Mt Hood Summer Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Posted by Betsy LaBarge | Thursday, July 2, 2020

It's absolutely amazing how quickly children learn, and it's a gift to watch them become inspired by something new. In a world that increasingly includes cell phones, tablets and video games, it's an extra special treat to watch them interact with nature. Mt Hood, Oregon is the perfect place to let your children or your grandchildren explore the beauty that is nature! We offer a great selection of vacation cabins you can plan a secluded family vacation in, that way your little ones can explore to their heart's content. 

Mt Hood Vacation Rentals

Once you've settled into your Mt Hood cabin, a scavenger hunt is a great way to get the kids started. They'll have a great time recognizing and finding these natural items, and the scavenger hunt doubles as a coloring page when they're done. Download and print our Mt Hood summer scavenger hunt for kids now and get started!

What's in our Mt Hood Summer Scavenger Hunt for Kids? 

  1. Mt Hood
  2. Stars
  3. Fir Cones
  4. A Bird
  5. Animal Tracks
  6. A Leaf
  7. Wildflowers
  8. A Bug
  9. A Butterfly
  10. Bonus Item (Surprise your Kids)

Download the Mt Hood Summer Scavenger Hunt for Kids

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We hope you'll enjoy these fun, family-friendly activities at Mt Hood:

Best Of Mt Hood

6 Lakes at Mt Hood for Summer Cool-down Fun
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What better way to cool down on a sunny summer day at Mt Hood than to visit the lake? There are actually more than 150 lakes and 14 wild and scenic rivers throughout the Mt Hood National Forest, but these six are some of our favorites (and they are nearby our Mt Hood vacation cabins).

Six Lakes at Mt Hood to Enjoy this Summer

  1. Burnt Lake - in the Mt Hood Wilderness and ideal for hikers
  2. Trillium Lake - just 3 miles east of Government Camp
  3. Timothy Lake - 12 miles southeast of Frog Lake
  4. Frog Lake - just 5 miles past Trillium Lake
  5. Lost Lake - about 15 miles up Lolo Pass Road
  6. Mirror Lake - just off the highway, 1 mile west of Government Camp

#1 - Burnt Lake

Burnt Lake at Mt Hood

Burnt Lake is a high-alpine lake that is only accessible via a 6-8 mile out-and-back hiking trail which can be accessed from the north or the south. Access to the trail is a ways down LoLo Pass, so even though the hiking distance is relatively common, you can usually expect Burnt Lake to be a little less crowded than other lakes. You can also do a thru-hike if you pre-arrange a shuttle - either way you'll want to bring food, water, and a towel if you plan to take a dip. 

#2 - Trillium Lake

Couple holding hands at Trillium Lake at dusk

Trillium Lake is perfect for swimming because only non-motorized boats are permitted. Being a smaller lake, the water is warmer! You can fish, canoe, kayak and paddle board at Trillium Lake. There are also several trails for all abilites for hiking, running and biking around the lake. Stay at the Marshall Cabin in the Trillium Lake Basin and you will be just 2 miles to the lake. Mt Hood is also popular for romantic retreats. Many of our cabins have played a part in engagements, honeymoons and anniversaries.

#3 - Timothy Lake

Friends enjoying fishing on Timothy Lake

Timothy Lake offers spectacular views of Mt Hood, several trails, fishing, boating, picnic tables and a bathroom. It is the one of the few lakes that allows motorized boating (10 MPH speed limit) making it easier to explore the entire lake or to go fishing. Timothy Lake Trail #528 is the most popular trail and offers views of Timothy Lake, Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson. The trail is 7.4 miles one way, and you can either turn around or take one of several loop options. Timothy Lake Trail #528 is open to hikers and horses and most of the trail is also open for mountain bikers.

#4 - Frog Lake

Kid checking out the polliwogs at Frog lake

Frog Lake is named for the frogs that live in the trees near the lake (they are actually Western Mountain Toads). During the early summer, you will find lots of tadpoles swimming in the shallow areas of the lake, and by mid-July they will be toads! There are several trails you can access from the Frog Lake parking area including the Twin Lakes Trail. This is a great spot for kids to explore on your next family reunion trip at Mt Hood.

