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A week in Oregon (Part 3): Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge

A week in Oregon (Part 3): Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge
A week in Oregon (Part 3): Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge

After running the Portland Marathon, I spent a week in Oregon exploring, eating, and hiking.

Missed part 1? Read it here: exploring Portland and running the Portland Marathon.

Missed part 2? Read it here: hiking in Columbia River Gorge and driving Historic Highway.

Mount Hood Timberline Trail

Mount Hood Highway

Walking around two volcanoes on day 4 just wasn’t enough! Day 5 brought even more. Who knew there were so many volcanoes in Oregon.

We made the 1.5 hour drive to Mount Hood, a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. Mount Hood is also Oregon’s highest mountain at 11,249 ft tall.

Jam Cafe

Breakfast at Jam on Hawthorne (2239 SE Hawthorne Boulevard)

The continental breakfast at our hotel was a little lacklustre so we checked out Jam, a local breakfast place in Southeast Portland before hitting the road. I loved it! They of course had delicious homemade jam as well as plenty of seating, tasty bottomless coffee, and hearty food.

Jam Cafe

Drive loop along scenic byway: Jonsrud Viewpoint

Oregon has a lot of scenic byways. Apparently some of these are loops versus alternative ways to get to a destination. At least that is what we learned during this trip! This experience may or may not have led us to google: does byway mean loop (no it does not).

While driving along the Mount Hood Scenic Byway to Jonsrud Viewpoint and looping back to our starting point may have added an extra hour to our journey, we were treated to stunning countryside views. We drove through many thick patches of forest, which really felt magical with the sun streaming through, forest everywhere, and no other cars on the road.

Stop in Dodge Park

This was more an accidental stop than anything (we turned too early and ended up in the park parking lot) but it was a lovely place to stop, stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and admire the river and mountain views.

Drive through Mount Hood National Forest to top of mountain

It is a steady climb up to the top of Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge (our final destination). The forest itself is huge (over 1 million acres in size) and is one of the most-visited National Forests in the United States. We stopped halfway up the mountain to take some pictures of course!

Timberline Lodge

Lunch at Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge is on the south side of Mount Hood and stands at 6000 ft elevation. As you can imagine, it took a little while to drive up there. The lodge is a National Historic Landmark and famously served as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. The lodge is quirky and a bit strange to say the least! We ended up having lunch at the buffet, along with many other seniors. The food was pretty tasty and the desserts were the best part.

Timberline Lodge Buffet

Hiking from Timberline Lodge along Timberline Trail and Pacific Crest Trail

Fuelled up from the lunch buffet, we did a 2.5 hour hike from Timberline Lodge along the Timberline Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.

Pacific Crest Trail

The hike took us through several massive canyons, meadows, and forested sections. We planned to stop at the “zigzag overlook” (according to this trail map) but weren’t entirely sure where it was. We continued on for awhile until we ran into someone who had been hiking for hours and decided it was a good time to turn back!

Beginning a hike at such high elevation led to incredible views of the forest and lakes down below and stunning alpine scenery. We really lucked out with a beautiful day and clear skies.

Mount Hood Timberline Trail

Dinner at Verde Cocina (524 NW 14th Avenue) 

In the mood for something a little different for dinner, we opted for Mexican food at the entirely gluten-free restaurant Verde Cocina. Dinner was really good, the food fresh and flavourful, and the portions were huge! Perfect after another busy day of adventure.

Mount Hood

Have you stayed at a creepy hotel before? What is one of the favourite hikes you have done? What’s next on your travel bucket list? 


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