With its summit at 11,000 feet, Northern Oregon’s most prominent landmark is visible up to 100 miles away. An iconic peak, Mount Hood is around 50 miles east/southeast of Portland and borders between Clackmanas and Hood Counties. It is the 4th highest mountain in the Cascades and was named after Samuel Hood – a British Admiral – by Lt. William Broughton, a member of Capt. George Vancouver’s discovery expedition. Today, Mount Hood is still considered to be the most likely of the Cascades’ volcanoes to erupt. Playing host to 12 glaciers, its most visited is Palmer Glacier on one of the more popular climbing routes.
Mount Hood has six ski areas with well over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain. Voted “Oregon’s best resort and best attraction”, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort offers one of the most progressive ski resort day care facilities in the US. This 3,500 sq. ft. facility has room for up to 46 children and is the only resort in the USA to offer State Certified child care for infants as young as 6 weeks. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, it provides full or half-day options and ski lessons for ages three to six. With nine eating establishments, most located in the North and South Lodges, the choices of “sit in” or “take away” are varied.
Try the Alpenstube and Vertical Restaurant and Sports Bar for a sit down meal, or if you prefer a quick “grab and go,” the Fresh Tracks Deli is ideal. Mt. Hood Meadows features the most up-to-date and state-of-the art rental equipment with the largest amount of rentals in Oregon.
There is no need to reserve in advance either as they are ready for you upon arrival. So come and discover the best choices in outerwear, skis, bindings and boots, and get ready to experience the wide open spaces. To rent skiing equipment, a credit card or $200 cash deposit is required. For full details go to www.skihood.com.
Mount Hood offers a great selection of trails for snowshoeing and hiking. If considering a guided snowshoe hike, Mt. Hood Adventure is a good place to start. Since 2005 the company has welcomed outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and they offer snowshoe hikes and activities to suit all skill and stamina levels. One of their more popular is the Day Snowshoe Tour which can run from two to four hours. This hike covers up to six miles and along the way, you’ll learn about the stunning Pacific Northwest landscape as well as useful snowshoeing techniques. Each hike is a truly memorable experience and it’s little wonder their visitor numbers have grown year on year. For reservation details call 503-715-2175 or for more information, visit www.mthoodadventure.com.
Choices are many when it comes to camping around Mt. Hood. All seem a world away from civilization. Timothy Lake is possibly the ultimate with four sites of over 200 spaces. Hoodview and Gone Creek Campgrounds are the most scenic with spectacular views of the mountain.
Timothy Lake is man-made and has a hiking trail and is ideal for fishing, boating, canoeing and windsurfing. It is also good for catching crayfish as the lake is restocked three times a year. All campsites have picnic tables and fire rings and firewood is available for a charge. Basic essential restrooms are also provided.
For one of the best views of Mt. Hood, Trillium Lake Campground is hard to beat. A small lake, it is excellent for swimming, fishing and canoeing with Mt. Hood as a backdrop. The rough roads are ideal for hiking and mountain biking and the area is popular for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing. Available for both day and overnight use, there are 57 sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Water is available with pit restrooms. The maximum RV length is 40 feet.
Lost Creek Campground is superb for people in wheelchairs or unable to walk long distances. The campsite has a viewing walkway that skirts Lost Creek which can also be used for fishing. A paved pathway winds through the woods and there are 16 campsites. If you drive an RV, the maximum length is 22 feet. Water and pit restrooms are available with handicapped access.
With the option of campsites or lodges, visit Lost Lake Resort. Set in the secluded Mt. Hood National Forest away from traffic and noise, the resort opens from early May to late October. At more than 3,000 feet, Lost Lake has seven rustic cabins with equally rustic furnishings, electric lighting, wood stoves and cooking facilities. There is no plumbing in the cabins, but all lodge rooms have kitchenettes, bathrooms, and double size futons. RV and tent sites are available on a first come, first served basis.
On the north side of Mt. Hood, this is a retreat for slow morning walks, watching winter sunsets and simply chilling out among nature’s splendors. Offering great hiking, fishing, biking trails, or plenty of reasons to do nothing at all, Lost Lake is home to 120 camp sites but will only take reservations for cabins and lodge rentals. For further details, go to www.lostlakeresort.org or call (541)-386-6366.
For sheer outdoor recreation, the Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl is a must. Oregon’s premier attraction offers the country’s largest night skiing area and has something for everyone. Their experienced and friendly staff will make sure your visit to the park is memorable and fun, and they will guide you through 20 attractions where you stay in control.
The Park has the Northwest’s only half-mile long dual Alpine Slide. An attraction you’ll go back to more than once. Try out the three-storey tower zip line with a stunning view of Mt. Hood. Or experience either of the park’s two Scenic Sky Chairs, taking in stunning views of the forest below. For a real taste of adventure, don’t miss the Snow Tube at Skibowl East. This is one white knuckle ride you won’t forget. Young kids are well catered for in the heated indoor Play Zone. During the winter months, the Kiddy Snowmobiles are ideal for your young ones to use up their surplus energy.
For accommodation close by, Collins Lake Resort is ideal. The resort is the official lodging partner of the Mt. Hood Adventure Park and is just across the road. This 28-acre resort has over 150 Chalets and 48 lodge condos. It offers several year round heated pools, hot tubs, saunas, clubhouses and interpretive trails that meander across several mountain streams. For reservations, packages, deals and more information, go to www.skibowl.com or call (1-800)-234-6288.
Mount Hood’s wonderful winter landscape awaits you.