How to Do Summer at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Monday, March 7, 2022
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 throughout 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.
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.
|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.
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.
|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.
|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.