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Your Complete Guide to Visiting Mount Hood

  |  Hood River, Neighborhood Insight

Reaching an elevation of 11,249 feet, Mount Hood is the highest point in all of Oregon and the fourth highest in the Cascade Range. Plus, Mount Hood is one of the most climbed mountains in the world, making it a prominent and must-see mountain for Pacific Northwesterners.

Visible from many vantage points in Hood River and surrounding communities, this towering mountain is both a stunning backdrop and a popular destination for outdoor recreation all year long. Use our comprehensive guide to Mount Hood to enhance your visit, whether you live across the country, across the state or just down the road in Hood River. We’re sharing insight on the best places to stay, where to eat, and things to do on and around Mount Hood.

SKIP AHEAD TO: Where to Stay | Things To Do | Places to Eat

 

WHERE TO STAY

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge Mount Hood

Photo Courtesy of Timberline Lodge and Ski Area

Mount Hood is made even more accessible due to its year-round skiing and snowboarding at Timberline Ski Area, which is accompanied by the historic Timberline Lodge, a mountain lodge situated on the south side of the mountain. The lodge is filled with history, dating back to the Great Depression era, when it was built and furnished by local artisans. This National Historic Landmark is perhaps most known as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Choose from a variety of accommodations, including several different rooms in the main lodge, luxury condominiums, and the Silcox Hut.

 

Collins Lake Resort

Situated in the heart of Government Camp, Collins Lake Resort offers 2-3 bedroom resort vacation rentals. Their Grand Lodges and Chalets are clustered together and connected by paths, making them easily accessible yet private for guests. During your stay, enjoy access to a variety of resort amenities, including a pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness room and ski shuttle.

 

Huckleberry Inn

Nestled atop their 24-hour family-style restaurant, Huckleberry Inn has been family-owned and -operated since 1966. Choose from their 16 guest rooms, ranging from dorm-style accommodations for large groups to their Deluxe rooms, which feature spiral staircases leading to sleeping lofts. This historic inn is conveniently situated in the heart of Government Camp, providing easy access to ski areas, hiking trails and mountain lakes.

 

Mt. Hood Oregon Resort

Experience a unique blend of modern luxury and casual comfort at Mt. Hood Oregon Resort, an upscale resort tucked away in a lush evergreen forest just 15 minutes from the mountain’s ski areas. Choose from 157 spacious guest rooms, suites and villas, all appointed with rich, warm woods and bright, welcoming colors. After you play a round of golf on the resort’s 27-hole course, enjoy a casual lunch at Mallards Café & Pub or a romantic dinner at Altitude. And unwind at the end of the day with a relaxing massage or facial treatment at the full-service spa.

 

Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast

Built in 1910, Old Parkdale Inn is a charming historic bed and breakfast resting in the foothills of Mount Hood in the quaint town of Parkdale. The Inn provides an ideal home base for exploring either the mountain or the Hood River Fruit Loop — or both! Their three rooms, the Douglas Fir Suite, the Chinook Suite and the Meadowlark Room, all provide a private bathroom, a queen bed with luxurious bedding, a flat screen TV, a microwave, a coffee maker, a refrigerator and more amenities. Awake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a delicious breakfast, prepared with fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from the Hood River Valley!

 

Summit Meadow Cabins

Stay in the heart of activity of Mount Hood in the cozy and rustic Summit Meadow Cabins. Choose from five cabins, including three larger cabins designed for families and larger groups, and two smaller cabins offering ambiance and privacy. Each cabin has a distinct personality and list of features, but all are ideally situated near Trillium Lake and the ski areas on Mount Hood.

 

Camping

Camping Near Mount Hood

For a more rustic experience, consider pitching a tent in one of the many campgrounds around Mount Hood. Some of the best area campgrounds include Lost Lake Resort and Campground, Trillium Lake Campground, Lost Creek Campground, Still Creek Campground, and the many campgrounds surrounding Timothy Lake.

 

THINGS TO DO

Skiing + Snowboarding

One of the most common reasons for visiting Mount Hood is to hit the slopes, and believe it or not, you can even go skiing and snowboarding even in July! That’s right — the Timberline Lodge Ski Area is the only ski area in North America open 12 months a year. Some of the most popular ski resorts on Mount Hood include Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, Mount Hood Ski Bowl, and Summit Ski Area. Portland Monthly put together a comprehensive guide to Mount Hood’s ski resorts, detailing the pros and cons, plus details like pricing and number of runs.

 

Outdoor Recreation

There is so much to do in terms of outdoor recreation on and around Mount Hood. In fact, we created a guide for outdoor enthusiasts in Hood River, which includes many options on Mount Hood! Some of the area’s best lakes to explore include Lost Lake, Mirror Lake, and of course — Trillium Lake, all of which offer some of the most stunning views of Mount Hood. For more information about year-round outdoor recreation options, including biking, fishing, hiking, water rafting, climbing, and much more, check out the recreation resource on Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory website. And if you’re mostly interested in hiking, take a look at some of the best day hikes in the area, many of which offer breathtaking views of Mount Hood.

