An hour drive from the city of Portland sits one of the most special treasures of the state of Oregon: Mt. Hood. With so much beauty to explore, this travel guide is a must-see list of Mt. Hood highlights for your next weekend getaway.
All photos by Jules Davies
Standing tall at 11,235 feet of elevation, this dormant volcano has been a source of recreation and inspiration for thousands of years. The traditional native name is Wy’East and one of legendary stories shared by local native tribes is of an epic battle between the sons of The Great Spirit. Wy’East (Mt. Hood) and his brother Pahtoh (Mt. Adams) found themselves enthralled in a tumultuous and fiery battle over the beautiful Loowit (Mt. Saint Helens). Their incessant fighting scorched the lands between them and eventually led to their father, The Great Spirit, transforming each of them into separate volcanic peaks forever.
Commissioned in the late 1930s during Great Depression, this magnificent structure was built by local artisans and was dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The stunning lodge that sits at just under 6,000 feet remains today as one of Oregon’s most popular attractions and has also become a sort of ground zero of outdoor recreation. Timberline offers endless miles of mountain biking trails, hiking, sledding and ski slopes that make it the perfect year-round destination for any Portlander looking to get outside.
Grab a hot cocoa or warm tea in the lodge and find any of the beautiful sections of this incredibly detailed lodge to sit and enjoy the view. The eastern wing of the main lodge offers an awe-inspiring view of Mt. Hood in all her glory.
Tucked just below the base of Mt. Hood is the tiny mountain town of Government Camp. Truly the gateway town to all things on Hood, this has become not only an essential place to stop and grab food after a long day of skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer, it’s also the perfect hub for any Portlanders dream weekend getaway. Find yourself in a cozy lodge or in a quirky A-frame; this town is full of rentals for those looking to maximize their trip.
Things to do in Government Camp:
Grab dinner at Charlie’s Mountain View
Breakfast and coffee at High Mountain Cafe
Take a hike out to Zigzag Falls, Mirror Lake, Trillium Lake or the many other trails
Pick up some wood for a campfire at Govy General Store
Mt. Hood offers not only epic views, amazing slopes and trails up on the mountain itself, it also has some of the most picturesque lakes in the state. This popular camping and fishing spot is a true gem, with an awe-inspiring view of Mt. Hood and calm waters that seem to reflect the world around it perfectly.
One of the best things about Oregon is that there’s endless places to go explore, even the side of the road on your drive up to the mountain! Sitting in the car for long is exhausting, so along your way make a pit stop, grab a snack as you tour through the area and enjoy the view.