Our Favorite Mt Hood Winter Activities
Posted by Tiffany Quillan | Sunday, November 7, 2021

Every year, the first snow at Mt Hood brings a sense of excitement that seems to buzz through the crisp air. Favorite sweaters are pulled from the backs of closets, hot cocoa graces our mugs and cabins are lit by the cheery glow of dancing fireplaces. It's the season that celebrates our lap around the sun, and we must admit that we're feeling like 2020 deserves a big (comfortably distanced) celebration for our resilience. 

There is always a great variety of fun activities to take part in each winter at Mt Hood. Our usual suspects made the list of things to do at Mt Hood in the winter, and we've promoted some lesser known activities for providing comfortably distanced fun. We hope you enjoy this winter season and find some time to celebrate our collective strength through what has been a very different year.

Pro Tip: Mt Hood is a very popular weekend destination. Consider planning a mid-week trip to enjoy smaller crowds, more space, and better rates on vacation rentals

Things to do at Mt Hood in the Winter

#1 - Snow Play at Mt Hood

While snow play at Mt Hood is popular every year, it's getting some special recognition this year since it lends to comfortably distancing. Snow play includes some of our absolute favorite winter activities, like cross country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding. Our area is home to 22 sno-parks, and accessing them is easy! Please note that our Sno-Parks have a small fee for parking, and you can purchase a Sno-Park Permit for a single day, three consecutive days or an annual permit through Mt Hood Vacation Rentals. Plus, there's no need to haul your own gear to Mt Hood - get all the details on renting equipment for winter sports in our guide.

Suggested Cross County Skiing Trails at Mt Hood

  • Bennett Pass (5.1 miles - moderate out-and-back ski trail with thrills when crossing the "Terrible Traverse")
  • Tea Cup Lake Nordic Center (12 miles of groomed trails - known as some of the best cross country skiing; note: no dogs or snowshoes permitted)
  • Yellowjacket Trail Area (5 miles - for expert skiers, crosses the Salmon River)
  • Mt Hood Meadows Nordic Center (9 miles of groomed trails - beautiful views of the woods and meadows; note: no dogs or snowshoes permitted)
  • Crosstown Trail (5.6 miles - parallels the village of Government Camp on the north side from Enid Lake to Summit Ski Hill; several other trails intersect with the Crosstown Trail)
  • Barlow Pass, Twin Lakes and Frog Lake (20+ miles, ski as little or as much as you have energy to do, starting at Barlow Pass Sno-Park or Frog Lake Sno-Park)

Suggested Snowshoeing Trails at Mt Hood

  • Pocket Creek (6 miles - gently rolling track on forest roads with wide open views, forests and creek crossings)
  • White River Trail (3.4 miles - beautiful views of Mt Hood, regularly trafficked, however there is lots of room to spread out)
  • Summit Trail (4 miles - nice views of Mt Hood and relatively unobstructed the whole time)
  • Skiway Trail (1.2 miles out and back, however this trail connects with several other trails for up to 10 or more miles of adventuring)
  • Lower & Upper Twin Lakes via PCT (5.7 miles - the lower lake sees less traffic)
  • Frog Lake Butte (6 miles - excellent views of Mt Hood and a more difficult trail)

Check out the full list of places to cross-country ski and snowshoe at Mt Hood.

#2 - Sledding, Tubing and Snow Play

If you think sledding, tubing and building a snowman are just for the kiddos we invite you to think again. You can (and should) enjoy these activities at every age. Sliding down a fluffy hill in an inner tube will put the biggest smile on your face, and we won't blame you if there are a few snowballs thrown in the mix. These are all great activities for social distancing since you can bring your own sled or use the same tube. Remember to respect the snow play areas and haul out what you haul in (especially your sleds)!

