Best Time of Year to Drive the Hood River Fruit Loop

Imagine driving from one breathtaking view to the next, stopping at farm-fresh fruit stands and gorgeous lavender farms along the way, and you’ll start to understand what it’s like to drive the Hood River Fruit Loop on a warm summer’s day. Though the Hood River Fruit Loop is a remarkable place to drive year-round, with fun seasonal features and always fresh and seasonal produce filling up local farm stands, we think the best time of year to drive this scenic route is the summer. 

In part, summer is our favorite season to drive the Fruit Loop because when you do, you can also combine your drive with a stop or two at local Hood River Lavender Farms, where the vibrant purple blossoms will reach their peak in July – and not to mention, of course, the fields of wildflowers that will greet you along the way, too!

Agriculture in the Columbia River Gorge is bountiful – a fact evident when you dine at local Stevenson, WA restaurants or those popular restaurants in Hood River. From local wineries and farm stands to exquisite flower farms and more, we’d love to be your headquarters for a summer adventure along the Hood River Fruit Loop. While you’re here, we hope you take the time to enjoy some hikes or bike rides, explore the majestic beauty along the famed HWY 30 waterfall corridor, and otherwise soak up the natural beauty of this area in whatever way feels best for you. 

At the end of your days, our luxurious cabins in Washington will be waiting to wrap you in their warm, comfortable embrace. We’re close to the southern entrance of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and near many of the top things to do in the Columbia River Gorge. In short, we offer visitors the perfect home base for all their adventures in this jaw-dropping nature lover’s paradise. Don’t wait any longer; book your room at our top-rated cabins in Washington today! 

Apple blossoms on the farms of the Hood River Fruit Loop

When to Drive the Hood River Fruit Loop

It’s hard to pinpoint the “best” time to drive the Hood River Fruit Loop. The blossoms in local orchards are beautiful in spring, from the end of March through May, and the annual fall harvest is positively delicious. But a bountiful, warm, sunny summer day is hard to beat. It’s probably not somewhere you want to visit in winter – there are far more things to do in the Columbia River Gorge when the snow falls! – but just about any other time of year on the Hood River Fruit Loop will be time well spent. 

The Hood River Fruit Loop is a 35-mile loop through the Columbia River Gorge Valley. It’s filled with orchards, vineyards, farms, fruit stands, and some local wineries, breweries, and cideries. Don’t be fooled by its short length – you can easily spend an entire day or more in this agriculturally rich part of the state! We recommend spending at least 4- 5 hours driving the Hood River Fruit Loop. There’s a great self-guided map to help you plan your adventure as you go, but below, we’ve also included a few of our favorite stops to make on this famed scenic drive. 

  1. Your first stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop is a scenic one. Don’t miss Panorama Point, just south of Hood River, which offers an exquisite panoramic view of the entire valley, with orchards and vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. 
  2. Farm stands are the absolute highlight of any adventure along the Hood River Fruit Loop – and there are far more than we can list here. One of our favorites, however, is Draper Girls Country Farm. As the season marches on, you’ll find opportunities to pick cherries, peaches, and apples directly from their orchard. Don’t forget to meet their friendly goats and maybe even grab a glass of their farm-made cider! 
  3. There are several great wineries along the Hood River Fruit Loop, but one of our favorites is Marchesi Vineyards & Winery. It’s right in Hood River and offers a great place to end your travels on the Hood River Fruit Loop. An excellent midway option would be Stave & Stone Winery at the Vineyard, where you’ll also find a stunning Lavender Farm.
  4. If you want to shop for locally made delicacies and fun souvenirs, don’t miss the Apple Valley Country Store & Bakery. They’ve become well known for their huckleberry milkshakes, but they also have a great selection of fresh fruit as well as fresh and frozen pies. Talk about the perfect summer treat!
  5. You can easily fill yourself up on fruit and other yummy treats on the Hood River Fruit Loop, but if you’re looking for a place to eat along the way, we recommend stopping at Apple Valley BBQ, or perhaps grab something fresh at Crooked Tree Tavern & Grill at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort. 
While driving the Hood River Fruit Loop, don't miss stunning lavender farms like these

Don’t Miss These Hood River Lavender Farms

As wonderful (and delicious!) as the Hood River Fruit Loop is, this scenic drive is not just about the fruit and the wines you’ll find here. This scenic drive also happens to be where you’ll find some of the best Hood River Lavender Farms! There are various areas in the Pacific Northwest that are home to vibrant lavender-growing operations, and where you’ll find fields of vibrant purple blossoms reminiscent of those you’ll find in the stunning valleys of France’s Provence region. 

Though they are weather dependent, Hood River Lavender Farms typically bloom from early June through the end of July and offer just one more reason to make your summertime plans to visit the stunning Columbia River Gorge. The unmistakable fragrance of lavender in the air, combined with a juicy bite of farm-fresh fruit, will be an indelible memory of your summer adventure. Whether you’re looking to wander the lavender fields, pick your own fragrant flowers, or purchase lavender-made goods, visiting these Hood River Lavender Farms will surely be a joy. We’ve listed our favorite farms to visit on the Hood River Fruit Loop below! 

  1. One of our favorites to visit is the Hood River Lavender Farm. They have a wide variety of merchandise available in their retail shop, and you’re welcome to roam freely through their fields, soaking up the views and fragrances as you go. This gem is next door to Stave and Stone Winery, where you can sip locally crafted wines and admire the views of Mt. Hood and Mount Adams.
  2. Enjoy the double mountain views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams towering beyond the vibrant purple fields at Hope Ranch Lavender Farm. You can walk through their fields, pick your own lavender, and shop from their farmstand.
  3. Van Gogh Lavender offers a fantastic range of home and culinary lavender products to pick up and take home with you. 
  4. Lavender Valley Farms is just off the Hood River Fruit Loop, nestled at the base of Mt. Hood. Visit the farm store, where you’ll find fresh flowers and a variety of products made from their lavender plants. 


Between visits to these stunning Hood River Lavender Farms and other delightful stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop, is it any wonder why we look so forward to summer? Our cabins in Washington are centrally located just across the river from Hood River, giving you easy access to these attractions and so much more. There’s truly no better place to stay in the Columbia River Gorge. Book your room at our #1-rated cabins in Washington today!

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