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Snowshoeing up at Mt. Hood
Cosmic tubing at Mt Hood Skibowl
The past comes back to life
Couple lounging in a lovely rental cabin near Mt Hood
World of Speed museum host many classic cars

Mt Hood Territory Blog


Epic winter affords opportunity to explore Villages of Mt. Hood

Zigzag River winter

Zigzag River winter

The winter of 2016-17 is sure to go down in the record books as one of the most epic seasons in memory. As of this writing, Mt. Hood Skibowl is reporting as many as 77 inches of snow, while higher up on Mt. Hood, Timberline Lodge and Ski Area is boasting a healthy 130 inch base at the lodge. More is likely through the week, meaning the coming months will have plenty of time to take some turns. But what should you do once it’s time to come down from the slopes for some après ski? Take a short jog down the mountain a bit to find the Villages of Mt. Hood.

The Villages of Mt. Hood is comprised of the communities of Alder Creek, Brightwood, Rhododendron, Welches, Wemme and Zigzag. Each has it’s own options that are as charming as they are authentic. If you’re looking for something that is unique and allows you to “live like the locals” then this is where you want to explore.

Wraptitude in Welches is perfect for those looking for something beyond the standard burger. They offer a tremendous selection of wraps, from the traditional to the inventive. The Wemme Cheese Steak is dynamite and a go-to for me, while the Caprese gets rave reviews from friends as well.

Rendesvous Grill

Is that a burger or what? From

Nearby is another local favorite (and long-time choice for experienced mountain-goers) the Rendezvous Grill & Tap Room. Fondly called “The Vous” by regulars, Rendezvous has become a tradition for so many skiers. Their slogan of “serious food in a not so serious place” is spot on, as they have a killer menu and a laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for those looking to relax after a long day on the slopes.

For your daily coffee fix, check out Mt. Hood Roasters in Rhododendron. They have a dozen varieties to choose from, which combined with their dedication to high-quality beans and small-batch roasting techniques explains why they’re the only coffee company in the northwest published on the National Geographic Society Map Guide of places to visit.

Because pizza is as much a verb to me as it is a delicious, wonderful meal, I make it a habit to take note of local pizza joints. Al Forno Ferruzza in Rhododendron brings out the artistry in authentic, sicilian-style wood fired pizza. The margarita is divine, the puttanesca is outstanding and the contadino is a delicious choice for vegetarian pizza lovers. They even offer delivery, so if you’re in one of the areas beautiful vacation rentals or cabins, you can have one of the mountain’s most amazing pies brought right to you.

Head a little further down the road and you’ll find yourself in Zigzag, home to the Skyway Bar and Grill. This place is seriously some of the most amazing BBQ you will ever enjoy. And their “mac-n-cheese” is what enthusiasts of this particular dish dream about at night. What really makes this place popular, however, is their live music almost every weekend. They bring in some serious talent from around the country, making it a hot-spot, even on the cold winter evenings.

If you ski like I do, (poorly) you may find yourself in the need of some pampering. Head over to The Resort at The Mountain in Welches, where the trained hands at The Spa will sooth each knotted muscle, mend each strain and generally melt you into a puddle of relaxation that is ready to do it all again the next day.

There really is so much to explore in the Villages, from Little Zigzag Falls to the Wildwood Recreation Site along the Sandy River, the Villages are a jewel on Mt. Hood. You’ll find yourself spending your whole trip here. Be sure to let us know your favorite spot in the Villages of Mt. Hood in the comments below.


Jarrod Lyman

Jarrod Lyman has more than 12 years tourism experience. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht FacebookInstagramTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest accounts. His work has recently been recognized by the TTRA with the J. Desmond Slattery Professional Marketing Award.

Plan for vacation…in Mt. Hood Territory

skiing mt. hood

skiing mt. hood

Happy National Plan for Vacation Day!

What is this day, you ask? It’s a day to remind hardworking people such as yourself that doggone it, you deserve a break!

Why do you need a reminder? Because odds are you’re one of the millions of Americans who didn’t use vacation time you’ve got racked up. In fact, Americans lost 658 million vacation days last year alone. Just to bring that into starker clarity, that’s more than 1.8 million years, which is longer than humans have been around. So yeah, we lost out on a LOT of enriching and rewarding experiences last year. Time to take that back, and plan your vacation this year! May we suggest Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory? Here are a few ideas:

Get out and play!