Sledding and Tubing Hills at Mt Hood

  • Cosmic Tubing (tube hill at Mt Hood Skibowl with lights, music and themed innertubes; pre-paid advanced reservations required this season)
  • White River West Sno-Park (bring your own sleds and innertubes; large parking lot and lots of wide open spaces for sledding and tubing)
  • Snow Bunny Sno-Park (bring your own sleds and innertubes; hike up and slide down)
  • Cooper Spur (tube hill at the small ski area on the north side of Mt Hood; tubes are included with ticket price)

#3 - Skiing & Snowboarding

With five different skiing and snowboarding areas, it's no wonder that Mt Hood is adored for its downhill action. Our ski areas are taking extra COVID-specific precautions in alignment with the National Ski Areas Association's Ski Well, Be Well Program this year. While our ski areas are still finalizing plans, it's important to note that most are leaning towards a reservation system with limited capacity. Please be sure to check the ski area websites before you plan your trip, so that you are prepared with alternative activities to keep the whole family entertained. 

#4 - Climbing Mt Hood in the Winter

For the very adventurous (and experienced) climbing Mt Hood in the winter is possible. There is a lot of gear required - and you need to be certain the conditions are favorable - but it's a big accomplishment. In order to climb Mt Hood in the winter you should have adequate gear, like an ice axe, crampons, ropes and avalanche rescue gear. You should be very experienced at alpine mountaineering and path finding. 

#5 - Indoor Fun at Mt Hood

Find the right cabin and you won't be disappointed with your options for indoor fun at Mt Hood this winter. Choose a cabin with a fireplace to play board games by, or just cozy up with a glass of wine and a good book. Test your skills in the kitchen and plan a mini soup-off competition with the family. Stay in a lodge with a hot tub and dare the kids to make a snow angel before hopping in to warm up. Make snow cones for an after-dinner treat or build a family of snowmen. 

Driving to Mt Hood in the Winter

There is something mystical about driving through Mt Hood in the winter - tall trees are covered in blankets of fluffy snow that seems to sparkle in the sunlight. While beautiful, it should not be forgotten that these are mountain roads which you need to be prepared for. You'll want four wheel drive or all wheel drive and snow chains or snow tires. You'll also want to bring an emergency kit with all the essentials just in case you get stuck. Be sure to pack blankets, extra food and water, a snow shovel and a snow scraper. You can learn more about winter driving conditions at Mt Hood and more about Mt Hood during the winter in general in our winter guide.

Mt Hood Winter Cabin Rentals

Mt Hood offers a beautiful selection of cabin rentals to call basecamp while you're here. This winter, more than ever, it's important to find a cozy rental with all the amenities you'll need for an extended stay. Our cabin rentals have amenities like fireplaces, hot tubs, gorgeous views and full kitchens. Most are pet-friendly, so your canine family member can join you for your winter vacation. In fact, each of our cabin rentals includes a crockpot so you can come home to a warm meal after a day of snow play. Browse our cabin rentals and start planning your winter trip to Mt Hood today!

Mt Hood Winter Cabin Rentals

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7 Mt Hood Vacation Rentals Perfect for Fall
Posted by Sydney Foster | Thursday, October 7, 2021

Experience the serenity that awaits with a fall visit to Mt Hood! With fewer crowds, stunning fall colors, and the weather still warm enough for hiking, biking, and fishing, fall is an ideal time to visit Mt Hood. Find a home-away-from-home that boasts all the comforts you desire including fully equipped kitchens, private hot tubs, fireplaces and outdoor living space. We have hand-selected a few of our favorite fall getaways with something for every traveler. And most of our vacation rentals are pet-friendly, too!

Check out these Mt Hood vacation rentals that are ideal for fall!

Salmonberry Retreat

This charming cabin is nestled near the Sandy River and makes for an ideal fall getaway. The 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom Mt Hood vacation cabin offers a quiet retreat with a vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows, a stone fireplace, and a hot tub perfect for an evening soak after a hike. This cozy cabin is ideal for a couples retreat or family trip! Plus, this pet-friendly cabin means even your four-legged family members can join in on the fall fun!  

