World's Prettiest Mountain Towns
Kevin R. Morris/Corbis
Hood River, OR
Unsurpassed views of Mount Hood, a towering dormant volcano that, at 11,249 feet, is the highest peak in Oregon, are a major draw in this sport-lover’s town. But the beauty here isn’t just up in the air; the town also rests on the edge of the dramatic Columbia River Gorge, a steeply pitched, fjord-like river chasm where the high-velocity winds draw thousands of windsurfers.
Get some mountain air: Take a scenic drive along Lewis and Clark’s route along the Columbia River from Hood River through the surrounding apple and pear orchards, to Multnomah Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the States. Or head to Mount Hood's WPA-era Timberline Lodge—home to North America's only year-round lift-served ski area—to carve turns above panoramic views.