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

Image: Hillsboroaviation.com

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. 

In this article, we share everything about these aerial tours in Portland, Oregon. 

1. Air tours in Portland
2. Heliports in Portland
3. Passenger limits
4. Cancellation policy
5. Medical conditions
6. Kids on helicopter tours
7. Downtown Portland tour
8. Columbia River Gorge tour
9. Multnomah Falls + Columbia Gorge
10. Gorge + Multnomah Falls + Downtown
11. Mount Hood + Columbia Gorge
12. Private Portland heli tours

Aerial tours available in Portland

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. 


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Know before booking your 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 helicopter, 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. 

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

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

Cancellation Policy

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

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

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.

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. 


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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.

1. Downtown Portland Helicopter Tour

This 15-minute trip is the most popular helicopter tour over the City of Roses.

You will make a 24 kms (15-mile) loop around the city, taking in the natural sceneries, bridges, buildings, etc., even as your pilot tells you all about the city. 

Every passenger gets a window seat, and a maximum of four passengers are allowed per chopper. 

If you prefer, you can book the last chopper, which takes off at 7.15 pm, making it an excellent nighttime helicopter tour over downtown Portland.

Departure point: 33 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209, USA, (Google map)
Duration in the air: 15 minutes
Narration: Live commentary by pilot
Tour timings: 12:00 pm to 7:15 pm, every 15 minutes
Cost of the tour: $120 per passenger

If you love greenery, check out this Portland helicopter tour, which focuses more city’s beautiful parks.

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

2. Columbia River Gorge Air Tour

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.

Duration in the air: 20 minutes
Narration: Live commentary by pilot
Tour timings: 10 am to 8 pm, every two hours
Cost of the tour: $80 per passenger

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

3. Multnomah Falls & Columbia Gorge Air Tour

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 2 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.

Duration in the air: 30 minutes
Narration: Live commentary by the pilot
Tour timings: 10 am to 6 pm, every two hours
Cost of the tour: $160 per passenger

4. Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Portland Tour

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

The 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. 

Duration in the air: 1 hour 20 minutes
Narration: Live commentary by the pilot
Tour timings: 10 am to 4 pm, every 2 hours
Cost of the tour: 285 US Dollars

If you want to spend your 1 hour 20 minutes only over Portland and Columbia River Gorge, follow the link. 

5. Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge Air Tour

This 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. 

Aerial view of Mount Hood and the Hood River. Dschreiber29 / Getty

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. 

Duration in the air: 1 hour
Narration: Live commentary by pilot
Tour timings: 10 am to 6 pm, every 2 hours
Cost of the tour: $255 for the whole flight


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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.

1. Private 40-minute tour of all waterfalls

This trip is a fun package for the entire 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. 

Duration in the air: 40 minutes
Narration: Live commentary by pilot
Tour timings: 10 am to 6 pm, every 2 hours
Cost of the tour: $355 for the whole flight

2. Private Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge Air Tour

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

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.

Duration in the air: 1 hour
Narration: Live commentary by pilot
Tour timings: 10 am to 6 pm, every 2 hours
Cost of the tour: $430 for the whole flight

3. Private Air Tour of Downtown Portland

If you are a family or group of three, this tour is a great way to explore Portland from above on a private flight. 

Sean Pavone / Getty

You get to see the city’s skyline and natural landscapes as you fly low over the Columbia River Gorge and industrial cityscapes. 

All through the tour, your pilot offers historical and geographical insights about the city.

You can also book a flight at the time of sunset and see the beauty of Portland when the sun goes down.

Duration in the air: 40 minutes
Narration: Live commentary by pilot
Tour timings: 12 pm to 8 pm, every 2 hours
Cost of the tour: $355 for the whole flight

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