#5 - Lost Lake

View from the trail at Lost Lake in Mt Hood

Lost Lake is the most difficult to get to requiring some gravel road driving, but the views are well-worth the drive and some of the best in the Mt Hood area. Lost Lake is surrounded by rugged mountains and you'll enjoy an abundant amount of fauna and flora. You can fish, canoe, kayak, paddle-board and hike at Lost Lake. Boat rentals are available at the lake, too! 

#6 - Mirror Lake

Dog enjoying mirror lake

Mirror Lake is just off the highway near Government Camp. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the area, so you will want to hit it early. The good news is that the Forest Service has built a new parking lot and trailhead at the west end of the Mt Hood Adventure Park parking lot to ease the congestion. Dogs are welcome to take a dip at Mirror Lake, and they're also welcome in our pet-friendly vacation rentals.

Where to Rent Gear for Your Lake Excursion

No need to bring heavy, bulky water gear with you - you can rent what you need once you get here. Kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards are all available at Mt Hood Outfitters in Government Camp. They will even meet you at the lake with the boats and pick them up when you are finished boating!

Plan Your Mt Hood Getaway

Your Mt Hood adventure awaits! We've got all the details on planning the perfect Mt Hood getaway in our area guide. Plus, browse a huge selection of vacation cabins with pet friendly amenities and riverfront settings

View All Mt Hood Vacation Rentals

Outdoor Activities

Shelter in Place in This Place - Mt Hood Cabins and Lodges
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Monday, May 25, 2020

Find Comfort in a Private Cabin or Lodge at Mt Hood

We've all been itching to get out of our homes and apartments and enjoy experiences that make this world feel a little more normal right now. As regulations begin to ease and our communities start phased plans to reopen, we wonder how we can take a little time for ourselves while still respecting our communities and keeping our loved ones safe. Searching for and appreciating this balance is what makes humankind and our culture truly beautiful. We hope we can help be a part of that process, by providing smart vacations at Mt Hood, Oregon. Here are our top 6 suggestions for getting a little "me time" in the summer and fall of 2020 in a way that is respectful, smart and kind. 

Six Smart & Kind Ways to Get Away in the Summer & Fall of 2020

#1 - Mt Hood Riverfront and Creekside Rentals

If restrictions are beginning to ease in your area, you've probably noticed the rush of people heading to the rivers and shores. It's no wonder why - riverfront settings are relaxing and refreshing, and there's something about moving water that can create that sense of "zen" you've been searching for. Did you know that the negative ions created from the moving water in the rivers at Mt Hood actually build up your "so-called happiness hormones" - endorphins and serotonin - in your body, creating a positive mood and sense of well-being. Many of our Mt Hood cabins and lodges are located along rushing rivers and meandering streams, offering a socially-distanced way to get your water fix without adding to the crowds in more public spaces. Find your ideal happy place in a Riverfront Mt Hood Vacation Rental.

Riverfront Cabin Rentals at Mt Hood

#2 - Secluded Mt Hood Cabin Rentals

Space is something we could all use a little of by now. We've spent our time away from others, but we've done so in the confines of our home. We want to feel the expansive sky above us and close our eyes while we listen to the birds sing. We hope our secluded vacation cabins at Mt Hood can help you do this. Picture long roads, tall trees and amazing views all around as you and your loved ones make your way to our private and secluded cabins. Solitude awaits you at our cabins fit perfectly for social distancing.

Secluded Mt Hood Cabins

#3 - Working from "Home" in a Mt Hood Lodge

Working from home is a new reality, with many big tech companies already letting employees know they will be doing so through 2020. You might be ready for a change of scenery if you've been working off a stack of books in your kitchen or doubling as a teacher for your kids. If you're a remote worker, you can certainly get away even if you can't take time off for a vacation right now. Even though our vacation cabins at Mt Hood are secluded, most of them still offer Wifi - just ask us about the best homes for fast Internet connections. If you're taking the opposite approach and you're ready for an "unplugged" trip, we have a few homes with slower speeds that will make it easier to unplug. Call us to find the perfect "Working from Home" Home or Cabin for Unplugging at 888-424-9168.

