White Pass Ski Resort

It’s amazing over the years how popular White Pass Ski Resort (I call it a resort – sounds more classy) has become.  We built our first cabin in Packwood years ago and it all started that first winter…the phone calls.  People wanted to rent our cabin to go skiing at White Pass.  This is the reason why we built our first cabin…I was addicted to skiing.  We knew that with our busy lifestyle we needed a place to go when we wanted to just relax and unwind.

We discovered White Pass one weekend after packing up the whole family, all their skies, poles, boots, clothing and food to go skiing at Crystal Mt.  A few weeks prior to this we attempted to go skiing at Crystal and the parking lot was full and they turned us away at the bottom of the access road.  Can you believe that it happened a second time?  Yes, here we were, 3 kids, all their gear and after and hour and half drive we get turned around for the second time.   Now I can’t tell you how angry and disappointed I was.  We drive back down the hill to Graham (that’s Graham, WA where we lived at the time) and resolved not to do that again.  We had heard about this smaller ski area called White Pass and we decided to give it a try.

That next weekend we headed to White Pass with the family.  Packed the car, the equipment, the clothes, the food and drove the 2 hours to White Pass.  About 15 miles before the ski area we passed through this little cute town called Packwood.  We were like WOW, that’s cool, a little ski town.  It was a few years later that we explored the town and area only to discover that many people had the same idea…Ski Town…Ski Area…Ski Town…Ski Area…realizing that there were not too many places in the northwest that had little ski towns close to the ski hill.  Packwood was this little peninsula of a town surrounded by mt peaks on all 3 sides and above them all was the majestic Mt Rainier.  It was soon thereafter we bought our first piece of land for $7000 and built that first cabin.  This was the beginning of Great Northwest Cabins.

At the top of Paradise Basin!

Needless to say our first experience at White Pass was a pleasure.  It was, at that time, a smaller family area that was very kid friendly.  You can pull right up to the lodge and unload all your gear and bring your kids right into the childcare.  We were impressed with the childcare, the room, the toys, the staff, were all very helpful.  They have a great program where they take your kids out to play in the snow.  They put them on little kid skies with the goal of helping them to have a good first experience sliding around in the snow.  All 3 of our kids learned to ski at White Pass.  There are 2 free lifts for beginners, the magic carpet and platter…a great learning environment and oh yes did I mention FREE!  Today our whole family is avid skiers and we love our annual ski trips to White Pass.

We had heard about this expansion plan that White Pass was working on for over 2 decades.  Because it was taking so long no one in town really believed it would happen.  Well kudos to the staff at White Pass because it did happen.  White Pass doubled its skiable acreage with 2 new lifts and a beautiful mid mountain lodge.  When you venture back to this new area called “Paradise Basin” you feel like your skiing little Whistler.

So what does a day look like for the Trombi family at White Pass?  Well, we first get up at about 7:30 at the cabin and get ready to head up the pass which is only 12-15 mi away, depending on what cabin you are staying at.  We make our own lunch, sandwiches and top Ramon are in order with drinks and snacks packed in the backpack.  Highway 12 (now the White Pass Scenic Byway) is so well taken care of you rarely ever have to put chains on unless it’s just dumping as you head up.  We still pull right up to the lodge, even though our kids are older now, to unload the skies and equipment.  The family heads in to put their boots on and get ready for a great day!

I park the car and head over to buy the lift tickets and then head into the lodge to put my boots on.  After attaching all lift tickets, with back pack lunch in tow, we head up the Great White quad lift.  At the top we now ski over to the Basin Quad and take that up as well.  Our first stop is the new lodge called High Camp.  This is a beautiful new timber lodge with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier. It’s a great place to take a break or eat lunch after skiing the runs of Paradise Basin. We stash our lunch here and get ready to ski the basin for the first half of the day.  First we head to the detachable quad called the Coulier Express just right below the lodge.  This is the highest lift at White Pass and accesses all the great runs of the basin.  Most are great cruisers.  When it’s clear there is no better view of Mt Rainier and the surrounding peaks anywhere in the state of Washington.

