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.

1. 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

2. 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!

3. 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.

4. 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

5. 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

Read More:

Baby, Just Say “Yes!”

Sadly, the Disney parks have banned proposals as of 2023, but there are plenty of great locations to ask that big question if the new year or the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday has you thinking of making things permanent with your S.O. Take advantage of these great proposal locations near your next glamping trip.

Las Vegas: Because no one can get engaged these days with making it a photo op, Las Vegas is a great place to consider when question-popping time nears. Why Vegas? There are so many photo-worthy backdrops like the fountain at Bellagio, or the “Eiffel Tower” at Paris Las Vegas or perhaps on a romantic gondola ride at the Venetian. And, if you want a really short engagement, there are a multitude of wedding chapels ready to make it official. Book a cozy cabin at Thousand Trails Las Vegas for this romantic getaway.

Yurts at Marina Dunes RV Resort
Yurts at Marina Dunes RV Resort

Big Sur: Does your love take your breath away just like a Big Sur hike might? Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach at sunset is a very popular proposal spot. Maybe the beach’s Keyhole Rock formation signifies this person has the key to your heart forever? Does your love take you to soaring heights? Consider the Bixby Bridge Vista Point. This iconic bridge is famous and your proposal will be, too! You may have to share the trail with others, but the proposal will be all your own. Pick a glamping accommodation at Marina Dunes to get set for the big day.

Cabins at Narrows Too Camping Resort
Cabins at Narrows Too Camping Resort

Bar Harbor: If you’re heading to a romantic getaway in quaint Bar Harbor, Maine, just google “where can I get engaged in Bar Harbor” and a bunch of places here will pop up. One location that makes the lists is Acadia National Park, and more specifically, atop the park’s Cadillac Mountain at sunrise. Another hot spot is Jordan Pond, under a blanket of stars, which are very visible from this spot in the park. The Village Green in town is another great spot with a beautiful landscape and a charming gazebo ala your favorite rom-com. We have two great Bar Harbor resorts with adorable cottages and cabins, Mount Desert Narrows and Narrows Too, for your memorable glamping trip.

Miami: This city has so many options at which to stage a proposal from romantic to eclectic. If your true love is your beacon, consider the backdrop of the Cape Florida Lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. The Italian Renaissance gardens found at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is another great spot – romantic with an old world feel and the Tea House on the grounds is a perfect spot. Choose a cabin, lodge, or bunkhouse at our Encore Miami Everglades location for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Cabin at Thousand Trails Russian River
Cabin at Thousand Trails Russian River

Wine Country: Whisk your love to wine country and take advantage of the beautiful natural settings. We’ve got great glamping near California’s Sonoma County and Oregon’s Willamette Valley – both romantic wine country locations. Book a cabin or cottage at Thousand Trails Russian River in Cloverdale to do a Cali proposal or a tiny house at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches to pop the question in Oregon. Maybe the grounds of the Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, California, are appropriate since the bubbly’s already there! In Oregon, consider popping the questions, and the bubbly, at Domaine Willamette, Oregon’s first sparkling wine facility.

Read More:

5 things to do in… Mt. Hood, Oregon

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, OR

What do you look for when you want to get away? A quick dive into what factors are considered when selecting a vacation destination include 1) lodging preference; 2) travel purpose; 3) crowds or solitude; 4) the weather; and 5) the side trips. If we apply these to our destination of choice this month – Oregon’s Mt. Hood Area, here’s what shakes out:

  1. Lodging Preference: This is an easy one. What could be more enjoyable than a stay in a tiny home? The Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, Oregon, has seven tiny homes to choose from for your stay and each offers a little something different. Did you know tiny homes have personalities? That’s right, Anderson has a modern flair, enjoys a most-excellent cup of brewed coffee, and finds biking to be his raison d’etre. Savannah thinks being called “girly” is the ultimate compliment and her bright yellow exterior is an extension of her sunny personality. The tiny house gang at Mt. Hood has five more friends with five equally different personalities but one thing they have in common is that they are the right answer to “lodging preference.” Visit MtHoodTinyHouse.com to check them out and see which one suits your preference!
  1. Travel Purpose: Well, how can there be a right answer here unless you’re traveling alone? Someone likes to hike, someone likes to do nothing, someone likes to shop and someone likes to learn something new on vacation. Don’t worry, with a trip to the Mt. Hood Area, this box is checked for all involved. Hikers will be happy to know the area has more than 150 hiking trails. From local artisan crafts to antiques and boutiques to the very unique chain saw carvings, the area is a shopper’s delight with variety being the spice of Oregon life here. If you’re looking to learn something, the educational opportunities abound. Learn a new sport – attend a snowboard camp or learn to fly fish. Learn about the history of the area – visit the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum. As for the vacationer who wants to do nothing – that’s OK, too. Just sitting and soaking up the scenery here is a pretty cool thing to do, too!  
View of Mt Hood from downtown Portland, Oregon.
  1. Crowds vs. Solitude: Now more than ever this is a top of the list item with social-distancing being all the rage. Actually, pre-COVID-19, this meant do you like crowds or prefer to spend time alone with your thoughts. Do you want to be “scene,” or do you want to left alone to enjoy more solitary pursuits? So think about it – “no people” activities can include hiking, fly fishing, or skiing while the more social traveler will enjoy the many craft breweries, the annual festivals like the Salmon, Mushroom, and Bigfoot Festival (held in October but sadly cancelled this year) or the Timberline Mountain Music Festival held in late summer annually.
Fall hikes in Mt. Hood National Forest, OR
  1. The Weather: Being a four-season vacation destination, weather conditions factor into a trip to Mt. Hood, well…never really. There is always something to do here. The area has one of the longest ski seasons around. The winter ski season at historic Timberline Lodge begins in early November and runs through Memorial Day. Springtime is great for waterfall hikes and salmon fishing season begins in May. Summer brings amazing wildflowers, festivals, and mountain biking opportunities and the tail end of salmon fishing season (it typically winds down in September). Plus, there’s huckleberry season which straddles late summer and early fall and brings with it the annual Huckleberry Festival (late August). Fall hikes and drives are the best among the changing colors – drive the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway or tackle the Mirror Lake Trail on a day hike.
The vineyards of Willamette Valley, about 90 minutes from Mt Hood, OR.
  1. Side Trips: This is important because it allows travelers to feel like they are getting more bang for their travel dollars! Consider that the Mt. Hood Area is just an hour from Portland. This means you can have all the pleasure of the fantastic outdoors that the Mt. Hood Area affords you, but also have the opportunity to be a city tourist in no time at all. If you’ve always wanted a wine country vacation, you can do that, too. The nearby Willamette Valley is considered Oregon’s Wine Country and there are options for both guided and self-guided tours of the wineries.