-high bunks are nicer than any hostel where I’ve stayed, but at rates starting at $37 a night, including access to the bath house. It’s hard to beat that price and I’m already planning my return stay at the Society Hotel, probably next month!
Exploring White Salmon and Bingen, WA
By now, you can tell that Bingen and White Salmon, WA are small but mighty when it comes to things to do. With the nearby hikes, antique shopping, wine tasting and art museum, you’ll stay plenty busy.
And once you’re done exploring, all the restaurants in White Salmon will warm and fill your belly.
Are you convinced? I’m betting you are. In that case, I may just see you there because I can’t wait to go back.
- White Salmon Glassworks. Art Galleries. ...
- Ascendente Winery. Wineries & Vineyards. ...
- PDX Rafting. 101. ...
- Wet Planet Whitewater Center. 434. ...
- Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys. 847. ...
- River Drifters. 140. ...
- Columbia River Outdoors. River Rafting & Tubing • Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. ...
- All Adventures Rafting.
White Salmon is one of the top destinations in the world for whitewater rafting and kayaking, with the Little White and White Salmon rivers on its doorstep.Where can I swim with White Salmon? ›
- Mayer State Park. Mosier, OR.
- Doug's Beach State Park. Dallesport, WA.
- Benson State Recreation Area. Cascade Locks, OR.
- Maryhill State Park. Goldendale, WA.
- Columbia Hills State Park. Dallesport, WA.
- Rooster Rock State Park. ...
- Dabney State Recreation Area. ...
- Lewis and Clark State Recreation Site.
Living in White Salmon offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In White Salmon there are a lot of bars, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals and retirees live in White Salmon and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in White Salmon are above average.Where is White Salmon wash? ›
White Salmon, WA is located east of Portland, Oregon 550 feet on a bluff above the Columbia River. The one hour drive from Portland OR (or Vancouver WA) to White Salmon WA will leave you wondering how on earth you haven't discovered the Columbia River Gorge until now.What is there to do in the White Mountain in March? ›
- Kancamagus Highway. 3,546. Scenic Drives. ...
- Santa's Village. 1,235. Amusement & Theme Parks. ...
- Flume Gorge. 1,734. Historic Walking Areas • Geologic Formations. ...
- Diana's Baths. 1,569. ...
- Cathedral Ledge. 1,028. ...
- The Basin at Franconia Notch State Park. 1,007. ...
- Clark's Bears. 1,130. ...
- Franconia Notch State Park. 662.
White Salmon WA History
The White Salmon River was named by Lewis and Clark, as they observed the white-fleshed salmon being caught and dried by the natives at the mouth of the river. The town of White Salmon was named after these salmon as well.
King Salmon (aka Chinook Salmon)
The one downside: It's usually the most expensive salmon you'll find at the fishmonger—but honestly, it's money well spent. King Salmon from Alaska is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certified sustainable.
Behold the annual migration of salmon upstream through rapids and up waterfalls in Norway. During the annual migration in Norway, salmon jumping up waterfalls.What does White Salmon taste like? ›
It tastes at once sweet, like a freshwater fish, and deeply of the sea. It is clearly salmon, but with flavors reminiscent of perch and Chilean sea bass. Compared with farmed salmon and even red king salmon, which tend to be oily and fishy tasting, white king salmon's delicacy is incomparable.
So what gives? That white stuff oozing out of your salmon as it cooks is just coagulated protein, and it's perfectly safe to eat. According to America's Test Kitchen, as salmon cooks, its muscle fibers contract, causing it to wring out the fish's internal protein, or albumin.What is the nicest city in Washington? ›
- Seattle: Best City for Urban Living. ...
- Tacoma: Best Alternative to Seattle. ...
- Olympia: Best for Capital Living. ...
- Ocean Shores: Best Coastal Living. ...
- Vancouver: Best Portland Commute. ...
- Spokane: Best City in the East. ...
- Cheney: Best College Town.
The minimum combined 2022 sales tax rate for White Salmon, Washington is 7.5%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates. The Washington sales tax rate is currently 6.5%.How big is White Salmon WA? ›
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.22 square miles (3.16 km2), all of it land. The city is located opposite Hood River, Oregon on the Columbia River.What is White Salmon called? ›
Some king salmon – about one in 20 – have white meat due to an inability to process these pigments in their food. Although these white kings have long been coveted by many Alaskans, the pale meat typically fetched a lower price from fish buyers and was considered commercially less desirable.What does White Salmon mean? ›
The white stuff on salmon is perfectly normal
When salmon is raw, you can't see the albumin inside—but as the fish cooks, it thickens and forms the gooey white stuff you see on salmon skin. When asked if there was any benefit to it, she explained that it's made up of protein, but then again, so is the salmon.