Book Salmonberry Retreat

Firwood Cabin

Firwood Cabin in the fall

If your idea of a fall escape includes being off-the-grid, then look no further for your retreat than Firwood Cabin! A 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom Mt Hood vacation rental, this cabin is off the beaten path. The backyard deck features stunning mountain views and a fire pit, perfect for sitting around and stargazing at the end of the night. This pet-friendly cabin does not have Wi-Fi, so plan for a true escape into nature with a stay at Firwood Cabin!  

Book Firwood Cabin

Riversong Retreat Guest Suite

Riversong Retreat Guest Suite in the fall

This quaint Mt Hood vacation rental is an ideal home base for couples or small families looking to step into nature. The 2-bedroom guest suite features two queen beds, a twin daybed, and a kitchenette. Rest up after a fall day spent hiking, fishing, or biking, and enjoy the quiet location of this getaway that sits near the Salmon River. Stay at the Riversong Retreat Guest Suite for mornings spent sipping a coffee on the deck and enjoying the crisp fall air!  

Book Riversong Retreat Guest Suite

Thistle Dew

Private, outdoor hot tub at Thistle Dew

Lovebirds flock to this cozy 1-bedroom Mt Hood vacation cabin. This historic cabin has been completely renovated while maintaining its charm and gorgeous setting along the Salmon River. The fall is the perfect time to head out for a morning hike and return to this cozy cabin to watch the salmon spawning in the river and the birds flying overhead or to take a soak in the private hot tub. Inside, make a delicious dinner in the fully equipped kitchen or cozy up near the wood-burning stove.  

Book Thistle Dew

Leilani Cottage

A private hot tub of a Mt. Hood vacation cabin

Leilani Cottage is a romantic 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom Mt Hood vacation rental with plenty of modern comforts. Inside the vaulted great room with lots of view windows, cook gourmet dinner in the gorgeous fully equipped kitchen. The bedroom suite includes a king-sized bed. Outdoors, enjoy the firepit in the riverfront location and a private hot tub. Bring along a four-legged family member to this pet-friendly cabin to explore nearby hiking trails. Book Leilani Cottage to enjoy the beauty of the fall season at Mt. Hood! 

Book Leilani Cottage

Bridlewood Cabin

Fall colors at a Mt. Hood vacation rental

Looking to get out on the hiking trails this fall season? Book Bridlewood Cabin for a home base located near Mt Hood National Forest trails and the Wildwood Recreation Site. The 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom rental cabin was originally built in 1935 and has been restored with modern comforts. Outdoors, enjoy a sunny deck, a BBQ grill, and a spacious yard that invites dogs to run and play. This pet-friendly cabin is a perfect getaway for the fall season. 

Book Bridlewood Cabin

Twin Cedars Getaway

The living room of a Mt. Hood cabin

A spacious Mt Hood vacation rental with boho charm, Twin Cedars Getaway has accommodations for 4 guests. Plan a couples retreat or a small family getaway to see the fall colors with this cabin as your home base. A fenced backyard is a perfect touch to this pet-friendly cabin where children and pups alike can play and run. During your stay, enjoy the less crowded hiking trails and ever-changing fall colors! 

Book Twin Cedars Getaway

Featured Vacation Rentals

4 Fun Fall Things To Do at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Wednesday, August 18, 2021

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 gold and red 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 Mt Hood Vacation Rentals Quiet Season, the rates are reduced, especially when you stay midweek. 

Vibrant Fall Colors + Crisp, Cool Days + Quiet Walks in the Woods = A Restful Fall Vacation at Mt Hood 


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 Spawning

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. 

Hood River County Fruit Loop

Fresh apple pie from Hood River apples

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. 

Take a Relaxing Soak in the Private Hot Tub

Creekside hot tub at Moondance Cabin

As the nighttime air chills down during the fall, the warm and bubbly private hot tub at your vacation rental becomes more inviting. Soothe tired muscles and share stories of the day's adventures while planning where you want to go next. 