#4 - Bring Your Family Dog with You to Mt Hood

This is an unprecedented time for our pups too. Shelters are emptying out, so many dogs have brand new families. Dogs with 9 to 5 parents are surely confused why their best friends are home all day, all the time (and why they keep telling them they cannot bark at squirrels during conference calls)! Whether your pup is a brand new addition or has been with you for a long time, they're probably in need of some outdoor adventure and sunshine too. Your dogs are welcome to join you in most Mt Hood Vacation Rentals, because making a cabin or lodge your home away from home means your family's best friend needs to come along with you. There are plenty of meadows for playing fetch, paths for long walks, rivers for swimming and sunny decks for afternoon naps at our cabins and lodges. Find your dog's favorite cabin among our Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals.

Pet-Friendly Cabins at Mt Hood

#5 - Self-Isolating & Celebrating in a Mt Hood Cabin

Maybe you share a home with your elderly parents and want to keep them safe, or maybe you want a memorable place to celebrate your child's birthday since they cannot have their regular party. Maybe you've just tied the knot and need a socially-distanced approved honeymoon spot. We're resilient, and our lives keep moving forward even in the toughest of circumstances. We will always find ways to persevere, and we hope our cabins at Mt Hood can bring you some socially-distanced approved opportunities to celebrate life. It is easy to socially distance in the forest when you are surrounded by nature, magnificent trees, meandering streams, blue skies and stunning Mt Hood views. Get away from the city and give yourself and your family much welcomed quiet time to find your centers and refresh your souls. Search our Mt Hood Log Homes.

Log Cabins at Mt Hood

#6 - Extended Stay Specials

We understand many of you may want to come for an extended period of time. Maybe your car ride is a little long, or maybe you need to be out of your house for a few weeks. For a limited time, book an extended visit in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental this summer and save. The longer you stay, the better the savings.

  • When you book 2 weeks, you will save 10% off the regular nightly rate.
  • Stay 15-20 nights and save 15% off the regular nightly rate.
  • Stay 21-28 nights and save 20% off the regular nightly rate.
  • Valid for new reservations booked between May 25 - 31, 2020 with stay dates between June 12 - September 6, 2020.
  • Discounts will automatically calculate upon booking. Not available with other discounts, offers, promotions or specials.

Search for Your Home Away from Home for the Summer


Mt Hood Vacation Planning

I Have Reserved My Vacation Rental, What Do I Need to Bring???
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Friday, May 22, 2020

One of the great advantages of renting a vacation home is that it’s a HOME. Sit back and think of all the images that word invokes: Cookies baking in the oven; Freshly laundered linens; A comfy place to unwind after a tiring day; Steaks on the grill; Family game night; Knitting by the fire; Your morning cup of coffee. Better yet, your evening glass of wine!

Renting a vacation home instead of a hotel room or roughing it in a tent offers all the creature comforts of your own home but in the beautiful setting of your vacation. Now, think of all the images that word invokes: vacation. You’re on your own schedule: Spending the day hiking to a waterfall; mountain biking through the pristine forest; Skiing or snowboarding; Doing absolutely nothing; Relaxing in a hot tub to the lulling sounds of the river rushing by.

We want your vacation to be seamless and relaxing, so we’ve equipped Mt Hood Vacation Rentals with everything you need. Which begs the question…what do you need to bring???

What to Bring for your Mt Hood Vacation


All of the kitchens in our vacation homes are fully equipped with the pots and pans, utensils, appliances, serve ware…everything you need to prepare the most basic breakfast and up to an elaborate multi-course dinner. Want to bake cookies? Your vacation home not only has cookie sheets, but a blender, spatulas, measuring cups and spoons, hot pads, some even have cookie jars. Want to grill some steaks? There’s a gas BBQ on the back deck and BBQ tools in the drawer. Want a glass of wine? There’s a corkscrew in the drawer and wine glasses in the cupboard!

