Mt Hood & Columbia Gorge Search Results

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What Gorge activities do you suggest for seniors?

I think you’ll find plenty to explore here in the Gorge!  Here are some accessible outdoor and indoor activities:

As for outdoor activities:  Drive the Historic Columbia River Highway along the waterfall corridor to see multiple majestic waterfalls directly from the road. These waterfalls are a must-see — especially in January! For a 3- to 4-hour outing (from Hood River or Portland), I suggest using exit 35 off I-84, and then driving west.  You’ll pass Horsetail Falls on your left, which has a parking area and is absolutely worth a stop. Hop back into your car for a short, but beautiful drive to the famous Multnomah Falls.  Then journey on to the Vista House for panoramic Gorge views and a history lesson. However, these are very popular sights and parking is limited, so I recommend you visit early or on a weekday.

To extend your outing or to avoid the crowds, I recommend a short walk around the Starvation Creek Trail area to see three waterfalls in less than a mile of walking! Take Exit 55, which can only be reached on I-84 Eastbound (if driving west, take the Wyeth exit and turn around). You’ll find Starvation Creek Falls just at the trailhead, but if you stroll .5 miles west on the flat, paved path, you’ll find Cabin Creek Falls and Lancaster Falls.  It’s quite the bang for your buck!

One last idea for the outdoors: Walk along Hood River’s waterfront trail to view the mile-wide Columbia River and stop at pFriem Brewery, Solistic Woodfire Cafe, or Camp 1805 Distillery, all of which are locally owned. To access this area, turn north off exit 62.

 

If you’re looking for cozier activities, consider taking a sternwheeler cruise on the Columbia River, poke around the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, brave the winter roads to visit Timberline Lodge, or ease into a gentle flow yoga class at Flow Yoga.

 

Since the Gorge prides itself with an abundance of artists, breweries, wineries and cideries, wandering the small towns and sampling their specialties is always a fine choice.  Gorge locals are quick to boast about their craft beverage industry, so you’ll find a tasting space just about anywhere you go. Explore the quaint downtown of Hood River and you’re sure to stumble into local art or drinks. Or drive around the countryside and visit some local vineyards. Marchesi, Cascade Cliffs, Mt. Hood Winery, WyEast Vineyards,  and Syncline are some favorites, but call ahead because winter hours can be less predictable.

Where can I hike to a view of all the mountains?

Off the top of my head, I believe the trail you’re referring to is the Larch Mountain trail in the Gorge. From the top on a clear day you can see Mt. Shasta, the Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.

Larch Mountain has 3 trailheads. The first is at Multnomah Falls. The second is about half way up the road, where the gate usually is locked during the winter season, or (!) you can just drive up to the landing .25 miles from the top. My personal preference is starting from the bottom and earning the view, but if you’re in a hurry to catch a sweet sunset with friends, I’d just drive up.

Another one you might be thinking of is Mount Defiance. But the views there aren’t nearly as epic from the summit.

Answered by Kristen Mohror on September 22nd, 2016 - Post Your Answer
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Is it possible to visit Hood/Gorge and the Coast in two days?

You can absolutely do it! My suggestion would be to drive from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway. Take in the waterfalls, take in the misty air, take in the probable rain (bring a rain jacket) and then stop for ice cream at EastWind Drive Thru in Cascade Locks before making your way to Hood River. There’s a little coffee shop/restaurant called Doppio’s Cafe on Main Street. They’ve got the best sandwiches in town and even better coffee.

After leaving Hood River, head toward Mt. Hood. Make a quick stop at Tamanawas Falls trailhead and hike through the forest to the jaw-dropping waterfall. It’s an easy 4-mile round trip hike that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired to see what else you can find. Continue heading toward the mountain. You can take in some killer views at Trillium Lake or drink the world’s best hot chocolate at Timberline Lodge in front of a roaring fire. When you’re finished with that, you can drive through Government Camp and stop for pizza or beers, or both!

You can make it back to Portland in time to recharge and plan out the next day.

The Coast is sure to blow your mind. Head west on Highway 26 until you hit Cannon Beach. If you’re looking for a view, stop at Haystack Rock and take it in. This is the most photographed area of Oregon. How cool is that? From there, take a short drive down to Oswald West State Park and walk through the forest for about a mile before it opens up to the Pacific Ocean. You’ll feel like you’re in Jurassic Park, but I assure you, dinosaurs won’t bother you here.

If you’re still feeling jazzed about the Coast, you can head on over to Hug Point State Park, just down the road. It’s a similar beach and is just as rocky and wild as the others, but this one has caves and a waterfall. Just to keep you on your toes. From here you might be chasing the sunset so I’d recommend settling in and taking a few deep breaths because sunsets on the Oregon Coast are about the closest thing to a religious experience I’ve ever had.

From there, you can head back to Portland.

Take lots of pictures. Use our hashtag (#traveloregon) and soak up the experience. There’s no place like Oregon!

Answered by Kristen Mohror on March 21st, 2016 - Post Your Answer
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Is it better to visit Mt. Hood in the winter or summer?

There are so many fun things to do on Mt. Hood in the summer. It’s actually my favorite season on the mountain (probably because I am not much of a skier). Though, there are plenty of other things to do on Hood in winter if you don’t ski!