Mt. Hood Vacation Rentals

Zigzag Mountain Lodge in the fall at Mt Hood

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 reduced rates especially midweek. 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. 


Mt Hood Vacation Planning Outdoor Activities

Where to See Mt Hood Fall Colors
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Mt Hood is renowned for year-round skiing and snowboarding, and countless miles of hiking and biking trails. Most people visit during the winter and summer months to enjoy these activities. What these folks are missing out on only happens in the fall, and it is such a spectacular occurrence we want to share it with our Mt Hood Vacation Rental guests…the brilliant fall foliage!
As the seasons transition from summer to autumn, the days get shorter and leaves change from green to the many colors of fall—gold, amber, red, orange and even pink. Once winter is in full swing, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis, and the leaves dry up and fall to the ground. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer.
So where and when can you see this spectacular phenomenon while it's in full swing? We've got all the details right here in our guide to Mt Hood Fall Colors!
Photo courtesy of Gary Randall Photography

When to See Mt Hood Fall Colors

Throughout Oregon, mid- to late-October tend to be the best time to view fall foilage. However, prime fall color viewing varies each year depending on the weather and what nutrients the trees had all year. The Mt Hood area can entertain bright bursts of fall foilage as late as mid-November. If you're planning a fall color trip, late October is a great choice!

Where to See Mt Hood Fall Colors

Mt Hood Fall Color Hikes

One of the best ways to see fall colors, especially if you're looking to snap some pics, is by hiking. Bring a jacket and pack your camera and some snacks, here are three places to hike and see the brilliant fall foilage. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for a stunning gorgeous retreat into nature!

#1 - Mt Hood National Forest

Besides evergreens, the Mt Hood National Forest is full of vine maples, oak, huckleberry and Oregon grapes shrubs with colors that strike a remarkable contrast to the dark greens of Douglas fir and hemlock in the fall. Vine maples, in particular, show off the brightest and most diverse color spectrum, from deep dark red to the most vivid yellow.

#2 - Hunchback Mountain

For a magnificent, sweeping view of the Welches Valley and the abundant autumn colors of the Mt Hood National Forest, hike up Hunchback Mountain, accessible from the Zigzag Ranger Station. While it is a somewhat strenuous hike up (an hour each way), you will be well-rewarded with sweeping views of the colorful valley and the Salmon River below once you reach the top.

#3 - Old Salmon River Trail

For a more relaxed experience, meander along the Old Salmon River Trail and watch as the fall leaves float peacefully into and down the Salmon River while the salmon are spawning. The 5-mile out-and-back style trail is family friendly and marked as easy in difficulty level. This would be the perfect trip for a leisurely stroll to enjoy the fall foliage. 

Mt Hood Fall Color Cruises

To experience Mt Hood’s fall foliage from the comforts of your car, cruise along the Mt Hood Scenic Byway and the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway, which join to create a breathtaking loop around Mt Hood. Fall colors are particularly glorious through Hood River Valley, on Highway 35 between Government Camp and Hood River as you drive from forest to field.

Take breaks along the Hood River County Fruit Loop at the many orchards and wineries that dot the beautiful landscape, and watch apple, pear and grape harvest in full swing before tasting the fruits of the farms’ labors. Apples, pears, cider and other fall harvest fruits and vegetables are available for sale at many locations.

Photo courtesy of Gary Randall Photography

Plan Your Fall Getaway to Colorful Mt Hood

If the idea of cozy fireplaces, apple cider, brilliant fall colors and relaxation have you smiling, it's time to pack your bags and head to Mt Hood. Check out our guide to fall trip planning and four fun things to do in the fall at Mt Hood. We offer a great selection of cabins that are perfect for your next adventure. Book a romantic retreat cabin with your loved one, or choose a pet friendly cabin so your furry friend can join you. 