 

Hood River Fruit Loop

Hood River Fruit Loop

Photo Courtesy of Brooke Martinez via Stave & Stone Winery at the Vineyard

Take a break from the mountain with a leisurely cruise along the Hood River Fruit Loop, a scenic 35-mile drive through the valley featuring 29 member stands offering a variety of wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, food and more. Get to know each of the stops along the way using our complete guide to the Hood River Fruit Loop, whether you’re looking for you-pick fruit, a winery for wine tasting, a lavender field, a cidery, a pumpkin patch, a bakery or some combination of the above!

 

Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum

Located along the ruts of the historic Barlow Road, the Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum offers six galleries showcasing the regional history of Mount Hood. Topics include natural history, early exploration, settlement history, winter sports, mountain climbing, and Mt. Hood National Forest through the arts, educational enrichment and oral histories.

 

See the Sunrise at Illumination Rock

If you wake up early enough, you can witness one of the most stunning sunrises you’ll ever see — as long as you’re equipped for a challenging climb! Watch the sun rise at Illumination Rock, a 9,500-foot summit not for the faint of heart. But if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll enjoy a stunning pink and purple display at sunrise — plus uninterrupted views of Mount Saint Helens, Mount Jefferson, and The Three Sisters.

 

Go Cosmic Tubing

Sure, you’ve gone snow tubing before, but have you tried Cosmic Tubing?! Every night from mid-December through January 1 and on weekends through the end of winter, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl offers the World’s Only Cosmic Tubing® experience. The hill transforms into somewhat of an icy dance floor, illuminated by 600,000 LED lights, lasers and more. Because this is a popular activity during the winter, guarantee your spot by buying tickets online in advance!

 

Mt. Hood Scenic Byway

If you’re traveling from Portland or Hood River to reach Mount Hood, it’s likely you already traveled along the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, the 100-mile route that travels alongside the mountain through fruit valleys and thick forests. Consider taking a scenic Sunday drive along this iconic route, passing by some of the area’s most breathtaking vistas and well-known landmarks. Read up on what you can expect to see along the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway.

 

PLACES TO EAT

Alpenstube Restaurant at Mt. Hood Meadows

Nestled in the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, Alpenstube Restaurant is a full-service restaurant with a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and house specialties. The chef uses regional, fresh and natural ingredients whenever possible, creating healthier and more flavorful dishes. Plus, Alpenstube now offers breakfast on weekends and holidays, and a special Aprés Ski Menu every day from 3–6 p.m. with small plates and reduced pricing on beer and wine.

 

Timberline Lodge

Y'Bar Mount Hood

Photo Courtesy of Timberline Lodge and Ski Area

It’s no surprise that Timberline Lodge is a popular dining destination on Mount Hood, regardless of whether or not you’re staying at this historic lodge. Choose from their variety of restaurants, including the upscale and scenic Cascade Dining Room and the cozy and casual Ram’s Head Bar and Restaurant, plus the modern Wy’East Café and the scenic the Y’Bar, both located in the Wy’East Day Lodge.

 

Ratskeller Alpine Bar and Pizzeria

Relax and unwind after a day on the slopes at Ratskeller Alpine Bar and Pizzeria, a family-friendly pizzeria and bar in the heart of Government Camp. This chalet-style eatery offers your favorite pub fare and pizzas, plus craft brews on tap. This is also the perfect place to watch your team play on their large screen!

 

High Mountain Cafe

High Mountain Cafe is a mainstay for breakfast in Government Camp. Enjoy a quick and healthy breakfast or lunch in their cozy cafe located on the second floor of the Ratskeller Building. They offer gourmet coffee and espresso, fresh-baked pastries, deli sandwiches, and even a Bloody Mary bar!

 

Mt. Hood Brewing Co.

Don’t worry — there’s more than just beer at Mt. Hood Brewing Co. At their locations in Portland and Government Camp, they offer a full food menu, with shareable snacks like a meat and cheese board, salads, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and even dessert. Pair your meal with one of their delicious brews, from their flagship Ice Axe IPA to their creamy Hogsback Oatmeal Stout.

 

Glacier Haus Bistro

Located in the heart of Government Camp in the old Govy Country Store, the Glacier Haus Bistro brings Alpine-style comfort and food to Mount Hood. This family-owned and -operated restaurant prides itself on serving homemade sandwiches, salads and pizzas using fresh, quality ingredients. You’ll find classic European specialties on their dinner menu, including Wiener Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, Hungarian Beef Goulash and more. Glacier Haus Bistro is open Thursdays through Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Huckleberry Inn

No matter what time of day it is, you can satisfy your cravings at Huckleberry Inn, which is open 24 hours a day! This family-style restaurant specializes in diner/breakfast food, such as huckleberry pancakes and delicious hash browns, but they offer a variety of lunch and dinner items as well. Whatever you order, be sure to save some room — because Huckleberry Inn is known for their milkshakes and doughnuts. It’s no wonder this iconic restaurant has been serving the community for over 50 years!

 

Hood River Restaurants

Riverside Hood River, OR

Photo Courtesy of Riverside

Venture into Hood River for even more dining options to choose from. Overwhelmed? Check out a few of our favorite restaurants in Hood River, from casual options like Full Sail Brewing Company & Brewpub or Solstice Wood Fire Café & Bar to more upscale destinations such as Romul’s or Stonehedge Gardens Wine Country Bistro, and the riverfront restaurant aptly named Riverside.

 

Happy Exploring!

What must-do destinations and activities would you add? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Melissa Peterson, Director of Agent Services and Technology

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