Is Hood River Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On December 27, 2023
Hood River, United States
Safety Index:
82
* Based on Research & Crime Data

On the southern edge of the Columbia River, where it carves through the dramatic basalt walls of the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River, Oregon, beckons with a tale woven from wind, waterfalls, and volcanic fire.

Once a quiet logging town, its transformation began in the early 1900s when windsurfing pioneers discovered the gorge’s perfect funnel for riding the breeze.

Now, Hood River wears its title as “Windsurfing Capital of the World” proudly, its waters a kaleidoscope of sails catching the sun.

That also means it’s going to be very windy here.

But Hood River’s allure extends far beyond adrenaline-pumping watersports.

The sheer majesty of the Columbia River Gorge leaves visitors breathless.

Millions of years of volcanic activity sculpted towering cliffs, draped with verdant forests that spill down to the river’s edge.

Waterfalls like Multnomah and Bridal Veil tumble in liquid diamonds, their mist painting rainbows across the landscape.

They are not to be missed when visiting this area.

Mount Hood, a snow-capped giant, keeps watch over the scene just an hour away.

Nature trails snake through meadows carpeted with wildflowers, while historic highways wind through tunnels and switchbacks, revealing breathtaking panoramas.

Downtown Hood River charms with a vibrant energy.

Quaint storefronts brim with locally crafted art and artisanal foods, while cafes and pubs tempt weary adventurers with craft brews and farm-to-table delights.

Wine lovers can embark on the scenic Fruit Loop, a treasure trove of orchards and vineyards offering tastings and breathtaking views.

And just a scenic hour away lies Portland, Oregon’s quirky crown jewel.

From its renowned food scene and microbreweries to its indie shops and vibrant street art, Portland adds a cosmopolitan spin to your Hood River adventure.

So, whether you seek serenity, natural wonders, the thrill of riding the wind, or the buzz of a thriving city, Hood River offers a diverse plate.

Come, breathe the crisp mountain air, feel the spray of a waterfall on your face, and savor the taste of freshly picked berries.

Just hold onto your hat.

Warnings & Dangers in Hood River

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk here and a whole lot to enjoy, no matter what your preference is. Even if you're not too outdoorsy, there are spas, shops, and scenic views where you can just soak it all in.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

The eco-conscious Oregon encourages people to use public transportation or bicycles to reduce traffic and carbon footprints. Look at the Gorge Pass website to see the routes to get to the best places. The town is very walkable. Taxis and rideshares are available. Of course, you can also get a rental car.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

With such low crime rates, I was surprised to see the city averages 10 pickpockets or purse snatching a year. While that's still less than one a month, it's higher than cities of similar size I've researched. Just limit what you carry to bare necessities and don't leave your stuff unattended, even just to run to the bathroom.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

You've got a mixed bag of potential dangers here, so this is a medium risk. Wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, winter storms, summer storms, ice storms - the region runs the gamut. In the mountains, you'll have extreme cold risks in winter, along with avalanche dangers.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, with no more than four robberies a year for the past decade. Don't let your guard down, but it's not a big thing to worry about compared to issues like car break-ins.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, as it's a small town surrounded by wilderness and recreation areas. Always report suspicious activity, but you shouldn't have to worry about terrorism beyond the normal risk in any small American town.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Another low risk on this one, with the few scams reported over the past few years targeting locals. Know the common scam signs, which you can review on the Federal Trade Commission website, just to be safe.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Nothing in the crime data or safety guidance puts women at a higher risk. I'd only advise solo travelers to have a good check-in schedule with family or friends, since the adventures here can be somewhat risky.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The water here comes from the federally protected land of Mount Hood, which has excellent water quality. The latest water quality report shows full compliance and no violations.

Safest Places to Visit in Hood River

With low crime rates and a small city footprint, don’t worry about bad parts of town or dangerous neighborhoods.

The city is safe enough to explore with just basic personal safety steps.

This is a very windy place, which is one reason windsurfing is so popular.

Keep that in mind when you pack or dress for the day.

Long hair will blow around.

Gloves that aren’t worn or tucked deep into pockets could blow away.

That same wind can make driving risky, especially with all the semi-trucks on the road.

Just be prepared for winds ranging from inconvenient to dangerous.

Winds can lead to power outages if trees onto power lines.

Have a few days’ supplies just in case.

Places to Avoid in Hood River

With low crime rates and a small city footprint, don’t worry about bad parts of town or dangerous neighborhoods.

The city is safe enough to explore with just basic personal safety steps.