Dining Table & Kitchen at Rapid River Retreat

And don’t worry, if you forgot something you’re sure to find it at the Welches Thriftway, Welches Liquor Store, Rhododendron Food and General, Govy General, Hoodland Fruit Stand or several local coffee shops!


It's about time you broke out the swimsuit - after all, what else are vacations for? There are towels in the basket by the door and plastic cups in the kitchen for your adult beverage at all of our homes with hot tubs. The hot tub is the perfect temperature and the jets feel oh so good after a long day of hiking, biking, skiing or snowboarding. You may want your swimsuit if you're renting a riverfront home, or maybe you're just looking to catch some rays on the deck.

Private River-viewing Hot Tub at Riverwood Hideaway

Mt Hood Rentals with Hot Tubs


Instead of turning on the TV, why not start a rousing game of Monopoly or test your family’s brain power with Trivial Pursuit? Not feeling so competitive but want to bond with the family? Complete a jigsaw puzzle before the end of your vacation. All of our vacation homes provide a variety of games to keep your entire family entertained, so there's no need to pack up the games - just bring your competitive edge! Winner gets bragging rights. For outdoor fun, some of our homes even have horseshoe pits.

Game and Kids' Bunk Room at Lazy Bear Lodge


Dogs need vacations too! Most of our vacation homes are pet friendly, and as dog owners ourselves, we strongly encourage you to bring your furry friend along on your vacation. Fido will enjoy frolicking in the river, leading you on your hike through the woods and curling up in front of the fire at the end of the eventful day.


Even Your Dog Needs Some Rest and Relaxation

Pet Friendly Rentals


Mt Hood offers endless opportunity for outdoor adventure. You'll definitely want to bring your hiking boots and your mountain or road bike. If it is easier, you can rent a bike when you get here too! Whether hiking or biking, you’ll find access to countless miles of trails right out the front door of your vacation home. Stay at Moondance Cabin, just a couple miles down Lolo Pass Rd from the splendors of the hike to Ramona Falls. Stay at the Cedarwood Lodge in Government Camp and be at the epicenter of mountain and lake trails galore!

Cedarwood Lodge in Government Camp, Oregon

Your Guide to Everything Mt Hood

We've got the details on everything Mt Hood - like where to rent mountain bikes and which short hikes to try out when you first arrive. Browse our vacation cabins and start packing for your trip today!

Mt Hood Vacation Planning

3 Short & Sweet Early-Season Hikes at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Friday, May 15, 2020

Shake out the winter cobwebs with these low-distance Mt Hood area hikes

As you think about putting away your skis and snowboards and start pulling out your hiking shoes and hydration packs for spring hikes, here are three trails that will get you excited, get your heart pumping and get your legs in shape for longer hikes this summer (2 of these hikes are short versions of longer hikes). Lower elevation trails (2500 feet and below) are free of snow and uncrowded this time of year.

Castle Canyon Trailhead

Castle Canyon Trail - #765

Castle Canyon Trail offers a good season-starter for a 2-hour hike through lush forest. The steady uphill climb leads to a craggy viewpoint looking out across the Zigzag River Valley.

Elev. Gain 840 feet, 2435 ft elev at the top
Distance  8/10 mile to the top, out and back trail for a total of 1.6 miles
Hiking Time about 1 hour to the top
Trailhead From the store in Rhododendron, OR – drive west out of the parking lot onto E Arlie Mitchel Road (parallels highway). This road curves to the right /north in 1/10 mile and becomes Henry Creek Road. In 2/10 mile, Henry Creek Road curves to the right; turn left here onto Road 19 (Historic Barlow Road Route) and drive ¼ mile to the end. Trail is on the right ½ mile down Road 19.
Highlights  Interesting rock formations at the top; rhododendron in bloom May and June; wild mushrooms in the fall
Vacation Rentals Nearby Moondance Cabin - 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom on the creek, fireplace, hot tub, sleeps 6
Zigzag Mountain Lodge - 3+ bedroom, 2 bathroom, fireplace, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 10
More Info

Welches Valley view from Hunchback Mountain

Hunchback Mountain Trail - #793

Hunchback Mountain Trail is a 9-mile strenuous trail with over 3000 feet of elevation gain, however, a steep, switchback 1.9 mile hike from the trailhead leads you to a rocky opening with sweeping views of the Welches Valley, the Salmon River and the Cascade Foothills. Turn around and head back to your car for one of your first spring hikes. 