White Pass gets over 400 inches of snow every year so it is not unusual to have fresh powder every other day even late into the season.  And because this area leans more towards the east side of the Cascades the snow is a lot drier then say Crystal or Stevens Pass.  I went skiing with some friends last year in April and we had sunshine and 8″ of fresh POW.  It was perfect.  Once you get off the lift and go right towards the West Ridge Access Trail and you have all the back country glade and bowl skiing your legs can handle.  That day we were skiing the open fields of powder all morning making fresh tracks up till lunch time.

Spring Skiing POW in Paraside Basin Bowl

After a morning of cruising and fun we head to the High Camp Lodge.  Time to eat!  There is nothing like a great lunch after a morning of crusing.  The lodge offers some great food and microbrews if you didn’t bring your lunch.  On a sunny day sit outside as the staff fires up the bbq and serves it up.  For dessert my kids love the homemade brownies and cookies.

High Camp Lodge at Paradise Basin, White Pass

After skiing the back side we over to the front side.  You can ski past the Yurt to chair 4 and take that back up to the top or you can ski all the way to the base and take Great White up again.  It’s fun either way.  Now it’s time to ski our old time favorite trails like Cascade and Holiday.  I’ll never forget my youngest daughter at 6 years old.  She had taken classes for a few years and I would take her out and she would ski between my legs.  That year we headed to Holiday and she insisted that she could do it alone.  I pushed her off and she just started going, turning and screaming for joy.  I never from that point on had to ski with her between my legs.

After cruising down Cascade my kids love to take every little trail and shoot…so much fun.  And perhaps maybe a run down Cascade Cliff or the famous mogul trail Holiday Cliff.

The last area that we love (this used to be refereed to as back side) is the 4 trails surrounding chair 4…Paradise, Quail, or Grouse.  On the Paradise Trail is our traditional 3:15 stop at the famous White Pass Yurt.  This place has character and is full of people and families that have been stopping here for years.  Come on in and relax, warm up and get a big cup of hot chocolate, cold beer and another famous brownie.  Anyone we have ever taken skiing at White Pass has experienced the Yurt.  In spring, skiers and boarders are stewn out around the yurt laughing and enjoying the sunshine and atmosphere of a very special place.

The Yurt at White Pass

Time to head down and call it a day.  Tucking the cat track is in order.  A little poling and you are back at the lodge.  With no kids another drink in the bar next to the fireplace might be in order or perhaps the hot tub at the cabin is calling you only 12 mi away.

Drinks on the deck of White Pass main Lodge at the end of the day!

We all hope that mom put a stew in the crock pot at the cabin because we are sure hungry.  If not a Cruisers Pizza is always a great alternative in town.  Another beautiful day at the ever increasing popular White Pass!  Another relaxing night in the bedroom community of Packwood, WA…the still undiscovered Ski Town at the base of Mt Rainier!

For information about White Pass log onto http://www.skiwhitepass.com

To rent one of our 4 custom built ski cabins log onto http://www.greatnorthwestcabins.com  or call us anyday from 9-9 PST at 503-492-8783.  We would be glad to answer any question you may have about our cabins!

We hope you stay with us, you will not be disappointed!

After Labor Day weekend the crowds subside and the days are getting shorter.  The weather is so perfect for all outdoor activities as the days are still warm and summery and the nights have that cool fall crispness where a fire takes the chill off the evening.

September is a great month to visit Packwood and Mt Rainier.  With school in we have many retirees and couples without kids come and enjoy the park and scenery.

Many also come to raft the famous Tieton River.  Fueled by water released from Rimrock Dam, the Tieton’s steep gradient produces 14 miles of narrow and swift Class III+ whitewater leading to the Naches River. Rafters come from all over and stay in Packwood.  They check in Friday night.  Early Saturday morning they arise and travel over the pass to the put in.  After an amazing day they return to the cabin Saturday night for some steaks on the grill and a therapeutic soak in the hot tub.

The river only runs white water one month a year in September.  The rest of the time it is a creek so shallow you can walk across in places. Guests get the thrill of paddling down a flooded canyon watching the river banks and canyon walls fly past. It has the steepest gradient in Washington State, providing fast moving water and big waves. The trip goes from Rimrock Dam to the confluence of the Naches River. The river never slows down as you make your way through the likes of “High Noon” and “Waffle Wall.”