Avoid wearing cotton and instead choose items made from moisture-wicking materials such as wool, polyester, or Tencel. When wearing layers, you should have a base layer, such as long underwear, a middle layer of fleece or light down jacket, and then finally a water-resistant outer layer.How many days do you need at White Mountains? ›
In New Hampshire's White Mountains, four days is barely enough to scratch the dramatic surface, with its mountain crags and crystalline streams. No New England region offers more one-of-a-kind scenes and attractions.What are 10 facts about salmon? ›
- Salmon Return to Their Birth River to Spawn after Spending Several Years at Sea. ...
- Salmon are Classified as Keystone Species in Some Areas. ...
- Salmon are Attracted to Both Salt and Freshwater. ...
- The Hue of Salmon Varies. ...
- A Female Salmon Can Carry Over 4,000 Eggs.
- It is impossible for most people to lick their own elbow. ...
- A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
- A shrimp's heart is in its head.
- It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
Salmon is one of the best sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of farmed salmon has 2.3 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, while the same portion of wild salmon contains 2.2 grams ( 1 , 2 ).What is the white stuff that comes out of salmon as it cooks? ›
The white stuff on salmon is called albumin.
Albumin is a protein that exists in the fish in liquid form when it's raw, but coagulates and becomes semi-solid when you subject the salmon to heat, whether that's in the oven, on the stove, or on the grill.
My conclusion after this taste-test is that you can't go wrong with either kind, but if you tend to over-cook your fish, go for the White, and if you like a more distinct salmon flavour, go for the Red.Is White Salmon rare? ›
Only about 6 to 8 percent of a king salmon catch is white salmon, which makes it a rare delicacy.What is the most tastiest salmon? ›
Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha), also known as King salmon, is considered by many to be the best-tasting of the salmon bunch. They have a high-fat content and corresponding rich flesh that ranges from white to a deep red color.Which salmon has the best flavor? ›
They're the most flavorful (what some would consider fishy) of all salmon and are commonly sold smoked, in high-end salmon burgers, and by the fillet. Significantly smaller than king salmon, not as fatty and generally leaner, full-grown sockeyes range from five to 15 pounds.
Wild-caught Pacific salmon are typically considered to be the healthiest salmon.How far do salmon swim in a day? ›
How Far Can Salmon Swim Upstream in one Day? Depending on the species and water conditions, salmon can cover around 40 miles upstream per day. Sockeye, coho, and king salmon are the better swimmers, as they can swim reach up to 45 miles a day depending on the condition of the waterway.How long does the fall salmon run last? ›
Fall-run Chinook Salmon migrate upstream as adults from July through December and spawn from early October through late December. The timing of runs varies from stream to stream. Late-fall-run Chinook Salmon migrate into the rivers from mid-October through December and spawn from January through mid-April.What time of year do salmon swim upstream? ›
Early morning and evenings during October and November are best, and a period of rain after a dry spell will provide the perfect conditions for the salmon to leap. Look for stretches with small waterfalls, find a good vantage point by the river and take care on wet slippery banks!
What is the gray area of flesh just below the skin of salmon, and is it best to remove it before serving? The gray portion of tissue you refer to is a fatty deposit rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in the natural pink pigments found in the rest of the fish.What color salmon is best? ›
Since the fish is known for its distinctive pink hue (a hue often referred to as “salmon”), darker salmon sells better. But for farm-raised salmon, which makes up 70 percent of the market, color has nothing to do with quality. Farm-raised salmon is naturally gray; the pink color is added.Which salmon is not fishy tasting? ›
There are many types of salmon, but some are less fishy tasting than others. Sockeye and Coho salmon have a more delicate flavor, while chinook and chum salmon have a stronger, more distinct taste. If you're looking for a salmon that is less fishy tasting, Sockeye or Coho (Sliver) would be a good choice.What color should you not eat salmon? ›
Fresh salmon is usually bright pink or at least an attractive rosy or slightly orange color. Stay away from grayish salmon. That is not a fish safe to eat! Also, it doesn't matter if you cook and store your salmon, it can still be dangerous.When should you not eat salmon? ›
It should have a bright pink-orange color with shiny, silver skin. If the skin looks dull and lifeless, or if the flesh has faded to gray, the salmon is probably not fresh. Any dark spots or discoloration are indications of spoilage, as is a milky-white residue on the fillet.What is the number 1 attraction in Washington? ›
1. Mount Rainier National Park. Mount Rainier National Park is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Washington State.Where do rich people live in Washington? ›
Stacker says the richest town in Washington is Clyde Hill! This is what writers said about the quaint town: "Clyde Hill is a suburb of Seattle, a city known for its heavy hitters in the aerospace industry, manufacturing, forestry, and advanced technology, reports City Data.What is the best month to visit Washington state? ›
The July–September high season is the best time for warm, dry days. July and August are the warmest and driest months in Washington and it's high season – even Seattleites get a little sun. Most visitors opt to visit in summer and early fall (July through September).What is the cheapest city to live in Washington? ›
- Moses Lake.
