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Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge: Choose Your Adventure
Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge: Choose Your Adventure
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Mountain and River Pursuits

The region’s varied terrain makes for adventures at all altitudes. At nearly 3,500 meters high, Mt. Hood has one of the only year-round ski seasons in the world. It’s also purported to be the second-most climbed mountain in the world. Stay at the Timberline Lodge, the hotel seen in “The Shining” and a popular tourist attraction. Don’t miss the laser light shows and thumping music at Skibowl’s nighttime Cosmic Tubing. Descend from the mountain for waterfall hiking, rafting and fishing in the Columbia River Gorge. In Hood River, the gorge’s steep walls create perfect wind conditions for wind- and kite surfing.

 

Dining and Drinks

Bountiful harvests are reflected in markets and menus around the region. Take your pick among dozens of independent farm stands, orchards, wineries and restaurants along the self-guided Hood River County Fruit Loop. Soak in the stunning views and sip boutique wine on a winery tour. There are also a dozen craft breweries to try. Some noteworthy options: award-winning Full Sail Brewing Co., beer brewed with glacially-sourced water at Mt. Hood Brewing Company and Freebridge Brewing, housed in a Gold Rush-era U.S. Mint building.

 

Uncommon Accommodations

Lodging is part of the experience here. Not many destinations rival the region’s choices, from full-service resorts to backcountry vacation rentals. Rent a geodesic dome, soak in a hot tub on the river or escape to a real log cabin in the woods. Stay in an ultra-charming tiny house at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. Go completely off the grid at the Tilly Jane A-Frame, which has no running water and is accessible only by snowshoeing or hiking into an old-growth forest. Couples can reconnect by a spectacular waterfall at Bridal Veil Lodge. The Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and the Balch Hotel in the Gorge both offer full-service amenities with historic character.

Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge: Choose Your Adventure
Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge: Choose Your Adventure
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Fun Fact

One of the many waterfalls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge
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The Columbia River Gorge has the greatest concentration of waterfalls in North America. There are more than 75 waterfalls along its 113 kilometers.

Art advertising the Columbia River Highway in Oregon
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The first scenic highway in the USA was the 121-kilometer Historic Columbia River Highway, also known as “King of the Roads.”

Approaching the summit of Mt. Hood in Oregon
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Mt. Hood is the highest peak in Oregon and one of the most-climbed mountains in the world.

Must see places

Oregon’s Multnomah Falls in winter

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s most-visited natural attraction and the tallest waterfall in the state. Visit when it’s at its most voluminous in winter and spring, as snowmelt feeds two cascading tiers along a 189-meter drop. The Multnomah Falls Lodge has a visitors’ center and upscale restaurant. When the weather is nice, enjoy outdoor dining on the patio with beautiful views of the falls.

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The Bridge of the Gods stretching over the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington

Bridge of the Gods

The stunning Bridge of the Gods connects Oregon to Washington over the Columbia River. It’s also part of the 4,279-kilometer Pacific Crest Trail, recently popularized in Cheryl Strayed’s book and film adaptation, “Wild.” Park the car and walk across the dizzying foot path for unparalleled views of the river below.

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Biking the Columbia River Highway

Historic Columbia River Highway

Tracing the Columbia River Gorge from Troutdale to The Dalles, the USA’s first scenic highway is steeped in history and natural beauty. The abundant waterfalls and green cliffs near Portland lead to a sunny plateau in Mosier and The Dalles. Along the way, visit museums, stretch your legs on hiking trails and explore Oregon Trail-era small towns. Can’t miss photo ops: Vista House at Crown Point, Bridal Veil Falls and Multnomah Falls.

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Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge tucked into the snowy mountainside

Timberline Lodge & Ski Area

More than 2 million visitors a year make Timberline Lodge & Ski Area one of Oregon’s top attractions. This National Historic Landmark is located on Mt. Hood and boasts 1,124 vertical meters and year-round snow sports – one of the few ski resorts in the world with this claim to fame.

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View of Mt. Hood from a Hood River farm

Hood River Fruit Loop

The Hood River Valley’s freshest (and tastiest) offerings are highlighted at u-pick farms, produce stands and eateries along the 56-kilometer Fruit Loop. Sample Oregon wine and cider, stock up on local produce, pick fresh flowers and bite into the juicy pears and apples that the region is famous for.

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View from Rowena Crest in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge

Rowena Crest

The stunning Columbia River Gorge spreads out before you at the Rowena Crest Viewpoint, located just off Highway 30 near the town of Mosier. Be sure to get a photo of the distinctive horseshoe curve in the highway below – it’s a highly photographed spot in Oregon. No filter needed for this view.

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Gate to historic Barlow Road in The Dalles

Barlow Road

Emigrants on the Oregon Trail had to stop in The Dalles to decide whether to ford the river or ride along Barlow Road up and over Mt. Hood. Travel this storied path and explore old trail towns along the way. You can still see the ruts where wagons passed as pioneers came to the West.

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Looking out from Oregon’s Jonsrud Viewpoint in autumn

Jonsrud Viewpoint

If you haven’t quite gotten the perfect picture of Mt. Hood during your visit, head up to the Jonsrud Viewpoint in Sandy at sunrise or sunset to fulfill your mission. The snow-capped peak looms in the distance with an expansive meadow and the Sandy River below.

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Kiteboarding on the Columbia River in Hood River

Waterfront Park in Hood River

In Hood River, the walls of the Columbia River Gorge channel wind onto the river and create outstanding conditions for windsurfing and kiteboarding. Watch the tricks and feats of the sport at Waterfront Park in Hood River, considered the Windsurfing Capital of the World.

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View from the Vista Houst at Crown Point in Oregon

Vista House at Crown Point

Thank the Portland Women’s Forum for the views from the Vista House, who saved this iconic landmark from private development. Perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, the circa-1918 Vista House offers just that – sweeping vistas that attract photographers with inspiring views of the mountains, gorge and river.

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Explore Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge destinations

Tranquil reflection in Trillium Lake
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Mount Hood

The wild and the wonderful are waiting for you in Mount Hood, where adventure lives. This is the home of explorers. From the towering snowcapped peak of Oregon’s tallest mountain to the soaring forests and rushing rivers to the wineries, restaurants and shopping, it’s all here in Mount Hood Territory, filled with endless possibilities.

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Official Mt. Hood and Columbia Gorge Travel Site