Mt. Hood Territory is where people go to get out and play year-round, and this year will be an amazing year for snow sports lovers. We’re already home to the longest skis season in North America at Timberline Lodge. Thanks to a very active winter, we’re looking at some of the largest snow packs we’ve seen in years. Mt. Hood resorts also boast some of the largest packs in the country. That means this epic season will continue through the end of summer.

That awesome snow will fuel other popular activities as well. The rafting season  will be amazing as all that snow melts to fill the rivers. Same with the fishing. And the wildflower blooms this spring and summer should be simply stunning, all awesome excuses for you to use up that vacation time here.

Philip Foster Farm

Philip Foster Farm

Know your history

Mt. Hood Territory is the official end of the Oregon Trail; it’s where the pioneers completed their months-long journey to start a new life. We can help you really experience that history beyond the computer game so many of us grew up with. Museums and interpretive centers throughout the region tell the stories through interactive exhibits, docents dressed in period costumes and engaging activities that will inform as much as entertain.


cooking class

Cooking classes at the Kitchen at Middleground Farms

Farm fun

The same fertile soils that attracted the pioneers continues to bring people to Oregon to this day. Our farm loops offer a wide array of activities and attractions. Farmer’s markets, experiences with animals, wine tasting, farm-based cooking classes and dinners in the field are some excellent options to experience what the Willamette Valley region of Mt. Hood Territory has to offer. Seriously though, try the dinners in the field; the food is beyond amazing.

Book your stay

Of course no vacation is possible without the perfect lodging. It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid camper, or someone who’s idea of roughing it still includes a good latté, we’ve got your bases covered. So make the commitment to plan (and book) your vacation today! You’ve earned it, tell your boss we said so. She’ll understand.


Jarrod Lyman

Jarrod Lyman has more than 12 years tourism experience. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht FacebookInstagramTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest accounts. His work has recently been recognized by the TTRA with the J. Desmond Slattery Professional Marketing Award.

Spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart in Mt. Hood Territory

Photo Courtesy of Timberline Lodge


Photo Courtesy of Timberline Lodge

Photo Courtesy of Timberline Lodge

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to get your plans booked. Make sure that special someone knows just how much they mean to you with these great options in Mt. Hood Territory.

With Valentine’s Day falling on a weekday this year it can make planning a celebration tricky.  Luckily Mt. Hood Territory businesses are on top of it with specialty romantic dinner options throughout the area for night-of celebrations or options to turn it into a long weekend. From cooking classes to multi-course meals or overnight possibilities, you can bet your sweethearts’ taste buds will salivate.

If you prefer a more interactive experience you should try a cooking class taught by Jessica Hansen with The Kitchen at Middleground Farms.  There is a brunch class complete with champagne or a date night class focused on aphrodisiac foods like oysters, lamb, chocolate and red wine.  Want to include your kiddos?  Bring them to the family class where you can help teach your kids some skills in the kitchen and enjoy a loving meal together.

If you appreciate wine as much or more then the meal itself, you might prefer the Wine Dinner at St. Josef’s Winery where wines will be expertly paired with a multi-course meal by their famed chef. Indulge in champagne, appetizers and your favorite St. Josef’s wine while enjoying the atmosphere of the barrel room on Valentine’s night.

selfie-on-mt-hoodIf you want to head up to the mountain for the weekend, make sure you book your dinner reservation as well as your lodging.  Mt. Hood Vacation Rentals is running a special that offers an extra treat for booking your snowy mountain retreat. You will receive a bottle of Oregon wine and Godiva chocolates in your room from January 8 – March 31, 2017, if you book by January 13.

For dinner you can reserve a spot at the Sweet Heart Dinner at Still Creek Inn & Lodge. This romantic dinner prepared by Chef Brigette will feature prime rib and lobster tail as well as choices from their selection of German specialties for which they’re known.

If you want the trifecta, you should definitely hit Timberline Lodge for your overnight stay, skiing and Valentine’s Dinner.  This romantic multi-course meal from the award-winning Cascade Dining Room will feature incredible food, wine pairings and desserts, all while looking out the window to see the sparkling white mountain as the lights bounce off the slopes.

