There’s a big mountain calling your name, and it’s covered in snow. The next time you’re hungry for a road trip to Mt. Hood, you don’t need to stress about food planning — just follow the East Gorge Food Trail and make it a tasting trip along the way. You’ll want to stroll through living history in The Dalles, wine and dine in Hood River, soothe your senses in Mosier, and find apres-ski options aplenty around Mt. Hood. Here’s how to take a tasty four-day winter-cation.
Day 1: The Dalles
Start your getaway with a walk through The Dalles’ historic downtown, where you’ll browse antique stores, yarn and quilt shops, and Klindt’s Books, Oregon’s oldest bookstore. Explore The Dalles Art Center, Kainos Coffee Roasters, Nichols Art Glass and the National Neon Sign Museum, a must-see for history buffs and anyone who loves colorful design and iconic American nostalgia. Go wine tasting at Sunshine Mill Winery. Enjoy a cozy night at the Celilo Inn, with views of The Dalles Dam. Come morning, indulge in a Sunday morning treat at SweetHeart Bake Shop and tuck into a bagel sandwich and smoothie at The Riv Cafe, a new hip spot housed in a century-old stone church. Take advantage of the gorgeous waterfront with an afternoon session of stand-up paddleboard yoga at Float On SUP Yoga or a stroll or bike ride along The Dalles Riverfront Trail.
Day 2: Mosier
Journey westward along Interstate-84 for less than 20 miles to the idyllic town of Mosier, which has been booming lately with lovely spots to sip, nosh and shop. Book a vineyard tour at Analemma Wines, with its panoramic views of the valley and beyond. Enjoy a burger and a pint for lunch at Mosier Company, and make a plan to return in summer to shop for fresh produce and artisan crafts at Mosier Farmers Market (Sundays June through October), and to sample the farmhouse cider at Runcible Cider’s farm stand (open May through October, one of many cider spots in the area). A family-friendly hike along the 3.5-mile Mosier Plateau Trail offers sweeping views of the Columbia River and rugged Gorge landscape.
Day 3: Hood River
Hop back on I-84 and head less than 10 miles west to Hood River for more top-notch food and drink. Some of the finest chefs in the Pacific Northwest live and work here, using local, seasonal ingredients at an array of family-friendly brewpubs, casual spots for pizza or breakfast, and upscale restaurants with sweeping waterfront views. Try the area’s newest brewpub, Ferment Brewing Co.; Norwegian-style breakfast boards at Broder Ost, adjacent to the lobby of the charmingly restored Historic Hood River Hotel; or sit down for cozy comfort food in an elegant setting at Sixth Street Bistro & Pub. Plan a trip to Hood River for holiday festivities or for Foodie February, when participating businesses create special sandwiches to compete against others.
Day 4: Mt. Hood
Cap your road trip with a day of snow play at Mt. Hood, about 40 miles south of Hood River along Highway 35. Families flock to the Cosmic Tubing hill at Mt. Hood Skibowl, which offers a boisterous atmosphere for nighttime fun. Head midweek to Mt. Hood’s Sno-Parks for the fewest crowds, where you can channel your inner snowbunny to your heart’s delight. If it’s the big slopes you want, Timberline Lodge & Ski Area promises North America’s longest ski season. Keep the adrenaline pumping at Mt. Hood Skibowl, the largest night-ski area in the nation, or hop on their brand new Snow Cat tour during the day. And spread out at Mt. Hood Meadows, offering the largest ski area and most diverse terrain on the mountain. The whole family will love Cooper Spur Mountain Resort’s 50 acres of beginner and intermediate terrain and Summit Ski Area, the Pacific Northwest’s oldest designated ski zone. Apres-ski, warm up with a smoked pork-shank sandwich or pickled-pepper pastrami pizza at Mt. Hood Brewing Co. in Government Camp, or with a giant omelet and coffee at the 24-hour Huckleberry Inn, a favorite among visitors since 1966. No winter trip to the Gorge is complete without a visit to Mt. Hood – stay at a participating hotel in Hood River and get discounts on lift tickets at Mt. Hood Meadows. Plan Your Trip
If You Go:
Winter in Oregon can be chilly and wet with pockets of sunshine, so wear layers and come prepared by brushing up on tips at How to Winter Like an Oregonian. Always check road and weather conditions before you go. Be a steward of the land with tips at Ready, Set, GOrge! Consider traveling to Mt. Hood car-free to truly sit back and enjoy the ride.