Description - Mount Hood serves as one of the most popular recreation areas in the Pacific Northwest. Mount Hood is the tallest of Oregon's Cascade peaks and rises to 11,239 feet above the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Run-off from its volcanic slopes enriches soil in the valleys below, which are famous for their production of pears, peaches, cherries, apricots and apples. One of the largest concentrations of high waterfalls in the nation spills forth from the cliffs and ledges of the Columbia River River Gorge to create the nation's only national scenic area.
- There are over 20 State Park sites in this region, most located near Interstate 84 and the Columbia River Gorge. Many of these parks feature waterfalls and other natural scenic and recreational attractions. Ainsworth State Park features waterfalls, trails and a campground. Ainsworth includes St. Peter's Dome, a majestic basalt monolith rising 2,000 feet above the Columbia River. Visitors to the Columbia Gorge should be sure to visit Bridal Veil Falls and Bridal Veil Falls State Park. John B Yeon Scenic Corridor is a hiker's paradise with a gentle rising trail that permits access to two of the most beautiful and secluded waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge: (lower) Elowah Falls and (upper) McCord Creek falls.
To the south of the Columbia River Gorge, lies Mt. Hood and the Mt. Hood National Forest. The Mt. Hood National Forest stretches across more than sixty miles of forested mountains, lakes and streams to Olallie Scenic Area, a high lake basin under the slopes of Mt. Jefferson.
Mt. Hood offers the only year-round skiing in North America. There are many types of skiing available on the mountain, including downhill, cross-country and snowboarding. The mountain offers three major ski areas and 26 lifts. Several cross-country ski trails and off-road hikes follow the Oregon Trail in this area. The Barlow Trail, named after Oregon pioneer Sam Barlow, winds between Government Camp and Trillium Lake.
Recreation - This popular and scenic area offers a wide range of summer and winter recreation areas. The most popular activities include hiking, viewing scenery, fishing, camping, mountain climbing, kayaking, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing.
Climate - Climate in this region changes drastically with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as heavy snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures are normally cool at the lower elevations and cold at the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent and does not stay on the ground for long. Late spring, summer and early autumn bring the best chance for clear, sunny days and bring moderate temperatures.
This region is located in northwest Oregon, just east of Portland. The Columbia River forms the northern boundary of the region, with Mt. Hood rising just to the south. Interstate 84, US Highway 26 and State Highway 35 provide the primary access through the region.