A day trip to the Mount Hood National Forest is no less than a full-on vacation with experience of mountains, valleys, and scenic landscapes. Mount Hood is the highest mountain in the state of Oregon and can be seen from the streets of Portland. Besides the spectacular view, Mount Hood offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors, including hiking, ski resorts, historical tourist attractions, and summer recreation areas. When around Portland, Mt. Hood is a must on your travel bucket list.
Timings & Ticket Info
The Mount Hood National Forest is open all year round and 24 hours a day. However, the available roads and trails depend on the weather or other environmental issues. For instance, the riverside wildfire shut many roads leading to the forest. Check out the official website before your visit to learn about different trails and their availability. Several trails are seasonal and only open in specific weather conditions. Choose the safest and most convenient trailhead or campground for your visit to Mount Hood National Forest.
You can buy single-day passes from the official website, visitor center, or at the approved vendor locations. The pass costs as cheap as $5 per visitor; however, it does not secure a parking spot at the national forest. Make sure to reach early to get parking availability as parking outside the designated area is illegal and may be subject to a fine.
It is also recommended to print out the pass before your visit, considering the limited network connectivity in the forest area. These passes are also non-transferable and non-refundable. Entrance fees are waived on five national holidays, such as Veteran’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, National Get Outdoors Day, and National Public Lands Day.
How to Reach
The area is enormous and has several entrances. The most popular route is the US-26 E from the east of Portland, which takes roughly an hour to reach. If you want to access public transportation, the best way is to take the Mount Hood Express at the Sandy Transit Center. The bus route operates seven days a week and takes about three hours to reach the destination.
Things to Do in and Around
The Mt. Hood National Forest is famous for its hiking trails, and for all adventurous souls, it is a must-visit. It is the best way to explore the natural extravagance of the place. The trails include shorter treks that can be completed within a day and extended backcountry treks for longer. Trillium Lake Loop, Mirror Lake, Mount Defiance, Timberline Trail, and Tamanawas Falls are some of the best hiking trails. You will experience stunning views of the mountains, steep valleys, unexpected waterfalls, and beautiful hot springs during your journey. The trails are suitable for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and cycling. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just a beginner, Mt. Hood forest trails have something for you.
Apart from this, you can visit the Mount Hood Scenic Loop in Portland. The mountainous drive along the river takes you to the national forest. You will also see many historical sites, small communities, a river valley, and major attractions such as the Wildwood Recreation Site.
Other activities include skiing and snowboarding in Mt. Hood Meadows. Regular guided tours and concerts are held at the premises for the visitors to enjoy during their visit. Moreover, camping in the Mount Hood area is the best way to experience the mountain’s natural splendor. You can choose from nearly a hundred camping areas.
Address & Contact Info
The main office for visitor enquiries is located at 16400 Champion Way, Sandy, OR 97055. You can reach them on phone by calling 503-668-1700. Tourists can also approach the offices of Barlow Ranger District, Clackamas River Ranger District, Hood River Ranger District and Zigzag Ranger District, for help.