This is a very windy place, which is one reason windsurfing is so popular.

Keep that in mind when you pack or dress for the day.

Long hair will blow around.

Gloves that aren’t worn or tucked deep into pockets could blow away.

That same wind can make driving risky, especially with all the semi-trucks on the road.

Just be prepared for winds ranging from inconvenient to dangerous.

Winds can lead to power outages if trees onto power lines.

Have a few days’ supplies just in case.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Hood River

  1. Hood River has its own police department. Follow them on Facebook for the latest updates @HRPD97031. The phone number is (541) 387-5256 if you want to call and ask specific safety questions.
  2. You should also have information for the Hood River County Sheriff. They are on Facebook @hrcso with the phone number (541) 386-2098. Email is another option at admin@hoodriversheriff.com.
  3. Sign up for emergency alerts at Get Ready Gorge. The citizen alerts are ideal for visitors as any natural hazard or public safety issue will result in a text message or phone call coming to your mobile device.
  4. Mount Hood is under the National Forest Service, not the National Park Service. You can follow them on Facebook @mthoodnf—call (503) 668-1700 with questions.
  5. For those planning to climb Mount Hood, you need a climbing permit starting January 1, 2024. You can get that through the Forest Service’s website (www.fs.usda.gov/mthood).
  6. Hood River has a high shoplifting rate, which doesn’t necessarily pose a threat to you – but please don’t interfere if you see it happening. Mass mobs of shoplifters have been causing problems nationwide. You should report an incident to a store employee, but don’t intervene. It’s just not worth it.
  7. Both Oregon and Washington have “Trip Check” websites that offer real-time traffic, live cameras, road conditions, and travel alerts. You should bookmark these sites and use them before you hit the road.
  8. Use an app like IQ Air to check air quality before you venture into the wilderness. Wildfires can cause air quality issues, even from a distance. You can learn more on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website.
  9. If you’ll be visiting several federal lands, like Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, Mount Rainier, etc., consider purchasing an interagency pass from the National Park Service or Forest Service. For $80, you’ll get access to 2,000+ public lands.
  10. Anglers are required to have a fishing license from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. You can review the costs and options online.

So... How Safe Is Hood River Really?

Hood River city and county have crime rates that are at or below average.

Violent crime is well below the state and national rates – by at least 80%.

In addition, very few violent crimes happen against strangers.

That means an even lower rate for a tourist.

Even thefts are below average, with 40% of those attributed to shoplifting.

Every one in five thefts was a car break-in or car accessory theft.

You can eliminate that risk by locking your doors and removing personal items from the vehicle when you park.

Beyond crime, you’ll need winter/summer survival skills in the wilderness, water safety education, and emergency alerts set up to keep you informed of any pending risks.

Even though some of this guidance might seem like common sense, it’s that same common sense that will make this trip as safe as possible.

How Does Hood River Compare?

CitySafety Index
Hood River82
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

The first step is getting a passport or making sure yours is not within six months of expiring from the date of return. Then, you'll need either a visa or a visa waiver. The U.S. State Department website has all the information you need to start that process.

Currency

Currency

The U.S. Dollar is the currency of the land. Credit cards are widely accepted, but some farms might only accept cash. You should exchange currency at home or the airport instead of waiting to get to Hood River.

Weather

Weather

Pack layers for Hood River's moody weather. Fleece and rainproof shells should be mixed with T-shirts in the fickle weather. Hiking boots conquer trails, while comfy shoes or sandals should be able to handle a few hours of walking. Bring bug spray!

Airports

Airports

Portland International Airport is just an hour west, but you should confirm you're booking through PDX. The Portland International Jetport is in Maine, 3,000 miles away. Seattle's airport is about three hours away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is the best way to go but also look into adventure insurance if you're going to do some risky outdoor activities. Emergency care can be quite expensive in America.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Hood River Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 3° C
Feb 5° C
Mar 8° C
Apr 10° C
May 15° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 21° C
Aug 20° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 6° C
Dec 3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
691316212428282518106
Low
°C
-11248111312842-1
High
°F
434855617075828277645043
Low
°F
303436394652555446393630

Oregon - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Astoria85
Baker City77
Bayshore78
Beaverton84
Bend87
Coos Bay52
Corvallis73
Eugene52
Gresham70
Hermiston79
Hillsboro73
Hood River82
Klamath Falls67
La Grande84
Lincoln City78
Medford67
Portland69
Roseburg75
Salem81
Seaside74

Where to Next?

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