There are many rafting companies to choose from and the rates range from $65 – $80 per person.  Some provide lunch or fancy bbq’s but all raft the same river with the same exciting 4 hours of amazing fun!  Log on or call one of these rafting places below.

For cabin openings log onto our website at www.greatnorthwestcabins.com or call us at 503-492-8783 any day from 9-9 PST.  We take visa or mc.

To reserve your spot with a rafting company contact one of these places:

Alpine Adventures   www.alpineadventures.com (800) 723-8386

Blue Sky Outfitters  www.blueskyoutfitters.com  (800) 228 RAFT

Wet Planet Whitewater www.wetplanetwhitewater.com (877)-390-9445

Wildwater River Tours www.wildwater-river.com   (800)522-WILD

The Orchards of Hood River

In summer, we have tons of people come from all over the world and stay in our Mt Hood Cabin.  They come to hike, golf, ski and take in all that the area has to offer.  If you only have a few days and you love to drive, this is the trip for you.  This trip takes you on a big circle from our cabin in Welches, OR, up Mt Hood, down the east side into Hood River back through the Gorge and past all the amazing waterfalls and up through Troutdale, Gresham, Sandy and back to the cabin in Welches, OR, all about 110 miles!

GETTING READY…load the car up with gas and a cooler full of cold drinks and snacks.  In summer you don’t need to worry about the weather but if you are traveling in early spring or late fall, always make sure that you are ready for all kinds of weather when traveling over Mt Hood.  Always bring an extra jacket or hoodie with you, you never know what the weather is like not only on Mt Hood but in the Gorge as well.

FIRST LEG…head out of our community and go left onto Lolo Pass down to highway 26 (2 mi).  Go left on Highway 26 and begin to head over Mt Hood.  Our other blog topics go into detail about the hikes and tourist things to do on and close to Mt Hood like Ski Bowl Summer Fun, Government Camp, Timberline Lodge and various day hikes and such.  So we suggest you drive over Mt Hood, past Government Camp and go right onto highway 35 North towards Hood River.  This is a beautiful drive with many opportunities to stop and take in some amazing views of Mt Hood and the surrounding scenery.  From the cabin to Hood River is about 40 miles.  As you head furthur north you will pass Meadows Ski Resort, one of the larger ski areas on Mt Hood (we will blog about Meadows later).  The road winds down into some of the most furtile territory in the northwest where orchards are in abundance with over 14000 acres of farmland growing commercial pear, apple, cherry and peach.  This county leads the world in Anjou pear production and 50% of the countries winter pear crop comes from Hood River.  Cherries in spring, apples and pears in fall…stop by the many road side stands and pick up some fresh produce.

The Windsurfing Capital of the World

HOOD RIVER…you could spend a whole day here in this city on the mighty Columbia River.  You have just entered the wind surfing capital of the world.  You can also kite board, paddle board, kayak, raft, rent a boat or jet ski or just take a dip in the ole’ Columbia.  If anything, head down to the waterfront and watch the pros and the newbees taking a lesson.  If you are a newbee sign up for a lesson and try it out.  You never know it may become a passion or try it just to say, “I windsurfed in the Windsurfing Capital of the World.”  The town of Hood River has a vibrant shopping area (remember that Oregon has no sales tax) and many restaurants to fit any budget.  Try one of the local wines or microbrews or attend one of the many cultural events in the area.  There is something for everyone in Hood River and perhaps you just want to make a day of it and then head back up to Mt Hood after dinner.  Or for you, this trip to Hood River is nice for lunch and coffee but you really came to head down the Gorge and the likes of Multnomah Falls and Crown Point.  For more information on Hood River log onto hoodriver.org.

