Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that a visit to the Northwest, especially one that involves hiking, can be overwhelming. This page aims to answer questions to help minimize that and leave guests excited to start their journey.
I've never hiked before, what level of physical fitness do I need to be in? Hikes are generally categorized based on level of difficulty, with "easy" being the easiest and "technical" or "very difficult" being the most difficult. All of our hikes fall under either the "easy" category or "moderate" category. Easy hikes are generally less than 5 miles, or may be slightly longer but with minimal elevation gain. Moderate hikes generally have some elevation gain of at least several hundred feet gained per mile. Though experience is not necessary for the hikes we'll be going on, we recommend that guests feel comfortable walking approximately 7 miles and walking up several flights of stairs. This is not a race and in fact we encourage guests to take a slow comfortable pace so that they can have enough time to fully enjoy the scenery. Detailed descriptions of each hike within each travel package can be found in the About the Hikes tabs found in each Package.
Is there a minimum age requirement? Yes, for all pre-planned and customized tours, guests must be 10 years of age or older. All minors must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other adult who is legally authorized to make medical decisions in the rare event of an emergency.
Where are you based out of and where should I fly into? We are based in Portland, Oregon and all trips will start in the Portland area. We recommend flying or driving in no later than the evening before so that you can be ready to begin your journey with us the morning of Day 1.
Is lodging included while I'm in Portland? Lodging in our pre-planned travel packages is included on nights 1, 2, and 3 of the tour. A list of our partner hotels and lodges can be found here. Lodging in Portland prior to and after this is not included. Lodging options for customized tours will be discussed while planning the tours with our guests. No lodging is included with customized itineraries. Please see Getting Started for more information on this.
What is lodging like on your tours? All of our lodging provides traditional amenities and all are in walking distance to features guests can enjoy when we're not out exploring. For our Portland to Pacific and Wild West packages, guests stay in smaller boutique hotels or inns and have a standard private room with queen bed and private bathroom. For the Swiss Alps of Oregon package, guests stay at bed and breakfasts with a private room but may have a shared bathroom with one other room, usually either your guide or another Cascadian Journeys guest. Due to most rooms only having one queen bed, we do not pair guests who don't know each other in the same room. After booking (or at the time of booking if you have booked a tour on a date not sold on the website), we will be reaching out to you to inquire about your rooming preferences. Please let us know at that time if you are booking with someone you know who you prefer to share a room with.
Where should I stay for nights when lodging is not included? Portland has an endless supply of lodging options, some of which have partnered with us to offer guests discounts when they are staying in the Portland area before or after their Cascadian Journeys tour. Feel free to contact us if you would like any recommendations for these or other lodging options.
Do you offer single day tours? When Cascadian Journeys first began, we started with selling only single day tours. However, at this time we are no longer offering those so that we can focus on catering to our guests on our multi-day tours.
Can I pay on a payment plan? Absolutely. All payment plans are individually invoiced and require a $500 per person deposit. Full payment must be made prior to your departure. Contact us to discuss payment plan options and to set up a payment plan that will work for you.
What is included in your travel packages? These trips include a personal guide throughout, transportation and lodging each day, and most meals. Please see our packages that provide more detailed information on what's included with each trip.
What type of food will be provided on the tours? All breakfast meals are included and will be your typical fare either at the hotels or diners near the hotels. All lunches are also included and will be basic food appropriate to bring on the trails - mostly nonperishable items and some fruit. Unless otherwise noted in a specific tour, the cost of dinner is not included and instead we will be making stops along the way where we will dine together at various restaurants across Oregon. After booking, guests will be sent a questionnaire that will inquire about certain medical information including food allergies. Please let us know in these forms if we need to be aware of any allergies, sensitivities, or other restrictions.
Why do your trips take a maximum of 6 people? For safety, we find that a guest to guide ratio of 6:1 is optimal. Smaller groups also allow us to provide a more personalized experience for our guests to enjoy.
What should I bring? We recommend guests bring clothes and shoes that they feel comfortable moving and walking in for several miles each day. A detailed suggested packing list will be emailed to each guest prior to your trip.
How safe are your trips? Generally speaking our trips are very safe. The trails we take guests on are well maintained and do not involve any technical skill, which means they have a low probability of injury or accident. However, any physical activity carries inherent risks that are involved. Your guide is Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified to ensure the safety of guests should an emergency occur. It is important that guests are aware of their physical fitness level if they choose to participate in one of our journeys to ensure their own comfort and safety.
Is insurance included? Travel insurance is not included and it is recommended, although not required, that guests obtain coverage. Prior to your trip, guests will be required to sign an assumption of risk and liability waiver. In the rare instance that a medical emergency occurs, guests will be responsible for the cost of their own medical expenses. This is one reason we recommend that guests obtain travel insurance. Cascadian Journeys can recommend insurance companies for you to obtain free and easy insurance quotes. Please contact us for information.
What is your cancellation policy? Please view our Refund and Reservation Policies for cancellation and refund policies.
What should I expect? To have fun! You should also expect to be ready to be awe-struck at the scenery we'll visit. The Northwest is an amazing place and it is our goal to make sure you get the most out of it.