Elev. Gain      2000 feet to the viewpoint; 3270 feet for the 9-mile hike
Distance 1.9 miles to the viewpoint, out and back trail for a total of 3.8 miles
Hiking Time 1 – 2 hours to the viewpoint
Trailhead The trailhead starts in the parking lot at the Zigzag Ranger Station a few hundred feet east of the visitor center
Highlights Thick forest of fir, cedar and hemlock; rhododendron in bloom May and June; panoramic views
Vacation Rentals Nearby Rapid River Retreat - 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom on the river, fireplace, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 8
Cedar Springs Cabin - 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom in secluded setting, fireplace, hot tub, sleeps 6
More Info

Mt Hood view from Salmon Butte

Salmon Butte Trail - #791

Salmon Butte Trail is a long view hike perfect for long summer days, however the first 2 1/2 miles gradually meander along an old road bed, making this a moderate and easy early season hike. Build up to the full 12-mile round-trip hike to the summit of Salmon Butte for breathtaking views of the Mt Hood National Forest.

Elev. Gain 430 feet in the first 2 ½ miles; 3170 feet for the 12-mile hike
Distance 2.5 miles to the spring turn-around, out and back trail for a total of 5 miles
Hiking Time 1 – 2 hours to the turn-around
Trailhead Salmon Butte Trail starts when Salmon River Road ends just past the bridge crossing the river.
Highlights Thick forest of fir, cedar and hemlock; rhododendron in bloom May and June; panoramic views
Vacation Rentals Nearby Cozy Bear Cabin - 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, secluded, woodstove, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 6
Forest View Lodge - 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, secluded, woodstove, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 10
More Info
Search all Mt Hood Vacation Rentals and start planning your sping hiking vacation now.












Outdoor Activities

10 Beautiful Mt Hood Birds to Watch For
Posted by Betsy LaBarge | Thursday, April 16, 2020

With multiple lakes, a national forest and birding trails, Mt Hood is a bird-lover's paradise! The USDA Forest Service tracks a list of over 180 birds from 40+ families that are known to make an appearance at Mt Hood. Some of these birds frequent the area, and others make surprise appearances while migrating. The Oregon Cascades Birding Trail is an excellent place to look for many of these magnificent birds, and the Mt Hood Loop section of this trail will take you along the Columbia River and the base of Mt Hood.

Another notable site to bird watch in Mt Hood, Oregon is at Bonney Butte HawkWatch. This is a bird study site in Mt Hood National Forest, only six miles from Government Camp. They offer an excellent hawk watching site and educational programs from late August through October each year. If you're planning on stopping by the Bonney Butte HawkWatch, the best time to go is between September 7th and October 12th, during "bulk passage" (that's when the most raptors are migrating through the area).

Whether you're a birder trying to check some more birds off your list, or a novice who enjoys their beautiful songs, we hope you enjoy our 10 favorite Mt Hood birds to watch for.

10 Beautiful Mt Hood Birds to Watch For

#1 - Green-Winged Teal

This beautiful duck is the smallest of the North American dabbling ducks and the males sport a green eye patch. The Green-Winged Teal is very common in North America, and Oregon is home to them year-round. Green-Winged Teals love inland lakes and shallow streams, and begin nesting in late May and early July. Did you know that they enjoy searching for food on mud flats more than any other species of duck?

#2 - Bufflehead

The Bufflehead is so beautiful it surely must be Photoshopped, right? This small sea duck is one of America's smallest ducks, along with the aforementioned Green-Winged Teal. The males sport a mesmerizing iridescent helmet, and they puff out the feathers on their head to look larger. If you're a birder, you've likely heard of the Bufflehead before. Did you know that they are known as the "spirit duck"? The Bufflehead winters in Oregon and Timothy Lake in the Mt Hood National Forest is a great place to spot them.