Multnomah Falls

THE GORGE AND WATERFALL HEAVEN…We are now going to head west on highway 84, the main highway the spans the length of the Columbia River from Portland west to the border of Idaho east.  This is an amazing road built right along the edge of the river with great views of the water and Washington on the other side.  There is so much to do and see that if you are going to see it all you have to decide where you will stop.  You can stop at the Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery, take pictures at the Bridge of the Gods or venture straight to the famous Multnomah Falls.  It is again about 40 miles from Hood River to Multnomah Falls.  You will see the signs.  Pull off the highway and park in front of the lodge.  It is a must to walk up to the bridge that spans the river over the falls, take pictures and feel the spray…powerful!  If you arrived early you can hike to the top for about an hours trek, the view from the top looking down and of the gorge is one of a kind.  There is a visitor center, snack shop, coffee cart or if you are up for something more fancy eat at the lodge itself.  At least go up into the lodge lobby and ask to peak in (they will let you).  The ambiance of the room with glass that allows you to look up at the falls is worth the stairs to get there.  After you have gotten your fill of Multnomah Falls you have 2 choices.  You can take highway 84 to Troutdale or take the Old Historic Highway (both end in the same place.)  The Old Historic Highway takes off from the Multnomah Falls parking area and goes west.  After a few miles you have a choice to go right to 84 or left.  If you choose to go left you will not only be treated to incredible vistas but other parking areas that host many other gorge waterfalls.  You can also visit the famous Vista House, an Oregon landmark recently renovated and one of the best east/west panoramic views of the Columbia River.  Evenutally the old highway follows along the Sandy River and heads into the cute town of Troutdale.  Troutdale as well has many shops and restuarants including the Troutdale Outlet Mall.  Before heading on your last 30 mile drive, if you have not eaten dinner, you must visit The McMenamins at Edgefield.  I can’t go into all that this resort like a microbrewery, winery, golf course, movie theatre, glass blowing, concert venue has to offer,  but we love this place.  It once was a poor farm where debtors were sent to work off their debt (what a great idea!).  Now it is one of the many McMenamin brother’s famous northwest restaurants and resorts.  If you do not have time this day then I would suggest that after you check out of the Mt Hood Cabin, come down and eat lunch or dinner at the Powerhouse Pub or outside on the large garden patio – a true northwest experience!  McMenamins!!

McMenamins at Edgefield

BACK TO THE CABIN…what a day…what a drive…what a vacation!  To get back you will go up the hill on 257th south to Kane through Gresham (that’s where I live) and connect to highway 26 east through Sandy and back to Welches.  This last leg of your drive is about 30 miles.  Get gas, stop at some larger grocery stores to stock up and dream of returning to our amazing cabin and soaking in the hot tub after a great 110 mile northwest adventure.

The Atmosphere is Electric at the Famous Packwood Flea Market

Every Labor and Memorial Day weekends the beautiful mountain town of Packwood, WA goes from 1000 residents to 10,000.  All hotels, cabins and camping spots fill up quick,  first with vendors that come from all over the northwest and west coast, over 500 of them.  Packwood stores, restaurants and shops get ready for the craziest yet most profitable weekends of the year.  This is the Packwood Flea Market!  I call it the Packwood Festival…sounds more classy…and that’s what it is.  The downtown of Packwood is situated on highway 12 or officially named the White Pass Scenic Byway, a great name because it is for sure one of the most beautiful roads in the country.  If you are coming from Olympia, Chehalis or even south from Longview or Portland you will get to experience the hour and 15 min drive from I-5 through valleys, across lakes and through cute small towns.  Views of Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, Mt Rainier and hundreds of other peaks that surround this ring of fire are as dramatic and stunning.  Lakes like Mayfield and Riffe with their dams and vistas are worth the stop.  This is all before you enter into the town of Packwood.  Packwood sits at the base of Mt Rainier and is surrounded by over 100 mountain peaks.  It is a peninsula of public land with Mt Rainier National Forest on one side and Gifford Pichot National Forest on the other.  Seven miles from town is the Stevens Canyon entrance to Mt Rainier National Park, the most dramatic drive up to Paradise, in my opinion, and only 20 miles to the ever growing in popularity, White Pass Ski Resort.  I call it a resort because with the new expansion, new lifts and mid mountain lodge, it feels like one.  It’s not just a local ski hill anymore.

