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A Weekend in Mount Hood, Oregon

Nestled amid forests, lakes, and waterfalls, a handful of historic villages near the iconic peak offer cozy stops, early Western architecture, and summer concerts.

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  • people sit outside at the Timberline Lodge, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Courtesy Timberline Lodge
    Photo caption
    Timberline Lodge was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration.
  • Trillium Lake with Mount Hood in the background, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: JosephWGallagher/Shutterstock
    Photo caption
    Trillium Lake with Mount Hood in the background.
  • Chimichurri sauce over tri-tip at Rendezvous, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Robbie McClaran
    Photo caption
    Chimichurri brightens tri-tip at Rendezvous.

MOUNT HOOD SIGHTS AND EVENTS 

The six galleries in the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum highlight the region’s European heritage, natural history, and more. A collection of vintage mountaineering gear will renew your appreciation for Gore-Tex. 88900 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp.

One day a year, half a dozen of master craftsman Henry Steiner's hand-hewed dwellings open to the public for a self-guided Steiner Cabin tour. Held on Aug. 12 this year, the museum and cultural center’s event gives history and architecture buffs a rare chance to explore some of the roughly 100 log cabins that Steiner built between 1928 and 1953, all classic examples of Oregon rustic style. Tickets go on sale on July 1 and often sell out quickly. 

A masterpiece commissioned by the Works Progress Administration, Timberline Lodge was dedicated in 1937 and is preserved by a coalition of organizations. As a guest, you may be lucky to join an alpine walk with Heidi or Bruno, the lodge’s popular and photogenic Saint Bernards. Later, dive into the heated swimming pool, then grab a pint at the Blue Ox Bar and settle into an Adirondack chair on the deck to watch the sun tint the mountain’s crags blue, gold, and pink. A concert on Labor Day features a variety of folk, blues, and Celtic bands. 27500 W. Leg Rd., Timberline Lodge. 

OUTDOORS AROUND MOUNT HOOD

The easily accessible, 2.1-mile round-trip Mirror Lake Trail rewards visitors with mountain and valley views at each turn. After looping for half a mile around the lake, it culminates in a steep segment for a vista of Mount Hood reflected in the water, similar to that at nearby Trillium Lake. The trailhead is about nine miles east of the Zigzag Ranger Station, 70220 E. Hwy. 26. 

Flip on a bungee trampoline, fly over the mountain on an 800-foot-long zip line or a sky chair, careen down a tubing hill, or float on an alpine slide at Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl. The park's Bike Learning Center and lift-assisted mountain-biking park also provide cyclists a chance to improve their skills. AAA members get a discount. 87000 E. Hwy. 26, Government Camp. 

Huckleberry-foraging trips and happy summer hikes begin with a visit to the Zigzag Ranger Station, where rangers provide free picking permits as well as tips and maps to the best spots for picking and exploring. One popular nearby hike is the family-friendly, 1.9-mile Old Salmon River Trail, a gentle riverside stroll through an old-growth forest. 

MOUNT HOOD EATS AND DRINKS 

Snag a big booth and order hot wings with chile-apricot sauce, some pub fry poutine (made with a pound of fries), and icy pints of lavender ale, and you'll see why Mt. Hood Brewing Company has been a favorite with locals and visitors since 1992. 87304 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp. 

Meals at the Rendezvous Grill celebrate the Pacific Northwest's bounty. Don't miss out on the wild salmon special, prepared with ingredients grown or foraged locally. On weekends, leave room for boccone dolce, a dessert of hazelnut meringue, chocolate ganache, berries, and almond chantilly cream. 67149 E. Hwy. 26, Welches. 

The welcoming decor in the Skyway Bar and Grill makes it feel like Mount Hood's living room. Every surface is decorated with artwork and memorabilia collected and created by the owners and their friends. The restaurant may be best known for its barbecue, but folks also flock to the annual Crawdad Fest, scheduled for Aug. 19 and 20 this year. 71545 E. Hwy. 26, Zigzag. 

The crispy bacon, flaky biscuits, sausage-flecked gravy, and fluffy boysenberry pancakes at the family-owned Zigzag Mountain Store and Cafe make the perfect fuel for a day of outdoor adventures. 70171 E. Hwy. 26, Rhododendron. 

This article was first published in July/August 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.