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Helicopter tours in Portland, Oregon – prices, timings, cancellation

Portland in Oregon is a holiday-friendly destination attracting almost 10 million tourists annually. 

It is Oregon’s largest city and rests on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood. 

As a result, aerial tours are quite popular in Portland. 

Tourists take off on a helicopter to get a different perspective of Portland city or book airplane tours to explore Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Mount Hood. 

This article covers everything you need to know before booking a helicopter tour in Portland, Oregon.

Best helicopter & airplane tours in Portland

Portland aerial tours are available in different combinations – durations and destinations.

In this section, we share five of the best tours available.

Columbia River Gorge Air Tour

Columbia River Gorge Air Tour
Image: Viator.com

This tour is one of the best ways to explore the Columbia River Gorge during your holiday in Portland.

It is ideal for visitors short on time because, in 250 minutes, one gets to see more than what you can see on a full-day ground excursion. 

While flying over the Columbia River Gorge, the plane keeps a low altitude so that you can see the natural wonder up-close.

Behold the Crown Point at the crown of which sits the Vista House.

You will also take in the views of Sandy River Delta Park.

Tour operator: Envi Adventures
Tour timings: 10 am to 8 pm, every hour
Cost of the tour (18+ years): US$99 per passenger

This tour over Columbia River Gorge is also available with 40-minutes of airtime.

Multnomah Falls & Columbia Gorge Air Tour

Multnomah Falls & Columbia Gorge Air Tour
Image: Getyourguide.com

Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s most popular tourist destination, but it is not a comfortable day tour to make from Portland. 

The beautiful waterfall gets two million visitors each year, which is 5500 every day of the year. 

During the peak tourist season, this can even go up to ten thousand visitors a day. 

Even though the Multnomah Falls are beautiful, with limited parking spots and queues everywhere, it is a tiring experience. 

That is why it is best to book a 30-minute airplane ride to see the famous waterfall with beautiful aerial views and, of course, the Columbia Gorge.

You will also enjoy scenic sights of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Vista House.

Tour operator: Envi Adventures
Tour timings: 10 am to 7 pm, every hour
Cost of the tour (18+ years): From US$159

As an alternative, you can also check out the Portland Downtown tour on an airplane.

Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Portland Tour

Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Portland Tour
Image: Getyourguide.com

This 80-minute incredible air tour is an unbelievable experience and worth the price. 

This 1-hour tour starts through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, and you fly over the Columbia River surrounded by towering pine trees and ancient cliffs. 

All through the way, you see numerous waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls.

In the last leg of the tour, you head west toward Portland and see the city’s many bridges, skyscrapers between the Willamette River and the west hills, etc. 

In one flight, you see everything there is to see in and around Portland. 

Tour operator: Envi Adventures
Tour timings: 10 am to 7 pm, every hour
Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$289 per passenger

Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge Air Tour

View of Mount Hood from the chopper
Image: Dschreiber29 / Getty

This 1-hour air tour is a summer favorite among vacationers in Portland. 

The tour starts as you fly along the Sandy River up toward Mt. Hood, over the Mt. Hood National Forest with terrific views of the mountain and the Columbia River Gorge. 

The airplane descends into the gorge offering the passengers stunning views of the mountain and the gorge’s full length toward Portland. 

You also get to see Multnomah Falls and other highlights of the gorge.

Passengers love this tour for the fantastic photographic memories possible. 

Tour operator: Envi Adventures
Tour timings: 10 am to 7 pm, every hour
Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$289 per person


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Private air tours over Portland

If you are a group of three or more passengers, it is better to book a private air tour.

Since these are private experiences, you can customize your itinerary to fit your preferences. 

Important: On the booking page, please select “1” for your private tour for three people.

Private 40-minute tour of all waterfalls

Private 40-minute tour of all waterfalls
Image: Rutachile.com

This trip is a fun package for a couple, family, and a stress-free adventure ideal for first-time visitors.

