One of the first things we saw as we exited the interstate when we arrived in the Portland area was Mount Hood off in the distance. Mount Hood is located about 45 miles east of Portland and only about 30 or 35 miles east of where we were staying in Barton Park. We saw Mount Hood from the Japanese Garden and caught glimpses of it just about every time we headed back to the campground.
At a height of 11,249 feet, Mount Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon and the fourth highest mountain in the Cascade Range. Mount Hood is a dormant volcano, and the last eruption was in 1907.
We decided to take a closer look at Mount Hood, so we drove to Trillium Lake located a few miles south of Mount Hood. The photo below is looking across Trillium Lake toward Mount Hood.
Trillium Lake is a man-made lake that is popular for fishing. In winter, the area is used for Nordic skiing.
The area of the lake used to be part of the Barlow Road, which was part of the Oregon Trail in later days. Barlow Road was a log toll road across the marshes that were in this area.
On the road to Trillium Lake, we saw numerous tall, white flowers that looked like snowballs called bear grass. The leaves look like clumps of grass, but bear grass is actually in the lily family. The photo below shows bear grass in bloom.
From Trillium Lake, we drove up the south face of Mount Hood to Timberline Lodge, which is one of only a few year-round skiing locations in the United States. On the way up to the ski area, we got great views of the peak.
The next photo is a little closer shot taken from the entrance to the parking area. The ski area and ski lift are to the left side of the mountain.
The lodge itself sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet. The lodge was built from 1936 to 1938 as a WPA project during the Depression. The lodge sits just below Palmer Glacier, which is one of Mount Hood's twelve named glaciers.
The parking area was filled with skiers. Some, like the one in the photo below, were clomping across the parking lot in their ski boots.
Others were carrying the skis and wearing flip-flops.
We sat and watched the skiers come down the hill for a while...
...then we headed back down the mountain. On the way down, we had good views of Mount Jefferson about 45 miles to the south. Mount Jefferson is 10,497 feet high and is yet another volcano in the Cascade Range. We pulled off for a photo.
From the same pull-off, we could also see Trillium Lake where we stopped earlier.
From Mount Hood, we headed back to the motor home and chilled out the rest of the afternoon. Stay tuned for our next adventure.