Trillium Lake Campground was another real find on our trip to the Mount Hood area. Located at 3600 feet, it offers a cool respite from the heat of Portland in summer. This large well-developed campground has well spaced spots that offer a lot of privacy and are surrounded by trees. While the campground is generally full and is very popular with families it did not seem noisy in the least the night we stayed there.
There are vault toilets though well kept and modern for the style. Sites away from the lake were quite scenic. Those on the lake offer better views but are most likely less private as everyone goes to the lake and there are numerous paths in the area including the very popular one around the lake. The view of Mt. Hood is amazing and worth going to the park for in itself.
We paid $17 for one night in a non-premium spot (away from the lake). Lakeside spots are best reserved and only a few dollars more but keep in mind they may not be as serene as those away from the lake.
Camping along the Columbia River Gorge may not be well known outside of Oregon circles but locals use this getaway much like north-easterners go “down the shore.” This mecca for windy water sports like windsurfing and sailing is less than an hour's drive from Portland so weekends can get crowded with locals alone. We found this out the hard way when we decided to hang in Portland for the Saturday market, check out the Rose Gardens and Pittock Mansion on our way out to the Gorge. By the time we arrived, all the spots were taken. We finally got one at Viento Campground, in the auxiliary area across I-84. This small loop would have gone undetected by us but we asked the campground host who said he believed there were some spots over there and told us how to find them. It was away from the rest of the campground and the showers but we didn't need them till the next day anyway!
The auxiliary campground at Viento turned out to be a real find. It was small and set in a dense lush forest. There were only two of the twelve spots open and the other one was taken minutes after we snagged ours. There was a small restroom in the middle of the loop but no lighting aside from that.
The only drawback it this campground is its proximity to the railroad tracks and trains can be heard occasionally even during the night. We were only here for one night and it served us just fine.. After setting up the tent, there was just enough light to have a nice evening meal. Rather than cook, we enjoyed goodies purchased along our Oregon travels. It was one of the more pleasant evenings of camping even if not as quiet as we would have imagined while setting up. Oh well, you take what you can get on a Saturday night with no reservations!
I stayed here twice and found it a cost effective alternative to Timberline Lodge. The only drawback is having to drive to the base of Timberline and missing the convenience of having the mountain right outside. But since it costs half as much to stay here, convenience is outweighed by price.
The rooms are standard but everything is in working order. On my first stay, I was upgraded to the spa room at no extra charge. I think the front desk person felt bad for me knowing the climb, my reason for coming out here, was not going to happen. The larger room and the large jacuzzi tub are worth the extra price.
There is ample parking here, a restaurant within walking distance, and a free breakfast in the mornings. The Mount Hood Inn is located in Government Camp and about a 15 minute drive to the base of the mountain. In all, I would highly recommend it as a budget friendly yet still convenient alternative.
You cannot camp directly in the flowers of Paradise, but there are several sites scattered about - mostly around the remains of the old trail shelter at Lost Creek. There are many spectacular sites to camp out on Mt Hood and Paradise ranks right up there - flowers, wide-flung views and magnificent sunsets! See my Paradisical Alpenglow an Flowers of Paradise TL’s for more.
Hood River Inn is a well-preserved hotel, although I've classified as an Inn, because it is much to personal and quaint to be confused with hotels of today. The rooms are well-appointed and the entire hotel interior becons you to days long gone. The restaurant fare will not disappoint you either.
The location of the hotel is centered along a central street in Hood River, with shops and restaurants to spend a Saturday afternoon. Below the hill from the hotel is a popular wind-surfing spot in the Columbia River, and even if you don't partake in the sport, you will be amazed at the agility and grace of those who do, and your eye will be pleased with the multitude of colors the surfer's sails produce.
This is a great place to base to explore both the Columbia River gorge and its magnificent waterfalls, as well as the glories of Mt. Hood. Best time to go? June through August.
Fascinating old hotel, I believe it was used as the setting the the filming of the Shining by Steven King. Lots of absolutely beautiful timber all throughout.
My one criticism was that the room we stayed in was pretty small for a double, especially when compared to many of the Hotels and motels we stayed in during our 5 different trips to the U.S.A. spanning 14 different states.
Can't remember how much it cost us and the Aussie dollar was worth less then too so I can't give a cost, but I have to put something in below so I'm guessing. If you know what it is or if there's a website please feel free to drop me an email.
We only had a peek inside - have to do another trip up there soon to check out everything, but the few glances I could "throw" inside have been worth it!
Timberline Lodge is build half-way up the Mt. Hood slope - you have great views from all sides of the hotel - either a full view of the Mt. Hood peak or you can see a stunning view over the other mountains. One of the bigger ones is Mt. Jefferson.
Timberline Lodge is a historic building at the base of Mount Hood. The Lodge is a great place to stay if you're skiiing or hiking Mount Hood. The Lodge is fairly rustic, although it does have some modern conveniences. I stayed here for one night in July, 2001. The floors was wooden and creaky and the bathrooms are small. This is not a place for those expecting 5 star accommodations. Its a bit on the expensive side and does fill up quickly during the popular months, so make reservations in advance if you really want to stay here.
Timberline has an excellent restaurant (see restaurant tips) and a fairly lively bar scene courtesy of the year round apres ski crowd. Even if you don't stay here, the historic lodge with its wood beamed ceilings and terriffic food is worth a visit. The Mount Hood ski lift is located just outside the lodge as are trails leading to the summit.
The Lodge is also known for its movie appearance. The exterior was featured in the movie "The Shining", although the movie was filmed elsewhere.
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