Take a Family Vacation to Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

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At 11,245 feet tall, Mount Hood reigns supreme as Oregon’s loftiest peak. The stunning summit overlooks the Columbia River Gorge; a glorious region with numerous family adventures to offer. Families may indulge in year-round skiing and snowboarding at Timberline Ski Area, the only ski area in the country that is open all 12 months of the year! Additionally, kids will enjoy apple and pear picking at Mount Hood Organic Farms in the fall, skiing or snowboarding and snowtubing at SkiBowl in the winter, and an abundance of spring and summer excursions like hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding, white-water rafting, and mountain biking. The array of activities families may experience together is sure to inspire you to check out this invigorating setting.

Go: Year-round for all different types of adventures, varying by season.

Approximate travel time: Mount Hood is 50 miles east of Portland, so approximately 1-1.5 hours.

Possible lunch spots: Celilo offers a sophisticated gourmet menu that is also affordable and kid-friendly. Many regard the restaurant as a destination in and of itself in Hood River.

How to dress: Weather appropriate depending on season and activities of choice.

Need to know: Take a 35 mile-long scenic drive along Oregon’s ‘Fruit Loop’ which includes over 15,000 acres of fruit trees. Stop at farms and roadside stands along the way to indulge in fruit picking and tasty treats.

Bonus: Parents who are movie buffs will enjoy beholding The Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, as this location provided the exterior backdrop for the film, “The Shining.”

Cost of trip: Moderate

Online: Mount Hood/The Gorge

—Beth Shea