5 Things to Do in the Mt. Hood Area

If you’re heading to Oregon’s Mt. Hood area in the next month or so, your agenda most likely involves skiing or winter trail hiking. But this area has something to offer any season you visit and we’re taking a look. Of course, your visit here won’t be perfect unless you book one of the amazing accommodations at Mt. Hood Village in Welches – from yurts to cabins, cottages and tiny houses, there are plenty of choices for your glamping getaway here.


Winter Activities: How about five different ski areas with 4,500 miles of skiable terrain for the ultimate ski trip? That’s what you’ll find in this region. From the legendary Mt. Hood Ski Bowl to the historic Timberline Lodge, there’s lots of powder to schuss in here. Mt. Hood is also great for sledding, tubing, and snowboarding. Cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails are another option. Trillium Lake has a great trail with views of Mt. Hood and beginner cross-country skiers should definitely check out Mt. Hood Meadows Nordic Center which offers lessons and rentals.

Interior of Anderson Tiny Home at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village
Anderson Tiny Home at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Timberline Lodge: Speaking of the historic Timberline Lodge, whether you plan to enjoy the snow sports, or not, this is a destination worth a visit. The Lodge was built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in September of that year. The Lodge is open for public viewing daily and there are several restaurants open to the public. Another fun fact – the exterior shots of The Shining were actually shot here!

View Mt. Hood: Of course, this 11,239 foot peak is visible if you just look up, but how about checking out the highest point in Oregon from some of the best viewpoints around? The Timberline Trail at the aforementioned Timberline Lodge is one place to get a great view. Come summer, Elk Meadows is not only a great place to see Mt. Hood, but also a spot to get your fill of the wildflowers that bloom, among them lupines and asters. If you want to take an easy route, drive to Trillium Lake where views of the mountain across the picturesque lake are really incredible.

Explore local wineries: While Welches is less than 90 miles from the Oregon wine country known as the Willamette Valley, there are some great wineries to be found right in the area. To learn about the Mt. Hood Wine Trail, which is actually in the northeast corner of the Willamette Valley, and the more than a dozen wineries that can be found along the way, check out mthoodterritory.com/winetrail.

Portland, Oregon at sunset
Portland, Oregon

Keep it weird in Portland: Day-trippin’ to Portland is a real possibility when you’re glamping at Mt. Hood Village. Oregon’s largest city is just under 90 miles from the Mt. Hood area and much of the drive can be done via the scenic byway. If you want to make this scenic drive just once during your stay, then consider these must-do’s for a day in Portland: the Portland Japanese Garden, the Portland Rose Garden, Powell’s Books (which spans an entire block), and the historic Pittock Mansion. If you’re hungry, definitely have a cup of coffee from an indie roaster (Portland is one of the top coffee cities in the country according to wallethub.com) and partake in some of the best donuts in the country (for some reason Portland is also known for their donuts). Voodoo Doughnuts, which also offers vegan options, is one hot spot while Blue Star is known for its boutique, and unique, flavors like creme brulee and blueberry bourbon basil.

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village
Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

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Sporty Spring Break Ideas

The nice thing about a spring break getaway is that the option to enjoy hot or cold weather sports still exists. Skiing is a very real possibility as is snorkeling and surfing. Wanna try a sporty spring break this year? Consider these options.

Cabin at Tahoe Valley Campground
Cabin at Tahoe Valley Campground

Skiing/Snowboarding: If you want to hit the slopes alongside all the rest of the spring breakers, there are plenty of options. From a glamping standpoint, the places to head would include Washington’s Leavenworth Tiny House Village; Oregon’s Mt. Hood Tiny House Village or Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver for cabins and yurts; California’s Tahoe Valley cabins or Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes’ cabins and yurts. Nearby ski areas include Tahoe’s Heavenly Ski Resort, the Leavenworth Ski Hill, Mt. Bachelor near Bend-Sunriver, the Mt. Hood Ski Bowl near Mt. Hood Tiny House Village, and Badger Pass Ski Area in Yosemite.

Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Campground
Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Campground

Surfing: While surfing is possible in Florida year-round, the surf season in the Sunshine State is considered to be from late November through March. If you’re glamping in Florida for Spring Break 2023 and surfing is on the agenda, consider a stay at Encore Miami-Everglades to be near South Beach for great surfing or Encore Bulow to be near surfing opportunities at Flagler Beach. On the Pacific Coast, glamp at Thousand Trails Pio Pico for San Diego surfing fun or Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon for good March surfing at Zuma Beach in Malibu.

