Mt. Hood, Oregon Territory, located just southeast of Portland, is home to Mount Hood, Willamette Falls — and enough activities to overwhelm even the most ambitious adventurers. For an excitement-filled trip to the Pacific Northwest, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is the place to go.
This must-read travel guide covers where to stay, where to eat, and the best things to do in Mount Hood, Oregon!
Mt. Hood, Oregon: The Best Things to Do (And Where to Stay!)
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Has taking a ride in a hot air balloon been on your bucket list? Well, now is the time to check it off! Portland Rose Hot Air Balloons operates 7 days a week, giving you plenty of opportunities to take advantage of this awe-inspiring experience. And, with careful planning, you may even be able to take off from a 40-acre field of tulips!
Taking in the sights of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival during the month of April is just a perk though, because aerial views of Oregon’s landscape are stunning year-round.
Rent a Canoe at Trillium Lake
For the most scenic view of Mt. Hood, rent a canoe and spend some time on Trillium Lake. With dense conifer forest and crystal clear reflections of Mt. Hood on the lake’s surface, this is a nature photographer’s paradise. And, with no motorized boating, Trillium is the perfect place to take in the natural tranquil beauty of Mt. Hood National Forest.
Visit Swan Island Dahlia Farm
If you aren’t able to make it to Oregon in time for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in spring, don’t be disappointed – Swan Island Dahlia Farm is open in the fall! This gorgeous 35-acre field of colorful dahlias is available for strolling during the entire months of August and September, dusk ’til dawn, so if you happen to visiting during the dahlia season be sure to stop by.
Kayak Willamette Falls
For novice and expert kayakers alike, this is one for the books. Willamette Falls is the largest waterfall by volume in the Northwest and has previously been restricted from the public, so take advantage of the falls’s newly-granted access for sightseers and water sport enthusiasts. eNGR Kayaking is the leading kayaking tour for the falls – and it’s even family-friendly – so book your tour and witness the astounding Willamette Falls up close and personal.
Hike Tom, Dick, & Harry Mountain
You can’t visit Oregon without going on a good hike or two, so we suggest making Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain (yes, you read that right) your hiking destination. Not only will it give you the opportunity to burn off some of that craft beer you’ve been sipping on, but you’ll get yet ANOTHER killer view of Mt. Hood. Be warned – this trail is popular and often crowded with Mirror Lake visitors as well, so plan ahead and get there early.
Stay in a Tiny House Village
If you keep up on the latest HGTV shows you know that tiny houses are super trendy – and now you’ll get to see what all the hype is about first-hand. An upgrade from camping and a more unique experience than traditional hotels, the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village really incorporates Oregon’s quaint charm and nature themes into your stay.
Dogs are welcome in the homes so feel free to bring your pets along to explore the surrounding area. The Dragonfly Cafe down the road is great for coffee and breakfast before venturing off on your daily adventures.
Twilight Paddle on Estacada Lake
Thanks to Clackamas River Outfitters, you can paddle another beautiful Mt. Hood Territory lake with an impressive sunset view. Aside from their twilight tours, Clackamas River Outfitters also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as private lessons, so gear up (all included with your tour) and hit the water under the stars!
Tube Down the Clackamas River
Grab an inner tube, and make a day of floating down the Clackamas River. The “Float” begins at Barton Park; get there before 11am, or noon at the latest, to ensure a parking space ($5) and avoid evening traffic when leaving.
After a few stops and mild rapids, you’ll eventually end your float at Carver Park where you can take the Park n’ Float shuttle back to Barton Park – but be sure to check the Facebook page for updates on operating hours to ensure it’s running beforehand. This float takes approx. 3-4 hours so bring plenty of water and snacks, a dry bag to store and protect personal items, and don’t forget sunscreen!
Magic Mile Skyride at Timberline Lodge
If you want to check out the popular summer ski spot without gearing up for snow, buy a ticket for Timberline’s Magic Mile Skyride and ride the lift up Mt. Hood. Believe us when we tell you the above-treeline view is well worth it. Operating hours are typically 10am-4pm during summer months, but you should get there before 1-2pm if you’d like to spend time at the top or choose to hike back down the mountain rather than take the lift.
Hike Little Zigzag Falls
This gentle 1 mile round-trip hike is less of a workout and more of photo opportunity, given the trail runs along Little Zigzag River and ends at the falls – the perfect family hike or place to picnic! The trailhead is located near Government Camp and is just 6 miles away from Trillium Lake, giving you the perfect opportunity to visit Little ZigZag before canoeing or paddleboarding the lake.
Be sure to wear layers (especially a moisture-wicking base layer), as this hike is in a shady canyon and can get chilly.
Where to Eat in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory
Tap Trail (Mt. Hood Territory):
First and foremost, you need to download the Tap Trail Craft Pass app and check out the the infamous local Oregon craft breweries. This string of 9 breweries are some of the best in the area, with tasty food to accompany it.
Stickmen Brewery (Lake Oswego):
Lakefront bar with classic gastropub grub and all the beer tasting you could ask for. Perfect for an outdoor lunch or dinner on the deck!
Fearless Brewing Company (Estacada):
A great stop for a quick bite and good beer after a hike or passing through on your way to the greater Portland area.
Thai Home Restaurant (Sandy):
If you want a change of pace from the usual American pub food, Thai Home Restaurant is the perfect go-to for amazing Thai cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan-friendly options are a bonus!
True to Oregon’s eccentric vibe, Bunsenbrewer – a “science classroom” themed brewpub – not only has house and guest brews on tap but also provides entertainment — video games, board games, and a fully-equipped stage with instruments.
Glacier Haus Bistro (Government Camp): This highly recommended German restaurant is situated in Government Camp, central to all of the outdoor-activity hot spots. Plus, you really can’t beat fresh-caught salmon from the Columbia River!
Mi Famiglia (Oregon City):
Pizza, pasta, salad, and breadsticks – the best Italian in Clackamas County. Mi Famiglia is popular and can get very busy during evening hours, so we recommend you stop here for lunch or an early dinner.
Where to Stay in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory
Mt. Hood Tiny House Village
Fashioned after Portland’s newly famous Tiny House Hotel, the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village offers a comfortable stay in a trendy tiny home surrounded by the woodsy Mt. Hood environment. This is perfect for “glamping” or those looking for a unique alternative to standard hotel accommodations. Pets welcome!
If tiny houses are not your thing, there’s plenty of cabins available in the area as well.
The Lakeshore Inn
For a hotel with all your familiar amenities — plus a gorgeous lakeside view – the Lakeshore Inn on Lake Oswego is unbeatable. The rates are reasonably priced, and the inn is within walking distance to the local shops and cafes in downtown Lake Oswego.