Any chance I get, I leave town. It’s not that I don’t love my city, it’s that I need to get away to explore, learn, and grow as a person. I believe that traveling does wonders for people. It’s a time that we can break away from our every day routines and open our eyes to the world. Southwest announced in April that will now have a direct flight to Portland and I knew instantly that I had to take advantage of it. I had never been to Oregon so this was the perfect opportunity for me to explore the surrounding area.
For our trip, we focused on Oregon’s Mt Hood Territory and had the greatest time! We stayed for about 4-5 days and conquered most of the area but there is still so much I want to see so another trip is in the works. We did everything from hiking to bike tours to playing with alpacas. The Mt. Hood area truly had something for everybody, no matter what age. This isn’t the complete list of things we did, but I wanted to share with you some Fun Things to do while visiting Mt. Hood.
Tour Oregon Wine Country. There are tons of different wineries in the Willamette Valley. You’ll find vineyards and farms, tended by families who are passionate about growing the best wine grapes and freshest foods. Don’t miss out on a glass of Pinot Noir, Oregon makes the best! We visited wineries as possible during our trip. One that we loved was AlexEli. They were extremely nice and made us feel right at home.
(Read More: Venture through AlexEli Vineyard and Winery)
Play with Alpacas. Yes, you read that correctly. When I visited Oregon’s Mt. HoodTerritory, we stopped by Marquam Hill Ranch which houses almost 100 alpacas. It might be completely random, but it was so much fun. The employees at the ranch treated me as if I were family. They let me hold and pet the alpacas while teaching me an abundance of things I didn’t know about. Fun fact – alpacas are pregnant for 11.5 months! Can you imagine?
(Read more: Play with Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch)
Hike to Mirror Lake. I’m not an experienced hiker but I couldn’t wait to go hiking. Our first real hike was to Mirror Lake. It wasn’t a super easy hike but it wasn’t too difficult that even the amateur was able to complete. There were a couple times that I wanted to throw in the towel, mainly because I wasn’t keeping track of how much farther that we had to go but all I could think about was how amazing the view was going to be. I couldn’t be happier that I stuck through it because the view was more than worth the struggles of the hike. I was hoping to see Mt Hood, but the day that we chose was a bit cloudy. Regardless, it was absolutely beautiful. We spent almost more time walking around Mirror Lake than we did hiking to it! Bonus – the hike down is super easy! 🙂
Read more: Things to Know Before Hiking to Mirror Lake.
Visit the Historic Timberline Lodge. I’m embarrassed to say that we thought about not going to Timberline Lodge during our visit. It was on our itinerary of things to do but the weather wasn’t awesome so we contemplated not going. We stopped by the Mt. Hood visitors center to get a parking pass for our hike and the lady working told us that Timberline Lodge is a must see. We took her word and drove up the mountain for a visit. It was amazing. The craftsmanship or the lodge and the amount of history is incredible. Fun Fact – Timberline Lodge is featured in the Shining!
Read more: Explore Timberline Lodge
Love beer? You’re in luck. The Mt. Hood Territory has more breweries than I could count. It seems like each city had a handful and we couldn’t get enough. A reoccurring theme that I noticed was freshness. Almost everywhere we ate offered farm to table options and it was such a nice treat. What surprised me the most was that most of the breweries were just as healthy. Some only offered beer while others had a few menu. It was great to try the amazing brews with food that compliments the flavor. I’m not sure if I should feel embarrassed or proud that we tasted over 20 beers in our few days in Mt. Hood.
After hearing about the amazing scenery in Mt Hood, I quickly became obsessed with waterfalls. Since we don’t have random waterfalls on the side of the road in Dallas, I wanted to see as many waterfalls as possible. To my amazement, there really were waterfalls on the side of the road. I counted a handful on our way up to Timberline Lodge. Although I loved seeing those waterfalls (I pulled over and took tons of pictures of them), I wanted to see a big waterfall an up close. I know they aren’t the safest, but I think they’re amazing. I got as up close as I could on a kayak! We booked a kayaking trip and kayaked to Willamette Falls! Our trip was about an hour a half long, the perfect amount of time for us to get down the river and view the waterfall without it being a hard kayak. This is a highly recommended activity while in the area. There isn’t another really good view of Willamette Falls anywhere else so this is a must!
Read more: Kayak to Willamette Falls
Our short week was so much fun, I couldn’t get enough. My sister swears people live forever in Oregon because of their slower lifestyle, the fresh air and how healthy they eat. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone we talked to seemed so content and happy with their life. It was slow paced compared to Dallas and so relaxing. I can’t remember the last time I truly relaxed before visiting Mt Hood. Take advantage of the direct flight and jump on the next flight available! You won’t be disappointed!
Still looking for things to do in Mt. Hood? Find more below!