Prior to any Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend vendors start to roll in at the start of the week to secure their spot and set up their wares.  You can buy anything from yard sale treasures to really nice artwork and log crafted furniture.  The food carts are abundant so bring some cash and eat some huge curly fries, tamales and end the day with some fresh made cotton candy.  The amazing thing is that this little town with its cute restaurants and pubs never has traffic issues (unless it snows a lot).  But on Saturday, at Flea Market time, there are actually traffic jams.  What should take a few minutes ends up taking 30 to get through town.  Why?  Well 10,000 people that’s why.  Both sides of main street (Highway 12) are packed 5-6 layers deep of people walking, eating and shopping for the 1 1/2 mile stretch.  If there is a piece of grass, field or empty spot in front of a hotel or business, it’s rented to a hungry vendor looking to sell his (or her) stuff.  You may ask, “Where does everyone park?”  Anywhere and everywhere…on every side street off of main street any home with any land parks cars and get’s in on the action, making some extra weekend cash.  It will cost anywhere from $3-$5 to park depending on how far you want to walk.  You do want to get close to the action because inevitably you will buy that Elk head or mountain scene with a heavy log frame for your home or cabin and you will need to carry that thing to the car.  Some people pull wagons to put their stuff in as they shop, shop, shop.

That’s why you need to stay in a Great NW Cabin.   Our Mt View Cabin and Alpine Chalet are less than 1/2 mi from town. These 2 cabins book up first because of their proximity to town.  Yet they are far enough away that you do not hear the noise and can rest in peace, but close enough where you can walk to the FESTIVAL and not pay for parking.  Or stay in one of our 2 Timberline Community cabins, 3 mi east of Packwood.  They both have access to 2 amazing outdoor saltwater heated pools and tennis courts and are only a few miles from the entrance to Mt Rainier.  You don’t have to fight Flea Market traffic to head up the mountain for some hiking and exploring.

You have to experience it at least once.  Yet many come back year after year because they are addicted to the Famous Packwood Flea Market….ahh..Festival.  You will love it, your kids will love it…come and be our guest!

For information on our cabins log onto www.greatnorthwestcabins.com or call 503-492-8783 for information and reservations.  We take mc or visa and dogs are welcome!

When I go away on vacation I struggle to decide what to do in an area when there are so many choices.  Here are 10 things to do when staying at our beautiful Mt Hood Cabin in the summer, all within miles of this paradise!

Firepit, hot tub, bbq and patio furniture ready to use at our Mt Hood Cabin!

#1 Sit, Relax, BBQ, Hot Tub, Cook Smores, Eat Breakfast On the Deck…

Why go anywhere right away?  When you rent a place you need to enjoy it first before jumping up and heading out.  When we go to the cabin we love to sleep in and get up at about 10AM.  The sun shines in the great room windows and that is a great sign that it’s time to eat breakfast on the deck.  Gather the breakfast cereal, coffee and sweet rolls and enjoy the trees, birds and forest smell as the sun shines down and warms your morning!

Mt Hood Cabin Hot Tub

After breakfast we hit the hot tub for more relaxing.  “Why go anywhere right away when we have rented a beautiful vacation home in the middle of forest heaven?”.

Within minutes from the cabin, walk here!

#2 Take a Short Walk or a Long Hike right from the Cabin…

Our cabin is in a village of other fine vacation homes and cabins called Zig Zag Village.  Go out the door and take a right and the trail starts right at the end of the road.  This trail meanders through the woods, over the creek and within a few minutes the trail is following the mighty Sandy River.  There are so many spots to go down to the river, picnic, play and enjoy the views of Mt Hood.  You can take this trail up into the National Forest and to the trail head to Ramona Falls (Apx 6 miles total, 12 mi roundtrip).   You can also go out the door of the cabin and go left.  Follow the road and before it goes left go right and follow it down to the pool and tennis court.  Beyond the tennis court are more trails that lead to the Sandy River and beyond.  We love taking morning or after dinner walks with our dog.  This is one of the reasons why we fell in love with this village and bought this lot to build this cabin.

The pool is heated and ready for a refreshing swim!

