This Swath of Northern Oregon is a Winter Playground

When temperatures turn cold, the region east of Portland offers numerous outdoor recreation opportunities.
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There are myriad reasons to visit Mt. Hood and the Hood River this winter.

Last summer’s Eagle Creek Fire left a devastated landscape along the Columbia River Gorge. As a result, many trails west of Hood River remain closed (check the U.S. Forest Service website for up-to-date information). But this region—including Hood River and nearby Mount Hood—still has much to offer the winter visitor.

Happy Trails
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers can spend the day discovering trails in the scenic Mount Hood National Forest; try the 4.8-mile loop Meadows Creek Tie Trail or the 5.4-mile in-and-out Tilly Jane Ski Trail (details and maps at the U.S. Forest Service website; search “Mount Hood Winter Sports”).

Cyclists and hikers will enjoy the car-free and scenic 9-mile route of the Mosier Twin Tunnels trail (start at the Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead near Hood River) with views of the Columbia River. For a different type of outdoor adventure, take a 4.5-mile self-guided art walk around the town of Hood River (grab a downloadable map or pick one up at the Hood River Chamber of Commerce, Hood River, 720 E Port Marina Drive). The tour features 21 sculptures by 18 artists, including a couple by Seattle folks: Matt Babcock’s “Equestrian” and Ken Hall’s “Pendant Cohencentric.” 

Party on the Mountain
The Mount Hood Meadows ski area (Mount Hood, 14040 Oregon Route 35; 503.337.2222) is celebrating its golden anniversary all season long with special deals and discounts, and a blowout party on January 27—the day the resort opened 50 years ago. Enjoy live band performances, snow games and the chance to win a golden ticket—a 50-year season’s pass—as well as the area’s 12 lifts and 85 named runs.

Rest and Refuel
Book a cozy room at the historic 1911 Hood River Hotel (Hood River, 102 Oak St.; 541.386.1900), and in the morning, dig into an order of æbleskiver (traditional Danish pancakes) at the hotel’s Scandinavian-inspired café, Broder Øst. Or enjoy an après-ski pint while warming your fingers and toes around the fire pit at Pfriem Family Brewers (Hood River, 707 Portway Ave., Suite 101; 541.321.0490), where a dozen or so beers are on tap. 

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