Give a Memorable Experience this Holiday Season
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Monday, October 1, 2018

Mt Hood Experiences for the Perfect Holiday Gift

It is that time of year when everyone is thinking about holiday gifts for friends and family members. Instead of circling the parking lot looking for an empty space and battling the crowds at the mall, give a memorable experience or specially crafted artwork as a gift this year. Your friends and family will appreciate the unique, different and thoughtful gift and you will have a much calmer holiday shopping season. Here is a list of unique gifts and activities from local Mt Hood area businesses.

Take the Train to Christmas Town

Every holiday season, the Mt Hood Railroad transforms the historic train into a holiday excursion, a unique excursion through the Hood River Valley on the east side of Mt Hood. The Christmas Town Train is a magical experience for everyone in the family and includes holiday music and caroling, Christmas cookies and hot cocoa, Santa and his elves and special gifts for everyone. Passengers are encouraged to wear holiday attire.

If you are unable to Take the Train to Christmas Town this holiday season, buy tickets for the Parkdale Express which runs June through October or for the Western Train Robbery themed ride traveling on select dates during the summer.

Mt Hood Railroad

Private Ski or Snowboard Lessons

Does your friend or family member love snowsports? Give them a private lesson so they can hone their skills and improve in the areas they want to work on. A private lesson is tailored specifically to the skier or rider and they will see the results immediately when they go sliding down the hill. For the kids, you can enroll them in a full-day kids' session. all of the ski areas make it fun with hot cocoa and snow play. Mt Hood Meadows, Timberline and Mt Hood Skibowl all have great ski school and offer private and group lessons for all ages.

Mt Hood Meadows Ski School
Timberline Ski School
Mt Hood Skibowl Ski School

Take the Family Cosmic Tubing

Cosmic Tubing at Mt Hood Skibowl is all the rage and rightly so; it is a ton of fun. You and the tube ride up a conveyor belt, so no more walking uphill dragging the innertube behind you. Then ride down a lane lit up with multi-colored lights while music plays. The tubes are not plain, either. They are shaped and colored like bananas, hamburgers, sharks and just about anything else you can think of. You can go inside to the lodge right next to the tube hill for a hot drink and a snack, too.

Cosmic Tubing at Mt Hood Skibowl

Dinner in the Cascade Dining Room at Timberline Lodge

If you have a foodie on your list, give them a gift certificate for the Cascade Dining Room at Timberline Lodge. They will appreciate the opportunity to dine in this historic setting with awesome views. Executive Chef, Jason Stoller Smith has created an unique menu designed around fresh northwest ingredients. The wine list is created to compliment the food with a special focus on Oregon wines.

Cascade Dining Room at Timberline Lodge

Relaxation Massage

Everyone loves a relaxation massage and there are several great massage therapists in the Mt Hood area. You can buy a gift certificate for your favorite person that they can use during their next visit to Mt Hood. And some will come to your vacation rental as well, so your loved one does not need to do anything but relax. Or maybe your special person would prefer a facial or pedicure; these pampering treatments are also available.

Massage Therapists in the Mt Hood Area

Private Yoga Lesson

Give the Yogi or Yogis in your family a private lesson in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental. Lauren Carusona, Registered Yoga Teacher, will come to you with props and music; you just need to bring your yoga mat (she has mats if you forgot yours). She teaches Vinyasa Flow, as well as Restorative yoga and likes to incorporate some acupressure points, self massage and energy medicine yoga as well to further promote deep relaxation, healing and self care. She checks in with everyone to find out about any injuries and what everyone is looking to get out of the session. Private or group sessions are available.

Whole Hearted Yoga and Nutrition

Local Coffee and Beer

If your best friend likes their beverages to be local, you can gift them with their morning brew and their evening brew all concocted at Mt Hood.

Mt Hood Roasters is a family business located in Rhododendron where they roast their coffee daily. You can tour the coffee roasting facility, buy a cup of coffee or pick up bags of beans or ground coffee for holiday gifts, 7 days a week at Mt Hood Roasters.

Coffee House 26 is a family business located in Welches. They have been serving coffee and breakfast and lunch treats for years and recently started roasting their own beans on-site. Stop in for a coffee clatch with friends, then pick up your gift bags of coffee for your holiday gifts. Watch for visits with Santa during Christmas Vacation.

Mt Hood Brewing has been around for close to 30 years brewing favorite craft beers in Government Camp including their signature beer, Ice Axe IPA. There are several other regular beers plus many seasonal beverages. Have lunch or dinner at the Brew Pub, then pick up a few growlers for your friends.