#3 Head to the Pool and Take a Swim or Play Tennis…

Go out the door of the cabin and go left.  Go to the end of the road and before it turns left go right.  Follow this road down to the pool and tennis area.  It takes less than a few minutes to walk there and is real safe for the whole family.  The pool and tennis court sit in the middle of the forest.  Bring your towels, chairs and pool floats.  There are showers and bathrooms.  We love to sunbath and enjoy the trees blowing in the wind.  The setting is wonderful and the pool heated and clean.  Our tennis court is very nicely maintained so bring the rackets with you.  Our village is small so many times the tennis court is available for you to just walk in and play.

Ramona Falls

4. Take your Mt Bike(s) and head out…

Our village is located off of Lolo Pass Rd.  You can ride your bike on our hiking trails or head up Lolo Pass Rd towards Mt Hood.  Your option is to stay on Lolo Pass and go above the trees to enjoy rare views of Mt Hood.  You can ride for miles on this road which eventually goes to Lost Lake (apx 20 mi) or Hood River (there is 4 mi of unpaved road when riding to Lost Lake – this road is closed in winter).  If you want a shorter ride head up Lolo Pass Rd for about 2 miles and go right onto Road 1825 labeled “campgrounds and trailheads”.  Go over the Sandy River bridge and ride past the McNeil Campground and the road to Riley Horse Camp.  This road eventually leads to the Ramona Falls trailhead.

If you are not into biking then go hiking…the most popular thing to do on Mt Hood in summer.  Take your car to the Ramona Falls trail head and venture up to the falls.  This is about a 4 mi trek (8 total) and is an easy trail that follows the Sandy River with views of Mt Hood.  Or take your car to Lost Lake and hike around the lake.  This is a great 3 mile family trail again with great views of Mt Hood.  At the 3200′ level, it is a great place to cool off on a hot summer day.  Treat the family with an ice cream at the general store.  You can picnic or rent a canoe or row boat…sunbath…fish…enjoy!

Wildwood Park and the Cascade Streamwatch

5. Wildwood Park and the Cascade Streamwatch is 3 mi away…

Go out the cabin and take a left onto Lolo Pass Rd to highway 26.  Go right onto 26 past Welches and Wemme and on the left you will see the sign to Wildwood Park.  This is a must see and a great morning or afternoon activity…especially with the kids.  There is a $5 per passenger car fee, worth it totally.  This is a day use area home to a wide range of recreation facilities and the Cascade Streamwatch Trail. Visitors have a chance to explore natural stream and wetland ecosystems along accessible interpretive trails and boardwalks and observe native fish in a unique underwater fish viewing chamber.  There are many picnic tables, playing fields, volleyball and basketball courts and trails.  Take the wooden bridge over the   Salmon River and head to the elevated wooden walkways that meander through the marshland.

Mirror Lake on Mt Hood

6. Mirror Lake Trail…

Read our blog, “Hike to Mirror Lake on Mt Hood.”  We love this trail.  Go down Lolo Pass to Highway 26 and go left up Mt Hood.  About a mile below Government Camp to the right is the trail head.  You will see the cars parked right along side the highway.  Our blog gives a detailed explanation of the trail.  This is a great family hike.  Bring a small backpack with drinks and lunch and eat at the lake as a reward yourself for the climb up.  Again..as always…do not forget the camera.

Golfing on Mt Hood

7. Golf at the Resort at the Mountain or visit their Spa for a Massage!

The Resort at The Mountain’s 27-hole golf course, is nestled in the Salmon River Valley of the Mt. Hood National Forest.  Golfers seeking an exceptional and scenic outing in the Mt. Hood area will find The Courses an exceptional choice.  The full service spa offers massages, body wraps, manicures and pedicures.  Call 503-622.2270 for a tee time or spa reservations or log onto www.theresort.com .  Out the cabin go left onto Lolo Pass and go right onto 26.  At the light in Welches go left and the resort is a little ways down on the left.

