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.
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.
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!