Do you like to hike? There are many beautiful hiking trails in the Mount Hood National Forest, from easy to difficult. Some of my favorites are the Old Salmon River Trail, Mirror Lake, and Umbrella Falls. The later puts on an especially beautiful wildflower show towards the end of July. You can even hike a section of the Pacific Coast Trail if you desire, and pass some hikers on their way to Canada from Mexico.

Trillium Lake is one of my favorite summer spots. There is a very easy trail around the lake, and one of the most stunning views of the mountain you will get. Mount Hood Adventure will even deliver rental kayaks to the lake if you want to go for a paddle.

Then there is the Mount Hood Adventure Park at Ski Bowl. The slopes are transformed into an alpine slide in summer, and there are many other activities available including a Malibu car race track, bungee jumping and a zip line.

Of course, if you still want to put your feet in snow, Timberline Lodge offers the only year round ski area in North America. If you aren’t interested in skiing, you can take the Magic Mile Sky Ride up to Palmer Glacier and play around.

Answered by Cari Gesch on February 28th, 2016 - Post Your Answer

I’m going to Mt. Hood, want to get to the top of the mountain and want a large variety of ski terrain. Which resort should I visit?

Thanks for the question. The resort that would most suit you is Mount Hood Meadows. It has everything you are looking for and has the most expert terrain along with the most varied terrain.

When it is clear, the upper lift is all above tree line and has incredible skiing along with beautiful views. The lower has amazing trails and tree skiing of all ability levels. Have an awesome winter and please feel free to send more questions if needed!

All the best,
Asit Rathod

Answered by Asit Rathod, Ask Oregon Snow Sports Expert on December 8th, 2015 - Post Your Answer
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What are the best places to camp in the Mt. Hood National Forest?

There really isn’t a bad place to camp in the Mt. Hood National Forest. For starters, you should bookmark this complete list of campgrounds in the Mt. Hood National Forest.

If you don’t like crowds, the Lost Creek Campground off Lolo Pass Road would be a good option for you. It’s near many hiking trails, such as the ever popular Ramona Falls. Another option is the Green Canyon Campground on the Salmon River. It does get pretty busy, but there are lots of spots you can hike in to next to the river and camp, and some beautiful trails in the area.

While wildly popular, and usually crowded on a sunny weekend, our favorite spot to camp is one of the many campgrounds around Timothy Lake.

Answered by Cari Gesch on May 28th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

How much clothing should a Louisianian wear when hiking to Oneonta Gorge in March?

Fleece is king here, as is dressing in layers. The weather in March can be a bit unpredictable — bright sunshine one minute, thunderstorms the next. So just be prepared for a bit of everything.

I wouldn’t suggest going down to Oneonta Gorge it in spring unless you are in waterproof clothing. If 50 degrees is cold for you, than that water is going to be downright frigid. We were just at our local river the other day, when it was 60+ degrees outside, and my hand got really cold just reaching in for a rock. The temperature also tends to be a lot colder back in Oneonta Gorge. Generally, this is only a hike I would suggest doing on a hot summer day, otherwise you risk hypothermia pretty fast. The water will be at least waist deep.

However, you can hike up Oneonta Gorge a bit without getting so wet. There are also LOTS of other stunning waterfall hikes in the area that don’t require getting so wet, and if you head a little further east, depending on how warm the spring has been, you can also catch some stunning wildflower displays at places like Rowena Crest and Mosier.

Answered by Cari Gesch on April 19th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

When are the wildflowers in full bloom?

First blooms usually start appearing around mid to late April, and continuing until the hot (well, hot for Oregon) weather arrives sometime in early July. To catch a nice selection of wildflowers, I would probably suggest sometime in early to mid May. The exception to this is the higher elevations around Mt. Hood, where the lupine usually hit peak in mid to late June. It’s all dependent on weather conditions, and how long it stays cold. I think the wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge are really spectacular in the first couple of weeks of May, when the bleeding hearts are blooming, along with a variety of other things.

Answered by Cari Gesch on April 7th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

Are sites in the Gorge accessible to people with limited mobility?

You will find that there are TONS of accessible sights along the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway, including Multnomah Falls. There is an elevator in the historic lodge there and a wheelchair ramp to the main viewing area. The trail is paved all the way to the bridge, but it might be a little steep for someone with limited mobility.

Other waterfalls easily accessible are Latourell, Wahkeena, and Horsetail Falls. All of those areas are paved, and easily seen within a short distance from the road.

Also, make sure to stop at Vista House at Crown Point. There is a wheelchair ramp into the building, and an elevator inside to access the lower floor.

Answered by Cari Gesch on March 28th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

Where can I find huckleberries around Mt. Hood?

Huckleberries generally grow in the mountains above about 3000 feet. There are some great spots around Mt Hood, and I have even gone over to the Wallowas to pick.

A free permit is required from the Forest Service, even if you are only planning on harvesting a small amount for your personal use. My best advice is to ask the rangers when you stop in the Ranger Station to get your permit. I usually go to the Zig Zag Ranger station to do this. All that is required is a valid photo ID.

Be aware that there are some areas off limits to picking, as they are reserved to Warm Springs tribal members due to treaty rights. These areas are generally well marked. The rangers can also help you with this, and even provide maps.

If you aren’t interested in picking, there is generally a stand in the parking lot next to Charburger in Cascade Locks that sells them during the season. You may also be interested in the Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival.

However, my favorite place to find huckleberries is in one of the famous milkshakes from the Huckleberry Inn in Government Camp.

Happy hunting!!

Answered by Cari Gesch on March 27th, 2014 - Post Your Answer
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