Ski Bowls Alpine Slide

8. Visit Ski Bowl’s Alpine Slide and all it’s exciting outdoor activities…

Go down Lolo Pass Rd  and go left onto Highway 26.  Drive 10 miles up to Ski Bowl.  You will see the lodge and parking area on the right.  There is so much to do here and this can be a half day or full day activity.   The Alpine Slide is FUN for all ages.  After you purchase your tickets you choose a sled and head up the main lift.  After reaching the top there are 2 tracks (fast and slow).  My kids always go on the fast track and I at first take the slow one to get the hang of it…again!  If you have little kids you can take them on the same sled as you.  Ski Bowl also has kayak rentals/tours, white water rafting, bungee jump, zip line, indie carts, reverse bungee, sky ride, summer tube hill, mini golf, frisbee golf, mt bike park, batting cages and so much more.  Log onto www.skibowl.com or information, daily passes or a-la-cart tickets.

Timberline Lodge in Summer

9. Tour Timberline Lodge and ride the lift…

Read our blog called “Visit and Tour Timberline Lodge.”  If you are staying at the Mt Hood Cabin this is a must experience.  Tour the lodge and witness the amazing architecture.  The dining experience is highly recommended.  You can ski all summer in the morning and hike or play golf in the afternoon.  We love to head up to the Cascade Dining room for the full breakfast buffet, served till 10AM, well worth it!  Log onto www.timberlinelodge.com for more information.

Trillium Lake

10. Trillium Lake is great for boating, swimming and hiking…

Trillium Lake is an extremely popular destination for picnickers, photographers, anglers, and just about any other outdoor enthusiasts.  Its popularity is understandable.  The lake boasts such a gorgeous view of Mount Hood, the place is frequently featured in national calendars and photo books. A wonderful trail circles this mountain gem.  We took that hike a few years ago and as we headed east on the trail a bald eagle swooped down and glided along the water.  It was a gift for the start of a perfect day.  There are many picnic areas to act as a base, swim, fish, bring the blow up rafts and boats and bbq up some burgers and hot dogs.  The area around the dam at the end of the lake was recently renovated and is a great place to relax and take in the views of Mt Hood.  Bring your camera, this is a number one picture taking opportunity on Mt Hood!

Government Camp in Summer!

BONUS #11. Visit Government Camp…yes this is a town…with pubs, shops, restaurants and museums…

Go out the cabin and go Left down Lolo Pass and go right up highway 26 towards Mt Hood’s Alpine Village, Government Camp at 4000′.  Once you hit Ski Bowl (on the right) take your next left and go into the town of Government Camp.  In the past few years this town has gotten a facelift with new sidewalks and streetlamps.  There are some great restaurants like the Huckleberry Inn or Mt Hood Brewing Co. and local pubs like Charlie’s Mountain View, all great experiences.  Visit the Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum and discover the mountains history.  Make some time to visit the Arts Cabins and sign up for classes which include knitting, beading, jewelry, spinning, book making and binding, painting, glass work and so much more.  For more information about the Villages of Mt Hood (Zig Zag, Rhododendron, Welches, Wemme and Government Camp) log onto www.mthoodmagazine.com or www.mounthoodinfo.com.

When planning your trip to Mt Hood stay in our luxury vacation home in Zig Zag Village.  Log onto www.greatnorthwestcabins.com or call 503-492-8783 for information and reservations anyday till 9AM-9PM PST.

We take visa or mc and dogs are welcome!

Timberline Lodge in Summer!

When staying at the Mt Hood Cabin visiting Timberline Lodge is a must.    This is a peak NW experience in the summer or winter at 6000′.  As you enter the lower main lobby you will find the first large stone fireplace and a small museum.  I would first watch the 30 minute video of how the lodge was built.  It really gives you a great perspective of what it took to create such an amazing place so high up with so much snow in the early 30′s.   It was built by hundreds of hands eager to work after months or years of unemployment in the 1930s. Ninety percent of the men and women who built and furnished the lodge were hired by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the federal agency created in 1933 to provide work for the hundreds of thousands of Americans idled by the Great Depression.

It was constructed and furnished by hand with original craft work in wood, wrought iron, weaving, applique, painting, mosaic, carved linoleum, and stained glass.  It is a living museum and houses a permanent, catalogued exhibition of American design, painting, and craft work.  It is a stunning mountain lodge for skiers, hikers, and nature lovers.

After watching the video and viewing the different historical artifacts you can actually take a tour and go places the normal public does not go.  The Guided tours are open Thursdays through Sundays at 11 am, 1 pm and at 2 pm. They are free.   For information  call 503-622-2033 or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood/.

