After spending two nights in Hood River, we set off to actually visit Mount Hood! We had been admiring it from a distance for a couple days, and I was excited to see it up close.
We headed up to Timberline Lodge, a ski lodge at Mount Hood that was built in 1936-1937. Construction of the lodge was ordered by President Roosevelt as part of the Works Progress Administration to try and stimulate the economy during the Great Depression. It was built almost entirely out of local timber and stone and was declared a national landmark in 1977 by the U.S. Department of the Interior as the finest example of mountain architecture. It was built as a ski lodge and is still serving that same purpose today! The ski area is open year-round – although in summers like we had last year, there isn’t much snow to speak of!
It’s absolutely beautiful inside! There are many exhibits open for public viewing, and they’re definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a history buff!
Even though there was no snow for skiing, one of the chairlifts (the “Magic Mile”) runs year-round, so we were able to go partway up the mountain to get an amazing view from 7000 feet.
It was pretty cool to see the top of the mountain up close!
After exploring Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood, we headed down to Trillium Lake, where we camped for the night. Can’t complain about this view! 🙂 There’s an easy, flat, 2 mile trail around the lake with gorgeous views like this.
When we take longer road trips, we like to alternate between camping and hotels or Airbnb to save some money. Most campsites we’ve stayed at are around $20 a night, so if you are trying to stay within a certain budget, camping for a few nights can definitely help! A really cool tool I found recently is Hipcamp – it’s similar to Airbnb actually, where you can search a location and then zoom around on the map to see what’s available in different areas. You can filter on amenities, tent camping vs RVs, pet friendly, and many other characteristics. Users can upload pictures, so you can get a feel for what the campground looks like, and you can even submit a review after your stay. It’s a really great tool that I definitely recommend if you’re searching for campsites! If you use this link to sign up, you can even get a $20 credit. This Airbnb link will get you a $20 credit too! 🙂
After setting up our tent, we pulled out the kayaks! We love our Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks – they are so easy to fold up and store without taking up too much space! And for road trips like this, we just throw them in the back of the car and pull them out when we need them. The exact model we have looks like it’s not in stock at the moment, but this one on Amazon is very similar. I love having the ability to get out on the water and see things from another perspective!
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon 🙂
One of J’s favorite parts of the trip was watching this osprey hunt and dive after fish in the lake right in front of us.
The tricky part about camping this year was that the extreme drought in Washington and Oregon had caused a fire ban in most campgrounds and forests. When we were road-tripping across the country last summer, we cooked all kinds of meals at our campsite, but this year we had to figure something else out for food, since campfires weren’t allowed. We often cook dehydrated meals when we are backpacking, but we were looking for something a little more substantial! Because we were so close to Timberline Lodge, we decided to just head back up to the restaurant there for a nice dinner. We loved this view of the sun setting over Mt. Jefferson in the distance. The food was delicious, and I’d highly recommend the lodge restaurant for a nice meal on your trip!
The next morning I woke up early and hiked part of the way around Trillium Lake to get a few shots of Mount Hood while the water was still. It was so incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
And then we were off to Crater Lake! Stay tuned next week to read all about it!
Have you been to Mount Hood or Trillium Lake? There are so many hikes in this area that we didn’t have time for, but I’m definitely excited to get back to someday. Let me know if you have any favorites in the comments below!
Interested in planning a trip to Oregon? Check out these posts to help you plan:
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The Columbia River Gorge sure is a gorgeous destination. Beautiful scenery! Great photos! Love the history too. Thanks!