Secluded Lodge in Mt. Hood National Forest
Oregon’s highest peak, the conical Mount Hood, has risen over several millennia through hardened layers of volcanic lava and ash. The region's native Multnomah people called it "Wy'east," in reference to the fiery son of the mythical Great Spirit Sahale. As the legend goes, Sahale turned Wy’east and his brother Pahto into mountains after the two fought over the same woman. Pahto became Mount Adams in present-day southern Washington and Wy'east became Mount Hood. You can see both of these stratovolcanoes from Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, a secluded lodge hidden among the pines and firs of the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Though located only a 90-minute drive from Portland, the lodge feels completely removed from city life. Nature is present on all sides, and the peeled-log façades of the cabins and condos blend seamlessly into the mountain scenery. On each lodging's ground floor, you'll find two bedrooms, a full bath, a dining nook, and a kitchenette outfitted with a stove and refrigerator. The upstairs loft has four twin beds and a half bath, making the cabins and condos an ideal option for large groups. In the main lodge, there are six hotel rooms, each featuring private baths and satellite TV.
The main lodge also houses the Cooper Spur Restaurant, which uses produce from local Hood River Valley farms and orchards. Typical entrees include marinated flank steak ($20) and fettucine primavera ($15). The nearby Expedition Lounge is a good place to unwind with a selection of Pacific Northwest beers and wines. The lounge's decor evokes the spirit of early-day pioneers through historical photographs and textual descriptions of their journeys.
Mount Hood, Oregon: Forest Hikes, Trout Streams, and Ski Trails on Volcanic Peak
Located about 90 miles east of Portland in northern Oregon, Mount Hood is technically an active volcano, though it hasn't shown any real geothermal activity for more than 100 years. Still, it’s the towering centerpiece of Mt. Hood National Forest, which encompasses more than one million acres of forested mountains and lakes. During warmer seasons, visitors come to pick berries, fish, and hike along some of Oregon’s best trails. The 1-mile hike to Buried Forest Overlook reveals a dramatic vista of White River Canyon, a forested area that was buried by ash and mud during one of Mount Hood’s eruptions centuries ago.
Though winter is the mountain’s most popular ski season, the Timberline Ski Area often sports snow-covered slopes 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 trails and a handful of distinct downhill areas, including one of the country's largest nighttime ski areas at the Mt. Hood Skibowl.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.