In winter you can of course ski.  As a matter of fact you can ski all year long as this ski resort has the longest season in North America.  In the summer months skiing and boarding takes place on the upper Palmer Glacier.  So either take a scenic chair lift ride with out your boards or take a ride to the top and make some summer turns.  We have had many summer guests ski in the morning and then in the afternoon head down to the Resort at the Mountain and play a round of golf in the afternoon.  What a place!

The main lobby is of course the main attraction with large timber beams and central stone fireplaces.  Sit, relax, read a book and make this space your living room for the afternoon.  Hiking is also very popular on the mountain whether you are climbing to the top (with a guide of course) or just venturing out for a few hours to witness some great wildflowers and wildlife.  You can also select your own adventure tour by booking a ranger to be your guide for the Timberline Lodge Tour, guided hike or for campfire talk. For further information, please call 503-622-2033

Right off the main lobby is the main dining room, The Cascade Dining Room.  We love the breakfast buffet with waffles, bacon, fruit, pastries…so much food you will not need to eat lunch.  Breakfast goes till 10AM.  Dinners in the dining room are tasty and elegant and well worth the high end price.  Why not, you are on vacation!  The wine list is extensive and they have many great Oregon microbrews on tap.  Dinner reservations are encouraged especially with larger parties.  Call 503-272-3104.

If you missed breakfast and want some lunch then head up to the 3rd level balcony and enjoy the Rams Head Bar.  This is an ideal location for a family–friendly atmosphere.  Savor their food and drinks amidst the beauty of the mountains.    There are other places to eat and drink on the premises like the Blue Ox Bar, Ice Axe Grill and WyEast Dining Room.  Depending on the season and time of day you will find these facilities open.  Call the lodge for detailed information.

You can plan to spend a few hours or make it a full day but do not miss this lodge attraction.  It is one of the most visited tourist places in Oregon with over 2 million visitors per year and you are only 18 mi from our cabin to the lodge.  The roads in summer are clear.  In winter you will need either traction tires and/or chains.  If you are renting a car make sure you request chains with your rental.  You never know what will happen in spring and fall.  The roads are always well cleared.  Just always be prepared for mountain driving and carry an emergency kit with you.

For more information about the lodge log onto  – http://www.timberlinelodge.com

Or call 503.272.3311 (general information)

When planning your trip to Mt Hood stay with us at our Mt Hood Log Cabin.  You can see pictures and video at http://www.greatnorthwestcabins.com or call us at 503-492-8783 for information and reservations.  We take visa or mc and dogs are welcome.

Silver Falls

When you are staying in Packwood a morning or afternoon visit is well worth your time to Silver Falls.  Go east on highway 12 from Packwood for 7 miles.  Go left onto highway 123 till you reach the Ohanapacosh Visitor Center and Campground.  It will be on your left.  Go in and park in front of the visitor center.  This is small  cozy visitor center with many exhibits and things to explore.  After you have learned about the mountain and the area,  take a fabulous 2 mi hike.  The trail begins right behind the visitor center.  It slowly meanders up past the hot springs.  Years ago there were hot spring baths and a resort here.  All that is gone now in an effort the return the area back to it’s natural state.  You can still smell the sulfur and touch the hot water coming from the ground.  The rest of the trail goes through a large growth forest and crosses over Laughing Creek.  After you cross the creek the trail rises to an intersection, go left down the hill to Silver Falls.  Once you round the bend you will be in awe.  Silver Falls is one of the most rushing and dramatic  falls in the park.  Bring the camera, there is a walking bridge that goes over the gorge and there are many opportunities for pictures and wildlife.

Silver Falls Gorge and Bridge

On the opposite side you can get close to the falls and feel the spray.  Don’t get too close it is slippery and dangerous.  This is a great hike for kids.  We have done this hike many times in the early morning or even after dinner in the summer while it’s still light out.

Have a Great Stay in our Great NW Cabin!

To reserve one of our cabins in Packwood go to http://www.greatnorthwestcabins.com

Or call us anyday from 9-9 PST at 503-492-8783

We take visa or mc and dogs are welcome

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