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The Columbia and Snake Rivers landscapes promise a fantastic blend of natural beauty and adventure. Cruise through majestic canyons, rolling hills, and expansive valleys in the Pacific Northwest. 

Spring arrives with mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s, bringing blooming wildflowers and a fresh, invigorating atmosphere for nature walks and bird watching. Summer brings warm, sunny days with temperatures in the mid-70s to high 80s, perfect for kayaking, fishing, strolling the streets of Astoria, OR, and museum touring. Fall transforms the region with cooler weather in the 50s and 60s, and stunning fall foliage, making it ideal for enjoying the vibrant colors from the top deck. 

Packing for a cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers is all about being prepared for fun and comfort. As you get ready to pack your bags and discover the incredible Columbia and Snake Rivers landscapes, we’ll help you to make sure you are equipped with exactly what you’ll need. Whether you’re embracing the spirit of Lewis and Clark on our Northwest Pioneers itinerary or cruising to some of the nation’s most prominent national parks with our National Parks & Legendary Rivers cruise, you want to be prepared for all there is to experience on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. 

What to Wear on the Columbia and Snake Rivers

The Columbia and Snake Rivers are perfect for exploring in spring, summer, and fall, each season offering its own unique experience. 

Layering is key to staying comfortable and ready for any adventure these seasons hold. Start with a mix of long and short sleeve shirts to adapt to the changing temperatures throughout the day. Short sleeves are perfect for those sunny afternoons, while long sleeves provide extra warmth during cooler mornings and evenings. A sweatshirt with a hood is a must-have for added warmth and versatility, so you can start the morning on the top deck and get close to the iconic 627-foot-tall Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge on the 9-day Columbia & Snake Rivers cruise itinerary. 

Don’t forget to pack lightweight under layers, especially for those crisp spring and fall mornings and evenings. They keep you cozy without adding bulk, so you can move freely and comfortably. Comfort is key on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Make sure to pack for the experiences you want to have. On your visit to Kalama, WA you can see Mount St. Helens on a featured scenic drive. You can still see all the sights without exhaustion. Or you can sip locally crafted wine in Clarkston, WA at Rivaura Winery and sit back and enjoy the view of the Clearwater River Valley. 

Water-wicking socks are a game-changer for keeping your feet dry and comfortable, whether you’re exploring Norris Geyser Basin on a guided walking tour of Yellowstone National Park or visiting Fort Clatsop, the site where the Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered in 1806. These socks help prevent blisters and keep your feet dry, ensuring a pleasant experience all day long.

If you choose to join us for an excursion kayaking along the river at the base of Mount Adams, make sure to pack some water shoes. You want to make sure wet shoes don’t get in the way of all you want to experience along the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

By packing these essential layers and clothing items, you’ll be ready for all the fun and adventure that the Columbia and Snake Rivers have to offer, no matter the season.

Types of Gear Needed for the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Bringing the right gear can significantly enhance your experience and make your adventure along the Columbia and Snake Rivers even more enjoyable. Binoculars are a fantastic addition for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. They allow you to spot the region's diverse bird species, such as ospreys and bald eagles, and other wildlife, like deer and beavers. Binoculars also enhance your appreciation of the stunning landscapes, letting you see distant waterfalls and intricate rock formations up close.

A walking stick can be incredibly useful, especially when navigating Glacier National Park. It provides extra stability and support. This can make your walks more enjoyable and less tiring, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. Whether you're exploring the trails of the Columbia River Gorge or the gentle paths along the Snake River, a walking stick can help you navigate the terrain with ease.

Staying hydrated is essential during any outdoor activity, and a reliable water bottle is a must-have. Opt for a reusable, insulated water bottle to keep your drinks cool on hot summer days and warm during the cooler seasons. This ensures that you stay refreshed and energized throughout your adventures. When you're kayaking along the river or visiting a scenic viewpoint, having a drink at the ready makes a big difference.

Lastly, don’t forget your camera. The Columbia and Snake Rivers are brimming with photo opportunities, from breathtaking landscapes to hiding wildlife. Capturing these moments allows you to share your experiences with others and create lasting memories of your journey. With a good camera, you can capture the vibrant sunsets over the water, the intricate details of wildflowers in spring, and the vivid fall foliage. 

With the right gear, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement that these rivers have to offer, making your trip both comfortable and unforgettable.

Finish Packing for your Columbia and Snake Rivers Cruise

The Columbia and Snake Rivers landscapes offer truly stunning views with activities like kayaking, hiking, and bird watching across spring, summer, and fall. With temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to high 80s in summer and cooler 50s to 60s in fall, layering with lightweight clothing, sweatshirts, and waterproof shoes is essential. Water-wicking socks keep you comfortable and dry, while binoculars enhance wildlife viewing, and a walking stick provides stability on trails. A reliable water bottle ensures you stay hydrated, and a camera captures unforgettable moments. 

Any of American Cruise Lines’ itineraries along the Columbia and Snake Rivers offer the best way to experience the Pacific Northwest, with front row views of the never-ending landscapes and vibrant wildlife. Enjoy your adventure in comfort and style with their exceptional service and accommodations.