Mountain Resort in Mt. Hood National Forest
About 150 years ago, a US Army regiment looking for a shortcut through Mount Hood encountered heavy snows that forced them to abandon their wagons and supplies. The left-behind provisions led later arrivals to dub the area “Government Camp.” Today, that name is still in use.
Set on 28 acres in Mt. Hood National Forest, Grand Lodges at Collins Lake Resort is crisscrossed by a vast network of hiking and biking trails. Skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, rafting, fishing, and golfing are all available nearby, and offer stunning views of Mt. Hood and the slopes of Mt. Hood Skibowl. Benches and picnic areas line the pathways, which meander through the dense forest surrounding Collins Lake. At the center of the resort lies the clubhouse; it’s equipped with a sauna and a jetted whirlpool. There’s also a year-round heated pool whose water remains a toasty 86 degrees.
Dining options abound at the resort. Among the eight nearby restaurants and cafés, Ratskeller Alpine Bar & Pizzeria stands out for its specialty pizzas, microbrews, and live music. It’s a family-friendly spot until 10 p.m., when the over-21 crowd is finally free to debate geopolitical currency crises.
Furnished private balconies in Grand Lodge condos offer scenic views of the mountains. Each two- or three-bedroom unit is individually decorated with rustic elements such as wildlife-themed artwork and a stone fireplace in the spacious great room.
Mount Hood, Oregon: Forest Hikes, Trout Streams, and Ski Trails on Volcanic Peak
Located about 90 miles east of Portland, Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon, reaching an elevation of more than 11,000 feet. Technically, it’s also an active volcano—though it hasn’t shown any real geothermal activity for more than 100 years. It’s the towering centerpiece of Mt. Hood National Forest, which stretches across more than 1 million acres of forested mountains and lakes. Before snowfall, visitors come to pick berries, go fishing on Mirror Lake, and hike along some of Oregon’s best trails. The 1-mile trek to Buried Forest Overlook culminates in a dramatic view of White River Canyon, a woodsy spot that was buried in ash and mud during one of Mount Hood’s long-ago eruptions.
Though winter is the mountain’s most popular ski season, the slopes at Timberline Lodge and Ski Area often stay snowy through Labor Day, making it the only resort in North America to offer year-round skiing. Across the mountain, you’ll find several miles of cross-country and downhill trails as well as one of the country’s largest nighttime ski areas at the Mt. Hood Skibowl.