Mt Hood Vacation Planning Outdoor Activities

The Best 7 Cabins for Mt Hood Hiking Vacations
Posted by Betsy LaBarge | Saturday, June 19, 2021

Summer is our favorite time to hit the trails and go for a hike in the Mt Hood National Forest with long, warm and sunny days. Start your hike early and you will still have time to enjoy other activities like biking, paddling and golfing. Or take a refreshing dip in one of our mountain lakes. Getting a late start? No worries, the days are long, allowing for an afternoon hike, too.

Whether you like a casual stroll along a quiet path or you are looking for a multi-mile cardio workout, there are hundreds of miles of trails in the Mt Hood area for you to discover. And there is no need to hop in your car and make the long drive back to the city after a day of exploring in the woods. Instead, head back to your Mt Hood cabin just minutes away and enjoy a refreshing beverage and snacks, cook up a grilled dinner on the BBQ and kick back and relax with a soak in the hot tub.

Most of our vacation rentals are pet-friendly, so bring your dog along on your Mt Hood vacation and take him hiking with you.

Here our some of our favorite Mt Hood Vacation Rentals for hiking vacations.

The Best 7 Cabins for Mt Hood Hiking Vacations at a Glance

  1. Ripplewood in Welches
  2. Mountain View Hideaway in Zigzag
  3. Marshall Cabin in Government Camp
  4. Bridlewood Cabin in Welches
  5. Chalet am Berg in Government Camp
  6. Forest View Lodge in Welches
  7. Zigzag Mountain Lodge in Zigzag

1. Ripplewood Cabin, Serene and relaxing cabin on the Salmon River, decks, BBQ, hot tub, pet friendly, sleeps 6. Walk 2 minutes to the Bonanza Trailhead.

Ripplewood Deck, Hot tub, BBQ

2. Mountain View Hideaway, Secluded cabin, decks, BBQ, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 8. A short drive to dozens of trails in the Lolo Pass area including the Pacific Crest Trail.

Mountain View Hideaway

3. Marshall Cabin, Cozy cabin surrunded by the Mt Hood National Forest, decks, BBQ, pet-friendly, sleeps 8. Walk out the door to miles of forest roads and nearby trails in the Trillium Lake area.

Marshall Cabin

4. Bridlewood Cabin, Romantic cabin with a sunny yard, decks, BBQ, pet-friendly, sleeps 3. Across the road from Wildwood Recreation Site with Salmon River Access and miles of trails.

Bridlewood Cabin Deck

5. Chalet am Berg, Spacious lodge with 3 en suite bedrooms in Government Camp, patio, BBQ, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 10. 2-Minute walk to the the Glade Trail and Crosstown Trail.

Chalet am Berg Hot Tub

6. Forest View Lodge, Secluded log cabin on acreage, decks, BBQ, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 9. 5-Minute drive to the Old Salmon River Trail and for the more adventurous, the Salmon River Trail.

Forest View Lodge

7. Zigzag Mountain Lodge in a sunny setting, decks, BBQ, hot tub, pet-friendly. 5 minutes to the Road 19 Trail for joggers and dog walkers and access to the Zigzag Mountain Trail and Castle Canyon Trail.

Zigzag Mountain Lodge

Plan Your Mt Hood Vacation Hiking Vacation

From hiking in the Mount Hood National Forest or in Wildwood Park followed by a picnic or going on a casual stroll at the family-friendly Barlow Wayside Park, you are sure to find the perfect trail for you and your friends and family during your Mt Hood Vacation. Start planning your getaway now by reserving a Mt Hood Vacation Rental. 

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Best Places to Stay Near Mt Hood Oregon
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Monday, June 7, 2021

When I close my eyes and picture Mt Hood, I think of backyard BBQs with corn on the cob and frosty drinks, fall hikes with brilliant foliage, and winter adventures followed by cozy gatherings around a fireplace. It seems that no matter how many times you have visited the area, there is always a new adventure awaiting - a new village to explore. Romantic cabins line the roads that kiss Mt Hood, and the memories we make here are held near to our hearts. Whether you're a first-time visitor or you're on a mission to turn over every leaf in the area, here are our picks for the best places to stay near Mt Hood, Oregon.