Local Mt Hood Art

Sue Allen Studio Ink creates hand-screened cards and wall art in a whimsical style depicting the flora, fauna and wildlife of Mt Hood with a special focus on history and landscapes using bright and cheery colors in their Brigthwood studio. Watch for holiday studio sales this fall.

Lindsoe Clayworks crafts hand-thrown pottery for practical uses in the kitchen and home as well as art for your walls and garden in Dulcie Lindsoe Johansen's garage studio in Rhododendron. You can have a custom-made dog bowl thrown, too. Watch for holiday studio sales this fall.

Wy'East Weldworks in Welches turns scrap metal headed for the recycle bin into works of art including holiday ornaments, wall art and industrial-style furniture. Check out Sally Butler Unkefer's Etsy page and if you don't see what you want, contact her for a custom one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Gary Randall Photographic Art is a highly-regarded local photographer specializing in landscapes throughout the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. Pick up a card, print, photo on metal or a calendar on Gary's website. Or treat the budding photographer in your family to a one-on-one photography workshop with Gary Randall.

Mt Hood Vacation Rentals Gift Certificate

Give your favorite person in the whole wide world a vacation this year. You can purchase a gift certificate for the full amount at a specific vacation rental with specific dates or you can purchase a gift certificate in any amount that your loved one can use towards their choice in a cabin or lodge at Mt Hood for the dates that work best for them. Just call us with the details and we will email a printable gift certificate to you within 24 hours. (Note: our offices are closed on December 24 and 25, so plan ahead accordingly.)

Contact Mt Hood Vacation Rentals at 888-424-9168 to purchase a gift certificate.

Christmas Coffee Experiences Gift Certificates Holiday Gifts Massage Memories Mt Hood Mt Hood Brewing Mt Hood Vacation Rentals Photography Pottery Ski Lessons Snowboard Lessons Vacation Rentals Yoga

4 Fun Fall Things To Do at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Friday, September 14, 2018

Vibrant Fall Colors + Crisp, Cool Days + Fun Activities
= The Perfect Mt Hood Vacation

Fall is one of our favorite seasons around Mt Hood. The weather is still sunny, but not too hot with crisp, cool nights and ever-changing colors on the big leaf maples, vine maples, alders and cottonwoods surrounded by the deep greens of the Douglas fir and cedar trees. And because this is our Quiet Season, the rates are reduced, plus you can add a 3rd night to your stay for 1/2 price and the 4th night for free.


Hiking at Mt Hood in Fall Colors

Fall is the best time for hiking. The trails are less crowded and the fall colors on the trees are vibrant making for an eye-popping scenic adventure. Some of our favorite trails are:

Little Zigzag River Trail: A short 1.2 mile out and back hike that is easily accessed by most people including small children and less-abled walkers alike

Old Salmon River Trail: A relatively flat trail that follows the Salmon River for 5 miles total, out and back. Or you can hike the Salmon River Trail (trailhead is at the bridge) for up to 9 miles one-way!

Trillium Lake: Not only will you see a spectacular view of Mt Hood at the lake, but you will also see lots of fall colors. You can hike, run or bike around the lake on forest roads or hike the 1.9 mile trail that goes around a portion of the lake.

Castle Canyon Trail: This 2.2 mile out and back hike is rated moderate, but feels difficult and is not for the less fit, however it you want to get a workout and spectacular pinnacle views, this is a must-do hike. Watch for chantrelles along the trail, too.

Timberline Trail and Pacific Crest Trail from Timberline Lodge: These two trails are popular for summer hiking and should be considered for fall hiking before the snow falls. You can do as little or as much as you like from Timberline Lodge with amazing views of Mt Hood. Then head into the lodge for a snack and hot beverage.

Check out all of the hiking trails in the Mt Hood National Forest. For trails near your Mt Hood Vacation Rental, we are surrounded by the Zigzag Ranger District.



Salmon River at Mt Hood in the Fall

Salmon will be spawning in the rivers around the Villages of Mt Hood during the fall. The exact timing is different every year based on weather (rainfall and temperatures), but once they arrive to spawn, the show lasts for a few weeks. The salmon run is when the salmon swim upstream from the ocean back to the rivers to lay eggs for the next year's new fish. In our case, the salmon have a long trip from the Pacific Ocean up the Columbia River to the Sandy River, then on up to the Salmon River and other tributaries like Still Creek. After this arduous and tiring trip, the eggs are laid and fertilized, then the salmon die. When the salmon eggs develop into new fish, these fish will eventually swim back to the ocean, only to return to the same river they were born in to spawn and then die just as their parents did. The aptly named Salmon River is the best place to see the salmon spawning, but check out this video of salmon in Still Creek from a few years ago.