During the 40-minute air tour, you get to see Oregon’s famous waterfalls from your private airplane.

Get 360-degree views as you soar over the Vista House, Booneville Dam, the Bridge of the Gods near Cascade Locks, and more. 

Tour timings: 10 am to 8 pm, every hour
Cost of the tour: US$39 per group (up to three)

Private Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge Air Tour

Private Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge Air Tour
Image: Rutachile.com

If you want to fly up to Mount Hood with your friends and family on a private flight, this 1-hour tour is the best choice. 

You fly along the Sandy River up toward Mt. Hood, over the Mt. Hood National Forest with terrific views of the mountain and the Columbia River Gorge. 

You get to see Oregon’s most beautiful natural scenery and snap some incredible aerial photographs.

Tour timings: 10 am to 8 pm, every hour
Cost of the tour: US$509 per group (up to three)


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Portland Aerial tours

Natural attractions around Portland, Oregon
Map of all natural attractions around Portland, Oregon. Image: Travelportland.com

Portland is the seat of Multnomah County and is at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in Northwestern Oregon.

Besides taking an aerial tour of Portland city, visitors also explore the natural attractions nearby, such as the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Mount Hood.

The Columbia River Gorge starts just 48 km (30 miles) east of Portland and offers fantastic natural scenery from the air.

Multnomah Falls is a massive waterfall located on Multnomah Creek in the Columbia River Gorge, east of Troutdale. 

Multnomah Falls is perhaps Oregon’s most popular tourist attraction and gets more than two million people each year. 

An air tour is the best way to avoid the traffic and the crowd. 

Mount Hood is at an air distance of 86 kms (54 miles) from Portland and yet another attraction best seen from the air. 

The mountain has an impressive elevation of 3430 meters (11,250 feet) and can even be seen 100 kms (62 miles) away on a clear, sunny day. 


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Where do these tours take off from

If you book a helicopter tour, it is most likely to be serviced by the Oregon Helicopters, a renowned tour operator in the city. 

Their helicopters take off from a downtown Portland rooftop and usually offer tours of the city, flying right over the Willamette River.

Envi Adventures service all the tours to Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Mount Hood.

Their airplanes fly out of Troutdale Airport, 29 kms (18 miles) east of Portland. 

Timings of the heli tours

Portland helicopter rides operate throughout the week.

The first batch of these tours take off at around 10 am and continue in slots up to 8 pm.

Know before booking air tour

Here are a few things you must know before selecting your helicopter tour or airplane flight over Portland. 

Passengers per flight

If you opt for a helicopter tour, you need a minimum of two passengers and a maximum of three for the booking.

Depending on the aircraft, it may have a limit of three or four passengers. 

If you book an airplane tour, the limit is a minimum of two and a maximum of five passengers. 

If you book the whole flight, you get more value for money with more passengers.

For safety reasons, a passenger’s weight must not be over 113 Kgs (250 pounds). This rule gets enforced strictly.

Special medical conditions

These helicopter and airplane tours are not recommended for travelers with back problems, heart problems, and severe medical conditions.

It is not recommended for pregnant women as well. 

Most travelers can be part of these tours. 

Bringing kids along

Everybody can join the helicopter and airline tours in Portland.

Kids enjoying a helicopter tour
Image: BlueOrangeStudio

A child may only sit on the lap of an adult at no additional cost if they are under two years old. 

We suggest you bring along ear protection for younger children as the tour operator’s headsets may not fit them well.

All passengers above two years of age must purchase the regular tour tickets. 

An adult must accompany all passengers below 18 years of age. 

Accessibility to the tours

Most Portland helicopter flights are completely accessible to guests with disabilities (except Private Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge Air Tour)

The aircraft, transportation, and surfaces are completely wheelchair accessible, preventing any inconvenience for the guests.

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the experience’s start date. 

If the helicopter tour gets canceled due to poor weather, a different date or a full refund is offered. 

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