Hiking: March is a great season to enjoy hikes in California’s Joshua Tree National Park and Sedona, Arizona’s Red Rock Country, with glamping stays at Thousand Trails Palm Springs and Thousand Trails Verde Valley, respectively. Both areas enjoy a more moderate temperature this time of year so it’s not too hot to trek around and explore. Of course, springtime in Yosemite National Park promises wildflowers, waterfalls, and plenty of great hiking – check out Mist Trail or the Bridalveil Fall Trail. You can do a different day hike every day if you book a yurt or cabin stay at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes which is five minutes from the Park’s entrance!

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Resolution-Ready

History tells us that New Year’s resolutions started with the ancient Babylonians who made promises of change to the gods in return for a favorable year ahead. Those promises for change continued through the days of Julius Caesar, who provided us the date of January 1 as the New Year with his new calendar that honored Janus (who btw was the Roman king of beginnings and endings), and remain with us to this day.

Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA

One of the most popular resolutions made each January 1 is “to get in shape.” Interestingly though, that resolution did not become a top fiver until the 1960s, in part due to the advent of President Kennedy’s “Presidential Council on Physical Fitness,” which emphasized fitness goals for all ages. Here are a few destinations that are resolution-ready if you’re planning a new year getaway and want to stick to your resolution (at least for a while).

Skiing: Based on individual effort, a day on the slopes can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories per hour. The physiological benefits are phenomenal as skiing provides a boost to the cardio and circulatory systems and well as the muscles, mainly the large muscles of the legs. Plus, the fresh air and sunshine are added benefits to this wonderful winter sport. Consider booking a stay at the Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Washington or the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Oregon to enjoy the nearby skiing. Stevens Pass is an option for a Leavenworth ski vacation and has more than 1100 acres of skiable terrain with options for all levels from beginner to expert. Lessons and rentals are available so there’s no excuse to not make an effort here. They also offer a Nordic Center for snowshoeing and Nordic ski options. Oregon’s Mt. Hood Skibowl dates back to 1928 and has been a top ski destination ever since. Less than 15 miles from the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village, this is the place for all things ski in the area where snow lovers can ski, snowboard, snowtube, and snow mobile. Lessons and rentals are available here, as well.

Colorful cottages at Tropical Palms in Kissimmee, FL

Biking: While it may be a bit less exhilarating than schussing snow down a black diamond run, biking provides plenty of body benefits.  The release of endorphins, the use of all major muscle groups, and the low impact status makes biking a top choice for all types of fitness-focused people. Plan a trip to Orlando, Florida, and trade out the thrill rides for plenty of bike rides. Book a stay at one of the colorful cottages at Tropical Palms in nearby Kissimmee and bike your way to a fit 2021. The Orlando area has more than 30 multi-use bike trails and over 250 miles of safe-riding terrain. Consider the Kissimmee Lakefront Park trail that runs along Lake Tohopekaliga, providing scenic lake views and glimpses of wildlife or the Little Econ Greenway Trail in Orlando that runs 8 miles along the Little Econ River. Scenery here includes the lake, of course, as well as deer, osprey, and a butterfly garden.

Cabins and tiny houses at Verde Valley in Cottonwood, AZ

Hiking: A simple enough exercise – you just put one foot in front of the other and you’re off. The benefits are good for the mind, body, and spirit, and whether you do short daily hikes or tackle some longer ones as part of a travel itinerary, adding hiking to your 2021 to-do list is a good idea. The great thing about hiking is that it can be done anywhere – along the coast, in the mountains, on a paved trail, in the woods – the options are endless. We prefer a good desert hike in part due to the benefits of the dry air as well as the views! Hiking in Sedona is one option. Choose a cabin, cottage, or tiny home at Verde Valley to serve as base camp while you hike and explore the desert terrain of the magical Sedona surroundings. Palm Springs, California, is another great place for desert hikes, which includes the range of hikes available in nearby Joshua Tree National Park. Options include everything from short walks to challenging multi-terrain 7+-mile trails. Indian Canyons provides more hiking opportunities, again with ranges from easy 1.5 mile to strenuous 12+-mile treks. Make a reservation for a colorful cottage stay at Palm Springs and enjoy the equally colorful desert views.

Cottage at Palm Springs in Palm Desert, CA

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