Mile-High Apple Pie

Just a short drive to the east side of Mt Hood, you can visit the Hood River County Fruit Loop when vacationing at Mt Hood. Fall is apple and pear season in the Hood River Valley and their are many farm stands open with freshly picked apples and pears of multiple varieties as well as fresh-pressed apple cider. They will also be selling pumpkins and other squash and late season vegetables just harvested from their farms. Bring the apples back to your vacation rental and make an apple pie with the kids (all of our vacation rentals include pie pans). Our favorite recipe is Martha Stewart's Mile-High Apple Pie. Of course, you an buy a pre-made pie crust and just make the filling to make things easier. The adults may want to do a little wine tasting at one of several wineries in the Hood River region as well.



Roasting Marshmallows Around an Outside Fire

As the nighttime air chills down during the fall, the outside campfires in the firepit at your vacation rental become more fun. Gather around the fire with a hot beverage and make s'mores for dessert. Everyone will have fun talking about the day's adventures and where you want to go next.



Hoodland Farmers' Market

Looking for more things to do? From listening to live music, running a 50K trail run, visiting local farmers' markets and more, there is something fun and interesting to do at Mt Hood for everyone this fall.



Salmon River Retreat during the Fall

The best part about visiting Mt Hood during the fall is that it is our Quiet Season, so there are less crowded trails, restaurants and stores and less traffic on the roads plus you can stay in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental at ridiculously reduced rates for the first 2 nights, then add a 3rd night for 1/2 price and the 4th night is free. When is your trip? For friendly, personalized assistance in finding the best vacation rental to meet and exceed your expectations, call a Vacation Planner at 888-424-9168.


Activities Apple Pie Autumn Fall Fall Colors Farmers Market Fruit Loop Mt Hood Mt Hood Vacation Rentals Salmon Salmon River Salmon Spawning

How to Do Summer at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Thursday, June 21, 2018

There is Something for Everyone at Mt Hood During the Summer...

That is if you like spending time outside.

If you have visited during the winter months, you might think that Mt Hood is a winter snow sport destination only. However, summer is just as popular of a season to visit Mt Hood. Because the elevations thruoghout the Villages of Mt Hood (Brightwood, Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron, Government Camp and on up to Timberline) range from about 1200 ft to 6000 ft and we are surrounded by tall evergreen trees and flowing rivers originating from Mt Hood snowmelt, the weather is perfect at Mt Hood when it is too hot in the city. As a matter of fact, most summers we do not get out of the 80's during the daytime and you might even want a sweater some nights.

There is alot to do here, too, however you will not find movie theaters, bowling alleys or nightclubs in our villages. You will find all kinds of fun activities to do outside, good food and drinks at more than 50 eateries and great live music of all genres for all ages at the bars as well as outdoor venues.

Mt Hood is also popular for romantic retreats. Many of our cabins have played a part in engagements, honeymoons and anniversaries. Family reunions are fun, too with all of the activities for adults and kids to enjoy.

Mt Hood at Trillium Lake during the Summer

Couple at Trillium Lake at Dusk

Fishing on Timothy Lake with Mt Hood in View

Kayaking on Trillium Lake

Mt  Hood from Frog Lake

Checking out the Polliwogs at Frog Lake

What better way to cool down on a sunny summer day than to visit the lake. There are 5 lakes nearby Mt Hood Vacation Rentals: Trillium Lake is just 3 miles east of Government Camp, Lost Lake is about 15 miles up Lolo Pass Road, Frog Lake is 5 miles past Trillium Lake and Timothy Lake is another 12 miles southeast of Frog Lake. (There are actually more than 150 lakes and 14 wild and scenic rivers throughout the Mt Hood National Forest.) Mirror Lake is just off the highway, 1 mile west of Government Camp.

Trillium Lake is perfect for swimming because only non-motorized boats are permitted. Being a smaller lake, the water is warmer, too. You can fish, canoe, kayak and paddle board at Trillium Lake. There are also several trails for all abiliites for hiking, running and biking around the lake, too.

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.

Timothy Lake 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. There is a 13-mile trail around the lake that is open to hikers and horses and most of the trail is also open for mountain bikers.

Lost Lake is the most difficult to get to requiring some gravel road driving, but the views are well-worth the drive with some of the best Mt Hood views in the area. You can fish, canoe, kayak, paddle-board and hike at Lost Lake. Boat rentals are available at the lake, too.

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 is building a new parking lot and trailhead to ease the congestion.

If you are flying in or did not bring boats with you, you can rent kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards from Mt Hood Adventure in Government Camp. They will even meet you at the lake with the boats and pick them up when you are finished boating.

