Mount Hood is a dormant volcano that sits close to the Oregon city of Portland. You’ll know you’re getting close to your Mount Hood vacation rental when you see the mountain in the distance, which is covered by a snow cap all year long. In addition to the perpetual snow at the top, Mount Hood also has 11 glaciers and rises almost two miles above sea level. In the area, you’ll find six ski areas to enjoy winter fun. Of course, this is a popular vacation destination all year long for hiking, biking, and many other activities. When planning your trip, keep this list of the top nine things to do with kids in Mount Hood close at hand.
1. Oregon Farm Loop
Grab your bikes or gather the kids in the car and leave your vacation rental in the rear view when you set out on the Oregon Farm Loop. You can choose from the three farm loops that feature a variety of farms and country stores to stop and get a bite to eat or do a little shopping. As you pedal along the loop, you’ll see cows grazing in pastures, grapes growing on vines and Mount Hood rising in the distance.
2. Mount Hood Farmer’s Market
Open from the end of April until the end of October, the Mount Hood Farmer’s Market offers your family the freshest local fruits and vegetables. Allow your children to pick the fruits they want to snack on and their favorite veggies to make with dinner back at your vacation rental. This farmer’s market often hosts live music acts and cooking demonstrations. In addition to a large selection of fruits and vegetables you can shop for cheese, locally made jams and jellies, pies and other baked goods.
3. Pick Some Fruit
At the foot of Mount Hood is lush farm land and for centuries farmers have taken advantage of this, growing crops from strawberries and grapes to tomatoes and corn. While staying in the area, take your kids to one of the places where you can pick your own fruit including local Morning Shade Farm or Hartnell Farms. With a bucket in hand, your kids get to play in the dirt, pick berries or other fresh fruits or veggies and taste them fresh off the bush.
4. Canby Rodeo
If you’re visiting Mount Hood in the summer months, the Canby Rodeo occurs during the Clackamas County Fair. Watch your kids gasp as the rodeo star rides a bull, and a rodeo clown tries to keep the bull away from the rider when he falls. They’ll cheer as riders lasso calves and get them trussed up. With events that include barrel racing and bareback riding, the rodeo is a fun day for everyone in the family.
5. Horseback Riding
Horses are a big thing in the Mount Hood area, and there are several stables where your family can arrange to go on a trail ride. The Joe Graham Horse Camp and the Riley Horse Camp are popular spots to take horses for a ride. Many of the parks allow horseback riding and the trails accommodate these animals, including the Mount Hood National Forest. You can arrange to see the sunset over Mount Hood while you enjoy a ride, or leave your vacation rental at sunrise for a day-long trek.
6. Snow Bunny
If you’re staying in Mount Hood during the winter months, skip the expense of the ski slopes and stop by Snow Bunny. This small entertainment park offers a place for your kids to go sledding and tubing. You can rent the equipment from the shop on the property and spend the entire day sliding, sledding and tubing down this small hill on the south side of Mount Hood. It can get busy on the weekends, so stop by during the week if you can.
7. Mirror Lake Trail
Visit Mirror Lake, a glacier-fed lake at the base of Mount Hood for a day of hiking and natural beauty. The Mirror Lake trail runs a little over two miles, but you gain and lose 700 feet of elevation. On the south side of this beautiful lake, find the steep slopes of Mount Hood that can make hiking challenging with younger children. The trail is a complete loop around Mirror Lake, so you can turn back to avoid the steeper areas.
8. Learn to Ski
With six ski resorts in the area, a Mount Hood vacation must include a day of skiing. If you’ve never skied before, then you can take a group or private lesson to learn the basics. At the ski resorts, you can rent the equipment you need for a successful day on the snow. Timberline Ski Resort has the longest season of any resort in the country, as well as the highest number of vertical feet. You might have a problem getting the ski lover in your family away from this resort when it’s time to head back to your vacation rental at the end of the day.
9. Portland Day Trip
Take in some city sights with a day trip to Portland. In a little over an hour, you can find yourself in Washington Park in downtown Portland. This 400-acre park has a zoo as well as a rose garden and makes the perfect starting point for a day in the city. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry offers hands-on exhibits for your little ones to learn more about science. End the day with dinner at a locally-owned restaurant.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Mount Hood vacation rentals on Tripping.com.