#3 - Red Tailed Hawk

The Red Tailed Hawk is a bird of prey which is very common in North America. Did you know that they can acclimate to a great variety of habitats? They are found in places such as deserts, forests, urban areas and more. The Red Tailed Hawk will eat a variety of prey, like rodents, ground squirrels, and even lizards.

#4 - Green Heron

This small bird has a glossy greenish cap and back with a chesnut neck and underbelly. The Green Heron is interesting for its intense courtship displays which lead to seasonally monogamous relationships. They like to nest high up in trees in the forest laying two to six eggs a time. Did you know that baby Green Herons can start to fend for themselves at just 30-35 days old?

#5 - American Wigeon

The American Wigeon is another dabbling duck species on our list, and the male sports a beautiful green eye patch like the Green-Winged Teal. The American Wigeon breeds throughout Oregon, but likes to winter in the South. They are often referred to as "poachers" or "robbers" because they hang around with diver birds and grab pieces of food brought to the surface. 

#6 - Barrow's Goldeneye

This sea duck has a striking yellow / golden eye and is named after Sir John Barrow. The Barrow's Goldeneye is a diving bird, eating insects, vegetation and crustaceans. The Barrow's Goldeneye is a pretty quiet bird until breeding season when it squeaks and croaks in a low volume. Did you know that the female Barrow's Goldeneyes return to the same breeding site each year?

#7 - Calliope Hummingbird

Did you know that the Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird that is native to the United States? This cutie likes to nest throughout Oregon and Washington and makes a long distance migration each year. Male Calliope Hummingbirds have fantastic wine-red streaks on their neck area, which is referred to as a gorget. You'll notice greenish highlights on both the males and females. Males can flap their wings up to 95 flaps per second when they're courting a female!

#8 - Greater Yellowleg

This strange looking bird looks like it belongs on a beach rather than a forest! The Greater Yellowleg migrates throughout the United States and enjoys foraging in shallow water. You can spot them by their long thin legs and long black beak which has a slight upward curve at the end. Yellowlegs are sometimes referred to as "tattlers", because they would make a lot of noise when bird hunters were out looking for shorebirds. 

#9 - Hooded Merganser

The Hooded Merganser is a small diving duck with a lot of style. While the male and female Hooded Mergansers have different color coats during breeding season, they can both raise and lower their crests (that's the funny looking hat this one is wearing in the picture). When it's not breeding season, the male looks very similar to the female Hooded Merganser with a greyish-brown body.

#10 - Wild Turkey

Have you ever seen a Wild Turkey? These proud birds are pretty prevalent in Oregon. A male adult tukey can weight up to 24 pounds! You'd think such a large bird couldn't take flight, but Wild Turkeys can actually fly close to the ground for up to a quarter mile. 

Your Guide to Mt Hood

Looking for fun activities, expert information and more? We're pleased to provide information on the latest and greatest in Mt Hood, like which events to attend and where to stay when you come visit.

Best Of Mt Hood

Experience Mt Hood, Oregon Virtually
Posted by Betsy LaBarge | Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Our world is changing, but one thing certainly remains constant - nature is the most wonderful escape for our minds and souls. Whether you're a Mt Hood regular and are missing the spectactular sights, or you're an East Coast native looking for a place to let your mind wander, these beautiful aerial drone shots are sure to please. We spent some time combing through our library of video footage to pick out all of our favorite "ooh" and "ahhh" moments and compiled them into one minute of Mt Hood bliss. We hope you enjoy!

60 Seconds of Mt Hood Bliss


Looking for More Mt Hood Virtual Experiences?

At Mt Hood Vacation Rentals, we are pleased to showcase all of our vacation cabins with aerial footage videos like you just watched above. We've highlighted just some of these videos below, and you can check out our Youtube channel for more.

River Dance Retreat


Salmon River Rendezvous


Rapid River Retreat


River View Cabin


Mountain Vista Lodge


View More on YouTube

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