Yoga with a View


Is your Mt Hood vacation all about relaxing and re-centering your life? If so, there are several yoga classes offered in the area throughout the summer. For a very scenic class, head up to Timberline Lodge on Thursday evenings, 5:30 - 6:30, July 12 - August 30 for Yoga with a View (of Mt Hood that is). All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Wholehearted Nutrition and Yoga is offering classes, Friday through Monday mornings at the Rendezvous Center in Welches. Friday, Saturday and Monday classes are all levels Flow Yoga and Sunday classes are Restorative Flow Yoga.

Hoodland Farmers' Market

Fresh Flowers

Fresh, local produce and flowers, meats and hand-crafted works from local artisans plus live music are at two local farmers' markets this summer. The Mount Hood Farmers' Market in Sandy is a non-profit fund raiser for The Ant Farm, a non-profit with a mission to "create and connect a healthy, purposeful, and compassionate community by providing life-changing learning experiences for youth".

The Hoodland Farmers' Market is new this year and will be held on Sundays at the Rendezvous Center in Welches. The market will have elements of change each week inlcuding Certified Naturally Grown produce, meat, eggs, flowers, preserved/pickled foods, herbs, herbal products and information about Nutrition and self care.

Mountain Biking in the Mt Hood National Forest

Mountain Biking at Wildwood Park

Mountain bikers flock to Mt Hood every summer for recreational and competitive riding on several trails in the area. When the snow melts at Mt Hood Skibowl, the Mountain Bike Park opens. Ride the chairlift up the hill with your bike and ride more than 40 miles of trails. Or you can ride one of the Mt Hood National Forest trails including the Pioneer Bridle Trail or the Timberline to Town Trail. You can ride the Mt Hood Express Shuttle which is equipped with a multi-bike trailer up to Timbelrine at 6000 feet, then ride all the way back to the lower villages at 1200 feet for just $2/person. The now world-famous Sandy Ridge Trails are in Brightwood and just minutes from several Mt Hood Vacation Rentals. And next summer the new mountain bike trail park will be open at Timberline Ski Area.

If you didn't bring your bike with you or you just want to ride for a day, there are several options for renting mountain bikes including Mt Hood Bicycle, Mountain Sports, Hurricane Racing and Mt Hood Adventure.

Nadia's First Fish

Trout fishing and fly fishing are popular year-round at Mt Hood. Kids and adults alike can fish for trout at the lakes around the Mt Hood National Forest, including free youth fishing clinics in June and again in September. Fly fishing for salmon and steelhead is world-class at Mt Hood on one of 3 rivers, the Salmon, Zigzag and Sandy. The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches offers all the gear you need for fly fishing as well as expert guides who know all the sweet spots and can provide tips and tricks. There are Fly Fishing Schools available which are held several days throughout the summer.

Paradise Park Trail along the Timberline Trail

Hiking Trail at Mt Hood

Hiking to McNeil Point on Mt Hood

Hiking is the second most popular reason our guests give for visiting Mt Hood during the summer. The Villages of Mt Hood (Government Camp, Rhododendron, Zigzag, Welches and Brightwood) are surrounded by the Mt Hood National Forest which is comprised of 1700 square miles that includes 1000's of miles of hiking on 320+ trails. Mt Hood Vacation Rentals' cabins and lodges are surrounded by the Zigzag Ranger District, which boasts more than 100 trails. One of the most popular trails for families and people with limited mobility or who just want to take it easy is the Little Zigzag Falls Trail, a wide out and back 1/2 mile trail that flows gently uphill along the Little Zigzag River to the falls. For the more ambitious hikers, two of the best known and iconic trails are the Timberline Trail which circumnavigates Mt Hood at treeline for 41 miles and the Pacific Crest Trail with 130 miles located in the Mt Hood National Forest, passing right by Timberline Lodge and the summit of Lolo Pass Rd. Both of these trails have several access points for shorter day hikes. For more hiking trails, here is the list of all the trails in the Zigzag Ranger District.

Relaxing in the Hammock

Kicking Back Next to the River

Dining Area and Kitchen with River Views

Dogs like to hike at Mt Hood, too

Dog Napping on Deck Chair


And the number one reason our guests give for vacationing at Mt Hood is to relax. With vacation homes surrounded by the national forest, tall evergreen trees and colorful decidious trees, nestled next to rivers, creeks and streams and with awesome views, it is easy to just kick back and rejuvenate when you visit Mt Hood. Most Mt Hood Vacation Rentals are in secluded or semi-secluded settings with creeks and rivers flowing nearby, creating a relaxing ambiance for your retreat. 