Best Places to Stay Near Mt Hood Oregon at a Glance

  1. Welches
  2. Zigzag
  3. Brightwood
  4. Government Camp
  5. Rhododendron

Best Places to Stay Near Mt Hood Oregon Details

#1 - Welches

Welches is snuggled between Mt Hood Village and Zigzag, encompassing the Three Nines Golf Course. It extends South of U.S. Highway 26, following the Salmon River and E Salmon River Road. It's the perfect village to score a riverside cabin surrounded by tall trees or a secluded cabin for maximum relaxation. It's proximity to U.S. Highway 26 also offers easy access to a great selection of restaurants and grocery stores, like Barlow Trail Roadhouse and Hoodland Thriftway.

If Welches sounds like the escape you're been pining for, check out these beautiful vacation homes:

#2 - Zigzag

Zigzag is an unincorporated community between Welches and Rhododendron. The Zigzag River and Sandy River weave throughout the area, and lush greenery surrounds homes and cabins. Several creeks with origins in the hillsides meander throughout the area, and Zigzag hums with the relaxing sound of running water. Visitors can grab comfort food at the Zigzag Inn, or stop by the Zigzag Mountain Store & Cafe for breakfast in a restored historic building. The Skyway Bar and Grill is home to the most amazing BBQ and mac and cheese, and offers live music four to five nights a week at their huge outdoor garden and dining area.

If Zigzag sounds like the escape you're been pining for, check out these beautiful vacation homes:

#3 - Brightwood

Riverwoods Lodge

Brightwood is situated between Wemme and Sandy, and is part of the Villages at Mt Hood. Brightwood gets its name from the way the sun shines on the cottonwood trees in the spring. Just north of U.S. Highway 26, the Sandy River and the Salmon River loop through town, chilled from fresh snowmelt. Visitors can enjoy the Sandy Ridge Trail System, with miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. After a full day of adventure, unwind with dinner and drinks in the historic log building of Brightwood Tavern.

If Brightwood sounds like the escape you're been pining for, check out these beautiful vacation homes:

#4 - Government Camp

Government Camp is Mt Hood's Alpine Village, with out-the-door access to trails and skiing. Many sports enthusiats come here to train in the winter, and the scenery is breathtaking. Government Camp is just across Mt Hood Highway from Mt Hood Skibowl East, and just down the road from skiing and cosmic tubing at the Mt Hood Skibowl. Charlie's Mountain View restaurant is an absolute favorite for apres-ski and the Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum offers the perfect break from the sun. 

If Government Camp sounds like the escape you're been pining for, check out these beautiful vacation homes:

#5 - Rhododendron

Rhododendron is just past Welches, and before the Mt Hood Ski Bowl. Several creeks and rivers cross through the area, including Henry Creek, the Still Creek and Zigzag River. Hikers love Rhododendron, with quick access to Pioneer Brindle Trailhead, Flag Mountain Trailhead and Castle Canyon Trailhead. The Oregon Trail 1845 Historic Marker is in the center of town, and visitors enjoy great eats at the Still Creek Inn and Mountain High Coffee.

If Rhododendron sounds like the escape you're been pining for, check out these beautiful vacation homes:

Plan Your Mt Hood Vacation Today

Planning a Mt Hood escape is a breeze with Mt Hood Vacation Rentals. We offer a great selection of cabins throughout the Mt Hood area, and pet friendly lodging means that your dog can come too!

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How to Do Summer at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Sunday, June 6, 2021

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.







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.

Trillium 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.

Frog Lake and Mt Hood

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.

Timothy Lake

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.

Lost Lake and Mt Hood

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.

Mirror Lake and Mt Hood

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.



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 in their 4th 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 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.

Mountain Bikers at Mt Hood

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.


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.

Trout Fishing at 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.

Hiking at Mt Hood







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.

Dogs Hiking at Mt Hood

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.

Fully Equipped Kitchens

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.

Mt Hood Vacation Planning

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