Even more spectacular, if that is possible, than Timberline Lodge, are the outdoor activities available in and around Mt. Hood and Government Camp.

Mt. Hood as seen from Trillium Lake

Mt. Hood as seen from Trillium Lake


Skiing Mt. Hood can be done year round (sometimes there isn’t enough snow and it does close), but the mountain receives, on average, 33′ of snow/year. As the snow pack recedes during the summer months, there might be a hike involved to get from the end of the run to the Lodge. But, if skiing is your passion, there’s nothing like expressing it on Mt. Hood.

Bruce getting suited-up to ski Mt. Hood.

Bruce getting suited-up to ski Mt. Hood.


There are two waterfalls in the Mt. Hood vicinity deserving of an “ohhhh-ahhh”: Umbrella Falls and Zig Zag Falls. In order to get the most out of your waterfall visit, contact Mt. Hood Adventure Tours. They are located in Government Camp in the Huckleberry Inn building (can’t miss it). You will be well cared for by any of the employees there. If possible, ask for Sarah as your guide. She is knowledgeable about the waterfalls, plants, conditions, history and making your visit the best ever. Did I mention “patient.” Sarah makes Job look like a squirm-worm.

Umbrella Falls:


ZigZag Falls:

Salmon River Trail #749

If there is run-off from Mt. Hood, Salmon River Trail will have a waterfall. Otherwise, the tree moss, river, and Sour Fern (you can eat this) are worth a visit. This trail is steep, rocky with above surface tree roots. You must be careful walking.


Kayaking or Paddle-Boarding on Trillium Lake

If you haven’t tried kayaking, book a tour with Mt. Hood Adventure Tours. They will provide everything you need plus deliver it to the lake and pick it up when you finish.  The Lake was formed by damning Mud Creek, a tributary of Salmon River. Calling the lake Mud Lake didn’t sound very inviting, so the lake was named Trillium (a beautiful wild flower native to the area) Lake.

Located only 7.5 miles south of Mt. Hood, just off Highway 26, the entrance is well-marked, roads are good and easily accessible. This is a popular camping and family play destination. Maintenance of the area is provided by the Mt. Hood National Forest Service. Trillium is not a large lake, only 65 acres. Motor craft are not allowed, which makes water activities serene. You hear  the splash of a paddle and the laughter of children.

The most amazing thing about Trillium Lake is the view of Mt. Hood across the lake. Bruce and I paddled our kayak to the middle of the lake, put the paddles down and just inhaled the beauty of this “made for a postcard” scene.


There are tons of fishing guides and shops in this area. Bruce and I stayed in Sandy, about a 40 minute drive on Hwy 26 to Mt. Hood. Each day we passed a sign that said:  Rainbow Trout Farm. I made some inquiries and sure enough, a person can fish on six ponds. Rods are available (or bring your own), you are given a cup of worms then pick a pond or ponds. You pay about $1/inch for the fish you catch. No “catch and release.”  If you don’t want the fish, you can donate them. Marti, owner with husband, Mike, will clean them and take care of providing the fish you don’t want to a worthy cause. I caught four fish, my total bill… $21.00.  Incredible fun for the buck! Check out the website:  www.rainbowtroutfarm.com or call 503-622-5223.

This is a perfect place for families. Kids and adults alike enjoy the fun of fishing.

Windsurfing and Kit-boarding:

The great Columbia is re-known for choppy water and strong winds, the formula for really good windsurfers. Bruce and I visited two areas along the river: Rowena and Mosier.

Kite-Boarding is jaw-dropping. Bruce and I stopped by in Mosier, Oregon to see some of the best perform.

First, they get the kite and cords ready. Next, a friend helps launch the kite. The rider holds the board under one arm and the handle to the kite in the other.

Kite-boarder getting the cords in order.

Kite-boarder getting the cords in order.

As the kite catches the wind, he runs to the water’s edge and somehow drops the board, and jumps on it while the kite rises into the air. Dangerous. Thrilling to watch.

Whatever your outdoor activity might be, the Mt. Hood area will meet your needs any time of year.

About the Author:

Sarah and Annie at Trillium Lake with Mt. Hood in background.

Sarah and Annie at Trillium Lake with Mt. Hood in background.


In 2010, Annie Coburn created FAB Senior Travel, a blog for mature and adventurous travelers. Her blog features travel articles from contributors as well as her own travels. Annie has published five travel books targeting the greatest cities on earth: Walk Paris, Walk Beijing, Walk London, Walk NYC, and Ellie’s Grand Adventure. She recently spent seven-months living and traveling in South America.

You are invited to subscribe:

Website: http:// www.fabseniortravel.com