If your family dog travels with you on your vacations, we have you covered with more the majority of our vacation homes being dog-friendly. Your pooch will love his Mt Hood vacation with so many lakes and rivers to swim in, trails to run on and back decks to nap on.

We also provide fully-equipped kitchens with all appliances (stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwashwer, microwave, coffee maker and toaster) with an extensive supply of pots, pans, dishes and utensils, so you can easily prepare a favorite meal with friends and family. Of course if you decide to leave the cooking to someone else and eat out, we have more than 50 restaurants, bars, taverns and cafes to choose from starting in Brightwood and moving all the way up and around the mountain to Mt Hood Meadows ski area.

Besides serving great food and drinks, all in casual settings (no dress up required at Mt Hood - come as you are), several locales also offer up free live music. The Skyway Bar and Grill is known for their house-smoked BBQ and mac-n-cheese and the fun outside atmosphere with a firepit and eclectic art and they are also known for the free live music 5 nights a week (usually played outside during the summer). Thursday is Open Mic night for all ages until 10 PM, continuing on until closing time; Friday and Saturday nights are reserved for more lively party and dance music starting at 9 PM, with more casual tunes presented on Sunday nights at 7 PM and rounding out the week, you can enjoy listening to local musicians playing on Monday nights.

On Wednesdays, from 3 PM - 5 PM during July and August, you can catch folk and Americana music at Timberline Lodge on the back patio with stunning views of Mt Hood. The Labor Day Mountain Music Festival at Timberline is held outside on the amphitheatre featuring a dynamic selection of some of the finest young string bands currently recording and touring the folk, bluegrass, and roots music scene. Admission is free to the Timberline Labor Day Mountain Music festival. And you can bring an instrument to join in the jams led by the Taborgrass Players on “Pickin’ Patio".

For more information and ideas about fun things to do while visiting Mt Hood, visit our Mt Hood Concierge page or call us; we are happy to share more ideas for your summer fun.

To find the perfect Mt Hood Vacation Rental for your summer vacation, call one of our Vacation Planners at 888-424-9168 or Book Online.

Brightwood Canoe Dog Dogfriendly Fishing Fly Fishing Frog Lake Government Camp Hiking Kayak Labor Day Mountain Music Festival Little Zigzag Falls Trail Live Music Lost Lake Mountain Bike Mt Hood Mt Hood Vacation Rentals Paddleboard Rhododendron Salmon River Sandy Ridge Trails Sandy River Timberline Trail Timothy Lake Trails Trillium Lake Trout Fishing Welches Zigzag Zigzag River

Discover Polliwogs at Frog Lake
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tadpole Adventures for Everyone in the Family at Frog Lake

Thousands of Polliwogs at Frog Lake in the Mt Hood National Forest

There are thousands of polliwogs swimming around at Frog Lake in the Mt Hood National Forest right now. The first stage of life for a frog is as a tadpole or the more fun-to-say name, polliwog. The snow around the lake melted recently and the frogs got busy starting new families. It is really fun for kids and adults alike to go check out the polliwogs swimming near the shore. See how many you can count!

Exploring Tadpoles at Frog Lake at Mt Hood

The lifecycle of a frog starts when the eggs are first laid and fertilized, then the embryo divides and becomes a tadpole slowing growing legs and finally becoming a frog about 12 weeks later. In early June, the tadpoles look like they just have tails and they are swimming around frantically in the shallow and calm waters at the shores of Frog Lake. So, depending upon when you head up to Frog Lake this summer, you might see many different stages of development. For more information about the lifecycle of a frog, here is an easy-to-read article from

View of Mt Hood from Frog Lake Butte

Exploring Tadpoles at Frog Lake with Mt Hood Views

While visiting Frog Lake during your Mt Hood Vacation, you can hike along the Lower Twin Lake Trail or the Frog Lake Buttes Trail. Or take a paddle board or canoe and paddle around Frog Lake or Twin Lake. Frog Lake might be a little chilly for swimming, but Lower Twin Lake is smaller and shallower, so more suitable for a cool-down dip on a hot summer day.

The Lower Twin Lake Loop is a 4-mile round-trip hike that takes you through old-growth forest to Lower Twin Lake. Hike all they way around the lake to add 1 mile to your hike. For more advanced hikers, hike the Twin Lakes Trails by adding the Upper Twin Lake loop for a 7-8 mile hike with more hills. The Frog Lake Buttes Trail is 7.4 miles round-trip and includes 1745 feet of elevation gain for a good day hike that will leave you looking forward to that swim in the lake.