- West Richland.
Washington Income Tax Calculator 2021
If you make $500 a year living in the region of Washington, USA, you will be taxed $0. Your average tax rate is 0.00% and your marginal tax rate is 10%.
6.5% State Sales Tax
The State of Washington imposes a 6.5% sales tax on all retail sales as defined by statute (RCW 82.08. 020).
Washington law exempts most grocery type food from retail sales tax. However, the law does not exempt “prepared food,” “soft drinks,” or “dietary supplements.” Businesses that sell these “foods” must collect sales tax. In addition, all alcoholic items are subject to retail sales tax.Can you fish the White Salmon River? ›
White Salmon River
This river is shared with Skamania County and has opportunities for steelhead and salmon fishing. The river has had a modest fishery for summer steelhead in recent years, with most catches in June through August.
The White Salmon River was named by Lewis and Clark, as they observed the white-fleshed salmon being caught and dried by the natives at the mouth of the river. The town of White Salmon was named after these salmon as well. The first non-natives to settle in White Salmon were Erastus and Mary Joslyn in 1853.What is the zip code for White Salmon? ›
ZIP Code 98672 Map, Demographics, More for White Salmon, WA.What is the size limit of trout on the White River? ›
Trout Limits for the White River below Bull Shoals Lake
You may keep up to 5 trout per day and have up to 10 in your possession at any one time. Only 1 trout over 14 inches long may be kept.
Bull Shoals-White River State Park has become a very popular fishing destination since it was established in 1955, following the completion of Bull Shoals Dam.Does white bait run at night? ›
“Contrary to popular opinion, we've discovered that under clear sky conditions, fish are actively migrating at night. It was always thought that whitebait only travelled upstream during daylight hours. Whitebait can travel up to 18 km over 36 hours, and their maximum migration speed is about 1.5 km per hour.”
The snowy period of the year lasts for 4.3 months, from November 7 to March 16, with a sliding 31-day snowfall of at least 1.0 inches. The month with the most snow in White Salmon is January, with an average snowfall of 11.3 inches. The snowless period of the year lasts for 7.7 months, from March 16 to November 7.How deep is the water in the Salmon River? ›
It covers an area of 2,660 acres (10.8 km2) with a maximum depth of 50 feet (15 m) and has the capacity to hold 56,000 acre-feet (69,000,000 m3) of water. It is the larger of the Salmon River's two reservoirs.Where is the the best place to catch salmon in Washington state? ›
What is this? The best chum salmon fishing in Washington is typically in Hood Canal, and in particular around the hatchery at Hoodsport. Another hot spot closer to home for many is near the fish hatchery at Minter Creek, located near the end of Carr Inlet less than 20 minutes from Gig Harbor.What does salmon mean to Native Americans? ›
Salmon. People. Native Nations of the Pacific Northwest define themselves as Salmon People. They consider salmon to be an extremely important gift of food from the Creator, and each year they honor the salmon's sacrifice in special ceremonies.What is the name of a White Salmon? ›
Ivory King is a white fleshed salmon that is actually the same species as regular King Salmon with the orange colored flesh that everyone is accustomed to seeing. The five species of Pacific salmon generally have flesh that ranges from pink to orange to red depending on the species and point in the fish's life cycle.Why are salmon so important to Washington? ›
Salmon are an integral part of the lives of Washingtonians. They serve as a source of food, industry, economy, spiritual and cultural identity, and recreation. Washington State is obligated to uphold treaty-reserved fishing rights for Indian tribes and has a duty to ensure salmon are present and available for harvest.What does the Z mean in zip code? ›
ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan. However, the USPS intentionally chose the acronym to indicate that mail travels more quickly when senders mark the postal code on their packages and envelopes.What zip code is 11111? ›
11111 is not a valid 5 digit ZIP Code, but there are valid ZIP Codes that start with 111: 11101, 11102, etc. Once position 28 was changed to Y, then MSP considered 11111 as an Invalid zip, because it looked at all 5 digits.What fictional character has a zip code? ›
To date, Smokey is the only fictional character to receive a Unique ZIP code, largely because the U.S. Postal Service prefers to route mail addressed to such figures to real, humorously appropriate addresses.