Mount Hood towers above the forests in Oregon, dominating the landscape for miles around. Just 60 miles from bustling Portland, this rugged wilderness area overflows with outdoor attractions for both thrill-seekers and casual adventurers. From skiing in the winter to paddle boarding in the summer, there’s plenty to do all year-round. These fantastic activities are situated within an easy drive from the majority of Mount Hood vacation rentals, so you can spend less time on the road and more time enjoying your trip.
1. Ski Mt. Hood Meadows
Hit the slopes at Mt. Hood Meadows, a ski resort with dramatically varied terrain and runs for all skill levels. Ride the Cascade Express lift to 7,300 feet and enjoy long, intermediate, and expert runs, or work on your tricks in the mountain’s multiple terrain park. Gear rental is available onsite, and the ski school offers lessons for kids and adults.
2. Take a Rock-Climbing Lesson With Mt. Hood Adventure
Get the full Oregon experience with a rock-climbing lesson from Mt. Hood Adventure. Lessons start on the company’s portable rock-climbing wall and move out to Frenches Dome, a volcanic hill that features bolted routes. If you’re an experienced climber, bring your gear and head to the Mount Hood National Forest’s popular local routes at Bulo Point or Pete’s Pile.
3. Try Mountain Biking at Mountain Bike Park
Feel the adrenaline rush with a heart-pounding downhill ride at the Mountain Bike Park at Mt. Hood SkiBowl. Rent bikes and safety gear onsite, and head out to try the beginner, expert, and intermediate trails. If you’re ready for a challenge, ride the lift to the top for exciting trails, or head over to the Mountain Bike Skills Park.
4. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail
Hike high onto the side of Mount Hood on the Pacific Crest Trail, one of the most exciting local attractions. Pick up the trail a few miles north of the Timberline Lodge. From there, you can walk through meadows of wildflowers and below glaciers, all with stunning views of the Cascades. Experienced hikers can manage the entire 14.4-mile Mount Hood section in a day; alternatively, simply turn around at any point to create a manageable day hike.
5. Fish a Mountain Lake
Vacation rentals near Mount Hood offer easy access to a series of mountain lakes, each perfect for scenic fishing. Pack your gear and head for Lost Lake, Clear Lake, Timothy Lake, or Trillium Lake. Each one is stocked with rainbow trout, so it’s easy to catch your dinner. Be sure to purchase a fishing license locally or online.
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6. Take a Scenic Ride on the Stadium Chairlift
If you’re visiting in the summer, head to Mt. Hood Meadows to ride the scenic Stadium Chairlift. As you glide up the mountain, take in the panoramic views of wildflower-packed meadows, the Mount Hood National Forest, and the Three Sisters in the distance. At the top, kick back on the Sun Deck to listen to live music and enjoy a snack before the ride back down.
7. Go Bungee-Jumping at Mt. Hood Adventure Park
Get your heart racing as you free-fall through the air on the bungee jump at Mt. Hood Adventure Park. Climb the stairs to the massive tower, which stands 100 feet tall and offers spectacular mountain views. Don’t worry if you’ve never jumped before; a huge air cushion sits beneath the tower for peace of mind.
8. Visit the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum
Learn about local history at the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum in Government Camp. This friendly facility focuses on the area’s rich and storied past, including early exploration and the realities of living on an active volcano. Check out historic ski patrol gear, learn about the national forest, and find out about local geology with a 3-D interactive mountain model.
9. Hit the Links at the Resort at the Mountain
Play across some of Oregon’s most scenic greens on the golf course at The Resort at the Mountain. With three nine-hole courses, you can enjoy a full day on the links. Practice your putt next to the Salmon River on the Foxglove course, or enjoy stunning forest views on Pinecone. For beginners, the Thistle course offers forgiving greens and easy strolls.
10. Try Cross-Country Skiing at the Nordic Center
Enjoy the mountain on cross-country skis at the Nordic Center at Mt. Hood Meadows. Here, you can rent skis and explore more than 9 miles of beautifully groomed trails. Glide through a beautiful open valley on the Hood River Meadow trail, or test your skills on the intense Cheese Roll Loop. With lanes for classic and skate-skiers, it’s easy to find a route that suits your style.
11. Take a Horseback Wine Tour at Double Mountain Horse Ranch
Experience the Hood River vineyard culture on a horseback wine tour. Double Mountain Horse Ranch, which is located just north of vacation rentals near Mount Hood, offers leisurely guided rides through local orchards and vineyards. Enjoy stops for wine-tasting, or simply sit back and enjoy the mountain and river views.
12. Canoe on Trillium Lake
For the ultimate peaceful experience, rent a canoe and paddle the sparkling waters of Trillium Lake. On sunny days, the reflection of the mountain in the lake makes a perfect photo opportunity. Canoes are available for rent from Mt. Hood Adventure; staff can deliver the boat to the lake and pick it up when you’re done, so you don’t have to worry about transport.
13. Snowshoe With Moonlight Excursion
Snowshoe under starry skies on a Moonlight Excursion at the Timberline Ski Area. Rent snowshoes at the Wy’East Day Lodge, and head out with the group to walk the high-alpine hillsides. The lodge features a groomed snowshoe trail to ensure easy walking. If you prefer the sunshine, the trail is also open during the day.
14. Dine at Timberline Lodge
Pack an evening outfit and enjoy a delicious dinner out at the stunning Timberline Lodge, which features soaring ceilings and a hexagonal fireplace. In the Cascade Dining Room, you can enjoy an award-winning wine program and farm-to-table cuisine by Chef Jason Stoller Smith. The restaurant is known for its proprietary beef program, which uses grass-fed cows raised less than an hour away.
15. Take a Nature Walk at the Wildwood Recreation Site
If you’re visiting Mount Hood with little ones, enjoy an easy hike on the Cascade Streamwatch nature trail at the Wildwood Recreation Site. Less than a mile long, the wide, accessible trail is great for kids, wheelchairs, and strollers. As you walk, use the interpretive signs to learn about local plants and the salmon that live in the Salmon River, which runs next to the trail.
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