A shorter, yet strenuous hike is on the Frog Lake Trail at just 2.6 miles, this out and back trail has 800 feet of elevation gain in 1.3 miles, but offers views of Mt Jefferson and will also link you to the Frog Lake Buttes Trail and the Twin Lakes Trails.

Forest View Lodge at Mt Hood

Are you still looking for a place to stay at Mt Hood this summer? We can stiill get you into a cabin, lodge or chalet for your summer vacation. All Mt Hood Vacation Rentalsare in view, secluded or riverfrong settings and include fully-equipped kitchens, TV and wifi and are close to Mt Hood recreation and activities, restaurants and shopping. Start planning your summer vacation here.


5 Mother's Day Activities at Mt Hood
| Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fun Things to Do with Mom on Mother's Day at Mt Hood

Are you still looking for something fun to do with Mom this coming weekend, for Mother's Day? There are lots of fun things to do at Mt Hood whether you like to get up and go or kick back and relax. Here are a few of our favorite things for you to do with Mom.

Family Hiking along the Little Zigzag Falls Trail

Hugging an Old Growth Douglas Fir Tree on the Salmon River Trail

Go Take a Hike

We have lots of great trails at Mt Hood for all ages and abilities and distances.

Little Zigzag Falls Trail: This is a short, out and back scenic trail that follows the Little Zigzag River in a slight uphill path to the waterfall. There are plenty of places along this small river for family photos or looking for treasures (the rock and twig kind). The total round trip distance is .6 miles and even small kids can do it.

Old Salmon River Trail: This is one of our most popular trails and for many good reasons. You can walk along the relatively flat trail that follows the river for up to 2.5 miles. You can turn around when you are ready and head back to your car, choosing your distance and time. Or you can hike the Salmon River Trail which starts at the bridge for a more strenuous uphill hike that passes through old-growth Douglas Fir trees. This trail goes for 9 miles.

For more hikes, check out our Summer Recreation link on our Concierge page.

Cascade Dining Room

Dessert at the Rendezvous Grill

Take Mom to Brunch

This is the classic, tried and true activity for Mom; let someone else do the cooking and at Mt Hood, we have lots of great chefs preparing awesome food for the family celebration.

Cascade Dining Room at Timberline Lodge: Treat your mom to Mother's Day brunch buffet prepared by chef Jason Stoller Smith with complimentary mimosas. After brunch go outside and play in the snow at 6000 feet.

Rendezvous Grill: Chef Mathais Engblom prepares his only brunch of the year just for mom. The special meal is served through mid-afternoon and includes entree choices from a menu with sides and appetizers from the buffet table.

We have more Mother's Day Brunch options listed on our Events Calendar.


Historic Mt Hood Brochures

Take a History Lesson the Fun Way

Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum: Learn about the history of Mt Hood, Government Camp, the national forest, skiing, interesting and unusual residents and more at this eclectic, cozy and non-pretentious museum in Government Camp. There are lots of "real" exhibits of items people have used over the years plus a miniature fire look-out and more.

Find more interesting things to do at our Concierge page.

Skyway Bar and Grill

Listen to Good Music with Real BBQ and Yummy Mac-n-Cheese

Skyway Bar and Grill: The most popular place for casual dining with friends and listening to good music. Chef Jason Hornor prepares real barbecued meats in the smoker out back and his mac-n-cheese is even famous in Portland. There is a full bar, craft beers and wine and weather-permitting a firepit outside in the garden. Local band, the Steelhead Stalkers will be playing jazz including Dixieland, swing, big band, latin, traditional and modern styles from 6 - 9 PM.

For more Mother's Day activities, visit our Events Calendar.

Mt Hood Views at Mountain View Hideaway

Make it a Weekend

Bring Mom to Mt Hood for the weekend, so you will have plenty of time to do everything on your list. Why not make mom feel extra special with a cozy cabin or spacious lodge tucked away in the woods or beside a creek or river. All of our vacation homes include fully-equipped kitchens (in case you decide to fix meals for Mom), fireplaces and woodstoves, TV and wifi. Most have private hot tubs and most are dog-friendly, too.

Find the perfect Mother's Day Vacation Rental.


6 Tips for Planning Your Summer Vacation at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Sunday, April 15, 2018

Six Things to Consider While Choosing a
Mt Hood Vacation Rental to Stay in This Summer

Staying in a vacation rental home is the most popular lodging choice for summer vacations at Mt Hood. Mt Hood Vacation Rentals are located in scenic locations with forest, river or mountain views just minutes from hiking, biking, golfing, fishing, skiing and snowboarding. P.S. Even if you don't plan on hitting the slopes this summer (which you can do), it is fun to go up to Timberline to play in the snow in July! We offer fully-equipped cabins, cottages, lodges and condos to choose from, so one of our vacation homes is sure to meet your needs.

