Mount Hood, OR, USA (Mountain)

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Mount Hood, OR, USA (Mountain)

Find the best place to stay — Mount Hood

With this vacation, the numbers don't lie

At more than a million acres, and spanning upwards of 60 miles between the Columbia River Gorge and Olallie Scenic area, Mount Hood National Forest is the daddy of Pacific North West playgrounds. Snowy mountains, crystal lakes, and deep forests make it a show-stopper in the scenery department, while the range of outdoor activities on offer is genuinely second to none. Travel over land, water or snow; on 2 wheels, 4 wheels, or no wheels; with gun or rod; on skis or horseback. A Mount Hood National Forest vacation rental is all things to all (outdoor) folks.

Mount Hood, where every season is ski season

Fire up your engine for a scenic drive, or lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. A Mount Hood Vacation rental's got you covered. Hunters and fishermen have a whole Noah's Ark of furred, feathered and finned quarry to choose from, while the winter sports gang have an extra special treat in store. On the slopes of Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge ski area is one of the oldest in the state, and the fact that part of it crosses the Palmer Glacier makes it the only ski area in the U.S. where you can zip down the mountain in the height of summer.

Turn up the temperature on your Mount Hood vacation

Every day's a school day with a Mount Hood National Forest vacation rental. There's a full program of guided ranger hikes in the forest, plus self-guided trails to help you sneak up on nature by yourself. To get a real flavor of the area, make a beeline for Timberline Lodge. Built in the 1930s, this mountain hub offers up information displays and activities. And to soak away your aches and pains after all that outdoor activity, why not hit up Bagby Hot Springs? Down by the Collawash River, it's got straightforward soaking tubs full of soothing hot mineral water.

Whatever the weather, it's all good in Mount Hood

Mount Hood National Forest is a park for all seasons. Sunny summers are the perfect time for hiking and water activities like kayaking and rafting, while big dumps of the white stuff in the winters will delight the snow sports crowd. Fall in the forest can be among the most photogenic seasons, though don't be surprised if you start seeing snow as early as October, particularly higher up. Of course, being such a mountainous region, the weather can be unpredictable, and when it does switch around unexpectedly, the extremes tend to be more dramatic.

Just don't blow your top when you read this

At the heart of the forest, Mount Hood itself is actually a volcano. Fortunately, it's dormant, so your chances of racing lava down the ski slopes, Hollywood-style, are pretty slim. It's also the highest point in Oregon, and one of the loftiest peaks in the whole of the Cascades, with no less than 12 glaciers on board. The vast national forest surrounding it is made up of lakes, mountains, and rivers, and the diversity of plants and fungi make it popular with foragers and mushroom pickers. Wildlife celebrities, meanwhile, include elk, black bear, and wolverine.