Friday, Mar. 26, 2010

Mt. Hood National Forest

Majestic Mt. Hood is about 50 miles outside of Portland. Gaze eastward from the city on a clear day, and you can't miss it. The surrounding wilderness offers four ski areas as well as plenty of hiking, fishing and camping opportunities. Not extreme enough for a sporting fiend like you? Then consider climbing to the peak (elev. 11,249 ft.).

Whatever your activity of choice, be sure to stop by the Timberline Lodge, a must-see not only because it's where the movie The Shining was set (and who doesn't want to run around shouting, "Redrum, redrum?"), but also because its WPA-era design marries rugged frontier chic with Native American craft and is quite natty. If you have the time and the cash, an overnight stay here is recommended.

If you're heading to the mountain during winter months, you will likely need tire chains, which probably only about 1.5% of the population know how to install correctly. Instead, use public transportation such as the eco-friendly Grease Bus, which runs on vegetable oil, or the Sea to Summit shuttle.