Benefits of staying in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental
  • Living like a local at Mt Hood during your vacation; get to know your neighbors and do the things the people who live here like to do during the summer
  • Relaxing with your friends and family in a spacious home, cabin or lodge; you may never want to leave your calming mountain retreat
  • Sitting by a fireplace in the great room or gathering around the backyard firepit; don't forget the s'mores kit
  • Preparing meals in a completely equipped kitchen or on the gas BBQ on the deck; you have options with everything you need in the kitchen and a deck with a BBQ and furniture
  • Watching your favorite shows and movies on flat screen TV’s with cable, satellite and Internet TV; or maybe you will just skip the TV and enjoy the scenery instead
  • Staying connecting with free wifi; find a restaurant or activity on your phone
  • Soothing your tired body in a private, outdoor hot tub; most of our vacation homes offer private hot tubs just for your group
  • Revitalizing your spirit while being surrounded by the peace and quiet of the forest, birdsong and flowing rivers

With the growth in popularity and availability of vacation rentals, there are some important things you can do to insure your visit will be everything you have been dreaming of and more. Here are 6 tips to help you decide which Mt Hood Vacation Rental is perfect for your summer vacation. Remember, we have Vacation Planners standing by at 888-424-9168 or, 7 days a week to offer recommendations, too. 

#1. Location
Is riverfront or secluded acreage a necessity? Would you like to be tucked away under the trees or are wide-open views more to your liking? Do you feel more comfortable with being able to sePicnic area along the Sandy Rivere a cabin next door? Or do you need to be in Government Camp for summer skiing and snowboarding activities? Typically the riverfront and secluded vacation homes are the most popular and they fill up more quickly. If this is important to you, book your reservation early. Also, the larger homes that accommodate more people book sooner. Visit to start your vacation rental search.

#2. Activities
Mt Hood as a place is a collection of several small villages sprinkled throughout the Mt Hood corridor surrounded by the Mt Hood National Forest. The villages each have their own personality and charm, Kids can catch fish during the summer months at Mt Hoodhowever, the “action” is primarily centered around outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, fishing, paddling, golfing, skiing and snowboarding. You will not find a lot of nightlife including bowling alleys or movie theatres here, but you will find lots of locally owned and operated eateries, bars, recreation providers and specialty shops. If you know what type of activities and events you will be enjoying while on your Mt Hood Vacation, share that information with our Vacation Planner, so she can find the best home in the best location to suit your vacation plans. And while you are planning your vacation, check out our Concierge page for a listing of everything there is to do throughout the Villages of Mt Hood.

#3. Size of Home
How much square footage would you like? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need to be comfortable? Do you want separate living spaces for the kids and the adults? Our Chalet am Berg in Government Camp sleeps 10 guestsvacation homes have occupancy limits for safety reasons, so you won't want to cram too many people into one home. With a vacation rental you can afford to spread out as the cost is typically much less per person than renting several hotel rooms would be. And you have the added benefit of cooking in the home, so you save a lot of money by not eating out as frequently. You can search and view Mt Hood Vacation Rentals by size on our search page.


#4. Size of Traveling Group
Are you traveling with a large group of friends or a multi-geneHikers taking a fun selfie at Mirror lake at Mt Hoodrational family? You may want to consider renting two or three homes that are near one-another. This will give you more space, more cooking areas and of course more bedrooms and bathrooms. You may want to split up the group into families with small children in one home and the grandparents in a different vacation rental. You can find vacation homes that will work together on our website. If you are planning a romantic getaway such as a marriage proposal, honeymoon or anniversary, take a look at our Romantic Retreats.

#5. Amenities
WhichRoasting marshmallows around a campfire amenities are necessary and which would be nice? All Mt Hood Vacation Rentals are furnished with a fireplace or woodstove, fully-equipped kitchens, cable, satellite or Internet TV, washers and dryers, gas BBQs and wifi*. Many vacation homes also offer game rooms, private outdoor hot tubs, access to recreation centers and more. Most of our vacation rentals offer direct river access, too. Check out our list of amenities and features that are included with every vacation rental and to see what you need to pack for your trip. *One location does not have wifi connectivity which is perfect for an unplugged retreat.

