Our Guide to Government Camp
Posted by Sydney Foster | Wednesday, February 17, 2021
With a famous amount of average snowfall, gorgeous lakes and nearby trails, Government Camp is the perfect setting for a getaway to Mt. Hood, Oregon - any time of year. Visit "Govy" in the winter and enjoy cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowshoeing trails. When the snow melts, the fun doesn’t stop! Plan a trip to enjoy the beauty of mountain lakes and hiking trails in the Cascade Mountains with a stay in a Government Camp vacation rental! Explore what makes Government Camp an amazing choice for your next visit to Mt. Hood.
Government Camp Oregon Elevation
At an elevation of 4,000 ft, Government Camp is a hub for outdoor adventure in every season. With a summit of 11,245 ft, Mt. Hood and the surrounding national forest is the highlight of the area with skiing, hiking, climbing, and stunning views.
Government Camp in the Winter
Government Camp Snow Levels
With famously large amounts of snowfall in the Mt. Hood area every year, Government Camp is a hotspot for skiers, snowboarders, and sledders alike.
Average Snowfall Per Year:
- Government Camp: 256 inches
- Mt. Hood Meadows: 430 inches
- Mt. Hood Skibowl: 300 inches
- Timberline Ski Area: 540 inches
- Summit Ski Area: 300 inches
Government Camp Winter Activities
Government Camp Skiing
Government Camp offers proximity to the Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort, the Mt. Hood Skibowl, the Timberline Lodge ski area, and the Summit Ski Area. Mt. Hood Meadows is located on the southeastern side of the mountain allowing for wind protected terrain, sunshine, and stunning views. With over 2,000 acres of ski terrain, beginners and experts alike are sure to find their favorite run and view at this expansive Mt. Hood ski area. Lesson reservations and day tickets must be purchased in advance for Mt. Hood Meadows for the 2020-2021 winter season.
The Mt. Hood Skibowl is unique for having the largest night ski area in America. With 36 lighted runs, groomed slopes, and plenty of outback terrain, every skier will delight with a day on the slopes of the Mt. Hood Skibowl. Reservations are not required but capacity is limited and managed on a first-come first-served basis. Mt Hood Skibowl is also home to the ever popular Cosmic Tubing. Reservations are required.
The Timberline Lodge ski area is known for being the only North American ski resort to operate in all 12 months. With 41 ski trails and 3,690 ft of vertical elevation change, this ski area offers skiers of every skill level to enjoy time out on the mountain. Due to safety precautions, the lodge is currently only open to overnight guests. However, guests may purchase on-site lift tickets and must abide by mask mandates and social distancing procedures.
The Summit Ski Area is the perfect destination for families and beginners. The historic ski resort has been operating since 1927 and offers a gentle vertical change of 306 ft making it ideal for a ski lesson or a relaxing day on the slopes for families. Passes and tickets can be purchased onsite with limited capacity, takeout only dining, and mask requirements are in place.
Ski From Timberline to Government Camp
A Mt. Hood vacation rental allows you to explore cross country ski trails and the serenity of a peaceful snowy forest, with access to outdoor adventure just steps outside your door. Buckle your ski boots or snowshoes and head out to explore a trail like the Crosstown Trail or Glade Trail; there are several other trails intersecting with these trails, too. The Alpine trail #661 even allows skiers to make the journey from the Timberline Lodge ski area back to Government Camp after a day on the slopes!
Government Camp Sledding
For sledding fun, head to Cosmic Tubing at the Mt. Hood Skibowl where you can find thrills down the sledding runs and rock out to a music and light show that will add to the family fun. Don’t worry about walking back up the hill; there is a conveyor lift that will bring you and your tube back to the top. Along with being a family-friendly ski trail, the Summit Ski Area also offers tubing. Children of all ages can enjoy taking a break from ski boots and enjoy riding in a tube down a sledding path. Don't forget to wear a mask on the sledding hill!
Government Camp in the Summer
Government Camp Summer Activities
If you prefer summer fun to winter skiing, then book a summer retreat to Government Camp! The melted snow leaves behind hiking trails and opportunities for outdoor exploration. Family-friendly fun can be found at the Adventure Park at the Mt. Hood Skibowl, which offers a variety of activities ranging from an alpine slide, bike park, zip lining, and more. Still have an itch to ski? The Palmier Glacier at the Timberline Ski Area allows skiing through the summer which makes it a favorite destination for casual skiers and hopeful Olympians alike. Outdoor adventurers will also delight at the many hiking, biking, and water activities that can be found within an easy distance of Government Camp!
Government Camp Mountain Biking
Mountain bikers will enjoy plenty of trails in the area ranging from easy terrain to very difficult. The Timberline to Town Trail is an intermediate trail that can be followed for 5.5 miles down 2,000 ft from the Timberline Lodge area to the Crosstown Trail into Government Camp. Or try out the new Mountain Bike Park at Timberline Lodge; a chairlift will take you and your bike back to the top. For a challenge, take a ride on the Pro Line trail which is a downhill trail filled with rocks and other obstacles located at the Mt. Hood Skibowl. Or ride along the Trillium Lake Trail which is a beginner-friendly trail with beautiful views of the lake and Mt. Hood.
On the Water Near Government Camp
You can also bring along a fishing rod to reel in a catch during your stay. Visit nearby lakes like Trillium Lake or Frog Lake where you can swim, launch a canoe or kayak, and enjoy the views as you paddle. For an exciting day trip, head to the Sandy, Clackamas, and Deschutes rivers which all offer nearby white-water rafting trips.
Government Camp Hiking
Hikers will enjoy trails in a beautiful setting as they follow along the Mirror Lake Trail, the Timberline Trail, and even trails found right outside of a vacation rental! Explore Mt. Hood National Forest for a day and enjoy the best of the Cascade Mountains. Birdwatchers will also delight while searching for local bird sightings while those seeking to summit Mt. Hood will enjoy climbing season between mid-April and mid-June.
Government Camp Restaurants
*Please note that some restaurants are operating unusual hours, or are only open for takeout or outdoor dining during the pandemic. Be sure to call the restaurant ahead of time for hours and information.
All of this outdoor adventure is sure to work up an appetite! After a day on the slopes or on the hiking trails, grab a bite to eat in Government Camp. Stop in to Mt. Hood Brewing Co for a brew and some tasty eats. A favorite for apres-ski, Glacier Public House offers pizza, wings, and even vegan friendly options along with a variety of Pacific Northwest brews.
For casual burgers and beers head to Charlie’s Mountain View! A local favorite since 1977, this relaxed setting is the perfect place to munch on a sandwich, steak, and sip on a local beer. For even more après ski fun, head to the Ratkskeller where you can share a pizza with family and friends and enjoy a house-made cocktail like a Blackberry Whiskey Sour or a White Russian. You won’t want to miss these local eateries when you visit Government Camp!
Directions to Government Camp
Situated about 60 miles east of Portland, Government Camp is the perfect destination for nature lovers. If you fly into Portland International Airport or are local to the area, the drive will take you along the Mount Hood Scenic Byway via Highway 26. Drive times range from an hour to four hours, depending on traffic. There is always more traffic around the weekends, which is just one of the reasons we recommend booking a midweek trip to Mt Hood.
Whether you plan on exploring skis slopes or hiking trails, Government Camp makes for an ideal home base for a Mt. Hood escape. With private hot tubs, Creekside locations, and even a remote cabin that can only be accessed by snowshoe or cross-country skiing, our Government Camp cabins offer you whatever outdoor relaxation you desire!
Browse these gorgeous Government Camp cabin rentals:
Mt Hood Vacation Planning