Skiing & Hiking at Mount Hood
For much of the year (not just winter), there’s great skiing just an hour away from Portland on the slopes of 11,239-foot Mount Hood. This peak, which is clearly visible from the city on clear days, has three different downhill ski areas. The Mount Hood Skibowl (503-272-3206; www.skibowl.com) has the most extensive night skiing in America. However,Timberline (503-622-0717; www.www.timberlinelodge.com) is the only resort with summer skiing, and its historic Timberline Lodge—built in 1936—has some of the most distinctive, though rustic, accommodations in the area. In summer, the lower slopes of Mount Hood draw avid hikers and mountain bikers. The third ski area, Mt. Hood Meadows ((503)337-2222; www.www.skihood.com), has the most challenging terrain of the three.
Tip: If you have the time, drive out to Mount Hood along Interstate 84 through the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge, turning south on Highway 35 in the charming town of Hood River to reach the mountain. This scenic route takes an extra hour but offers far better scenery than the more direct U.S. 26, which you can always use to return to Portland in the evening.