#6. Dog-Friendly
Do you want to bring the family dog with you while on vacation? Most Mt Hood Vacation Rentals are pet-Dog taking a swim at Trillium Lakefriendly (we welcome well-trained and fully vaccinated dogs over 1 year old). There are lots of things to do with your dog while at Mt Hood like hiking or swimming in a lake. It is important to your pet that this is a vacation that you will be spending with your dog. If your dog is left alone in a strange home, he may cause damage and it really isn’t very fun for him either. View all of our pet-friendly vacation rentals while you plan your vacation.

Are You Ready to Make a Reservation?
Cari, Kayla and Fay at Mt Hood Vacation RentalsContact Fay, Kayla or Cari, our Vacation Planners at 888-424-9168 or and they will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect Mt Hood Vacation Rental for this year’s summer vacation. Or you can book online at our website, 24/7/365.


Early Spring Waterfall Adventures at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Mt Hood Waterfall Hikes (or Snowshoe and Cross Country Ski Treks) for Early Spring

When you visit Mt Hood in March and April, there is more to do than downhill skiing and tubing. Consider a waterfall hike. Depending upon the snow levels, you may need snowshoes or cross country skis; no one wants to post hole up to their knees. If trekking through snow is more than you want to do, wait a few weeks to visit these beautiful waterfalls; they are worth visiting during the summer and fall, too. However, the beauty of these waterfalls is magnified when surrounded by snow and ice.

Have you ever wondered why waterfalls are so popular? Besides their beauty, there is something scientific and magical about waterfalls that attracts people. It is something that you cannot see, touch or taste, but you can feel it: negative ions. Negative ions are actually a really positive thing. Negative ions are created when the surface tension of water is broken, such as when water is falling over a cliff or dam or rock wall. Inhaling the negative ions increases the oxygen in your brain and increases serotonin levels which leads to an elevated mood, increased mental awareness and stress relief. The amount of negative ions in moving water like waterfalls in the forest is magnified thousands of times compared to the still air in your home. So, are you ready to plan your next waterfall hike?

Tamanawas Falls with Snow on a Spring Hike

Tamanawas Falls

The trailhead to Tamanawas Falls is on the east slope of Mount Hood and follows the Cold Spring Creek surrounded by large Douglas fir, cedar and larch trees. The falls are 100 feet high and 40 feet wide. The trail is a short, out-and-back 1 mile in each direction, making it accessible to hikers of most ages and abilities. While this is very popular during the summer months (you will be rewarded with a cooling mist coming off the waterfalls), the beauty of the frozen falls surrounded by snow cannot be beat during the spring months. Of course you will want to be prepared for snowy conditions and wear your winter boots, coats, hats and gloves. You can find more information about Tamanawas Falls at the Mt Hood National Forest website.

Little Zigzag Falls in the Mt Hood National Forest in the snow

Little Zigzag Falls

Little Zigzag Falls is the reward at the end of a slightly uphill, meandering trail that follows the Little Zigzag Creek. You will access this trailhead at the end of the Kiwanis Camp Road about half way between Rhododendron and Government Camp. This easy trail is very popular during the summer months for families with small children, however, not everyone thinks to visit Little Zigzag Falls during the spring when there is still snow surrounding the falls. You can find more information about Little Zigzag Falls at the Mt Hood National Forest website.

White River Falls with a Dusting of Snow

White River Falls

White River Falls is a scenic destination if you are thinking of taking a drive to see the sights while visiting Mt Hood. The White River Falls are about a one-hour drive each way from the Villages of Mt Hood. You will pass through the scenic forest into the high desert area with expansive views and juniper trees. White River Falls is in White River State Park in Wasco County. During the summer months, this is a favorite picnic spot, but you will find the park fairly deserted during the spring. You can find more information about White River Falls at the Oregon State Park website.

Tips for Hiking to Waterfalls in the Snow

Here are a couple of things to remember when you are making early spring treks to waterfalls.

  1. If you are planning a hike, snowshoe or cross country ski trek to a waterfall in the early spring, there is a good chance that the roads leading to the trailhead may have some snow or ice on them. Be prepared with a four wheel drive vehicle with chains or snow tires.
  2. There may also be snow or ice on the trail so dress accordingly. Wear winter snow boots if the snow is not too deep or if it is packed down; no sneakers or light shoes. If the snow is deep use snowshoes or cross country skis.
  3. Wear your winter snow play clothes. This means warm sweaters and water-proof coats, gloves and hats.
  4. Bring your phone or a camera to take some really cool photos.
Warm Boots for Hiking to a Waterfall in the Snow

Mt Hood Vacation Rentals are located in the Villages of Brightwood, Marmot, Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron and Government Camp, so stay for a couple of days and enjoy the waterfalls. For reservations, enter your travel dates here to find the perfect vacation rental or call a Vacation Planner at 888-424-9168.


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