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Your guide to Mount Hood
Welcome to Mount Hood
The tiny community of Mount Hood takes its name from Oregon’s tallest, snowiest volcano, which towers in the distance. There’s not much to do in town, where you find only a cluster of homes, a few local businesses, and a historic town hall. Think of this more as a relaxing basecamp for exploring the nearby ski areas, trekking in the wilderness, and tasting your way through the valley’s orchards and vineyards. The town of Mount Hood is an easy jumping off point for exploring the massive Mt. Hood National Forest, which covers more than 1 million alpine acres. Nearby trails lead you to waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and mirror-like lakes reflecting the mountain’s majestic cone. Once you’ve spent some time in the region, you’ll understand why these views have graced so many postcards.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mount Hood
A few different calendars define the pace of life in these parts. Up in the mountain, ski season peaks in winter and early spring — though at the highest elevations, you can even ski into the summer. The Hood River Valley beats to the rhythm of harvest seasons, which span late spring for berries, mid- to late summer for apricots and peaches, and fall for pears. Set in the valley, the town of Mount Hood has a temperate climate, so you can enjoy the outdoors any time of year, depending on your tolerance for rainfall in the colder months of late fall and winter.
Top things to do in Mount Hood
Hood River Fruit Loop
To get a taste for Hood River Valley’s renowned wines and produce, take a spin along the Hood River Fruit Loop, a scenic route that spotlights over two dozen family-owned fruit stands, orchards, wineries, and cideries. The views along the drive are gobsmacking, with the peak of Mount Hood shimmering on the horizon and fields of fruit trees, grapes, and lavender in the foreground.
Zig-zagging down the slopes of Mount Hood ranks among the top snowsports experiences in the American West. Its five distinct ski areas cater to a range of skills and pastimes, from newbie skiers to experienced snowboarders. Mt. Hood Meadows has plenty of steep, adrenaline-pumping slopes. Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, which has 69 day runs, keeps the action going late with dozens of lit runs and a cosmic tubing park with LED lights and music. For families and beginners, the nearby Cooper Spur and Summit ski areas offer gentler terrain.
Tamanawas Falls Trail
Alpine hikes abound on the mountain’s slopes and throughout the sprawling Mt. Hood National Forest, with trails leading to astounding viewpoints, reflective lakes, and scenic waterfalls. On the eastern base of Mount Hood, Tamanawas Falls Trail is an easy trek that takes you along bubbling Cold Spring Creek to a 100-foot-tall curtain of water tumbling into a mossy canyon.