On our travels South along the West coast we spend about a month in Washington before we entered Oregon. Mount Rainier (YouTube) was our favorite hike possibly on our entire trip so far. Everything had been perfect for us, the weather, the time of year, we saw animals, found blueberries and most of all enjoyed that amazing scenery.
Of course we wanted more like that but we knew Mount Rainier was going to be hard to beat. Mount Hood was close to the Washington Oregon border so we decided to stop and see what hikes were available for us. Dogs are unfortunately not allowed in the Mount Hood National Park area and we did not want to leave anyone behind because of her. So we decided to hike outside of the park where we could take Freya, our beautiful boxer. Mirror Lake Trail seemed to be perfect for our family. Its a loop around a lake with Mount Hood mirroring in it. It started near a skiing area with parking 5$ per vehicle.
We were boondocking a few miles from the entrance. there were probably 15 campers in the strip off the main road, but everyone had plenty of privacy.
there was a Thousand Trails RV park nearby but we had just left one in Washington state and could not get into the next one for about 5 days or so.
We wanted to stay only for a few days anyway so boondocking was perfect for us.
Mount Hood is one of about a dozen of volcanoes in the Cascade mountain range. It has not been active for a while and is a popular destination with close proximity to Portland.
On the day of our hike we had breakfast, packed a few snacks and some water and headed to the trail head. The ski resort is right by the trailhead and you can see the lifts and the slopes.
We headed up towards the lake on a 2 mile trail with an elevation of about 460 feet. There were a lot of switchbacks mostly through the forest so there were not many view points but streams and bridges made the hike interesting enough.
Once we arrived we walked around the lake and sat down to stick our feet in the water. It was a beautiful sunny day and the kids had fun splashing in the crystal clear water. I explored the area and discovered a few primitive campsites. It must be pretty quiet up there at night.
The view of Mount Hood was very pretty, too.
After the children had spent enough time in the lake we headed back down got on our way back to the camper. We drove past a sign for Timberline Lodge so I had to stop there and have a look. Timberline Lodge is also known as Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrik’s “The Shining”.
We parked the car and I went into the hotel to have a look. You are able to walk around the ground floor and there were a few exhibits. The axe or a axe with ‘here’s johnny’ written on it was one of them.
Theodor Roosevelt stayed there with his wife as well and is remembered.
Most of the movie however had been filmed inside a studio so the inside of the hotel did not look much like in the movie.
The skiing area at Mount Hood has the longest season in the continental US. It is open year round as long as there is snow.
We headed back to our camper and left after a few days.
Mount Hood is well worth visiting, our hike may not have been as memorable as the one on Mount Rainier but it is a great place to spend time in the outdoors. definitely go visit if you’re in the area.