Whatever you end up choosing, you really can’t go wrong with Valentine’s Day in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, unless you don’t book now!

molly-side-tilt-resizedMolly Johnson is on the Marketing Team for Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory.  She assists the team with social media, web content, public relations, co-op advertising and marketing efforts.


Take it to the extreme with Mt. Hood Adventure

Cross country skiing Mt. Hood

Cross country skiing Mt. Hood

This winter is shaping up to be one of the most epic snow seasons on Mt. Hood in recent memory. Timberline Lodge is reporting more than 100 inches of snow as of the time of this writing, and Skibowl is showing anywhere from 53” to 67“. Conditions are perfect for some standard winter activities. Or perhaps you’re looking for something that’s a little more on the adventurous side? 

Enter Mt. Hood Adventure. These folks specialize in putting together any type of activity on Mt. Hood you can think of. Want to race along pristine, scenic trails through the Mt. Hood National Forest on a snowmobile? They do that. In fact they’re the only ones who do.

Snowmobiling in Mt. Hood National ForestLooking for Snowshoe excursions? Yup, they have all the equipment and guides with tours ranging from two, three or four hours. They even offer a moonlight tour that is a stunning experience that everyone should try at least once. 

Want to try your hand at cross-country skiing? It’s a great way to see some amazing winter beauty around Mt. Hood, and it’s yet another service provided by Mt. Hood Adventure. There are tours for all skill levels, with well-groomed trials and beautiful Mt. Hood views. If you’ve skied before and just need some equipment, you can forego the guide and rent the necessary skis from them as well.  

With all of these amazing activities to try, you’ll likely need a few days to fit it all in. Book the perfect hotel, vacation rental or bed and breakfast to round out what will definitely be an awesome trip. Be sure to take lots of photos, and share them using our #omht hashtag so we can follow along on the adventure. 

Jarrod LymanJarrod Lyman has more than 12 years tourism experience. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht FacebookInstagramTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest accounts. His work has recently been recognized by the TTRA with the J. Desmond Slattery Professional Marketing Award.

New distillery in Mt. Hood Territory

December 22, 2016 | Jarrod Lyman
First City Vodka

Trail Distilling Tasting Room


Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is known for its award-winning wineries and has also earned quite the reputation for its fast-growing craft beer scene. Now you can add something else to the mix as a new distillery is the first business of its type since prohibition was the rule in Clackamas County.

First City VodkaTrail Distilling in Oregon City bills itself as the first legal distillery in the first incorporated city west of the Mississippi River since prohibition made them illegal nearly 100 years ago. Trail Distilling takes a distinctly Oregonian approach to their spirits; using ingredients sourced from local farms when possible and thoughtfully crafted through each step of the process. The end results are their Trillium Gin and First City Vodka, both of which are outstanding examples of their particular drink.

The gin has a real aromatic quality, and you can definitely detect the 14 different botanicals that go into each batch. In case you need help identifying just what it is you taste, they have each of them on display and will freely talk about each ingredient that they carefully selected to create the best flavor profile. Trail Distilling’s vodka is perfect to sip alone or as part of a classic cocktail. It’s triple-filtered, creating a finish that is clean as it is smooth.

Just as much attention went into the creation of their tasting room as well. The design has a very industrial meets country-chic feel that looks like it would be right at home on any HGTV show. Not only can you sample their creations, the room is also available to rent as well. It makes a perfect spot for holiday parties and other gatherings. And of course, some great drinks can be had too. 

Despite just opening a few months ago Trail Distilling has other products in the works. The coming months will also see a rum and whiskey being added to the mix, rounding out a full selection of spirits. If you want to try them for yourself, the tasting room hours are Fridays from 12 – 7 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 – 6 pm. You can also call them at 503-479-0003 to make an appointment outside of those hours. 


Jarrod Lyman

Jarrod Lyman has more than 12 years tourism experience. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht FacebookInstagramTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest accounts. His work has recently been recognized by the TTRA with the J. Desmond Slattery Professional Marketing Award.

Two Mt. Hood Territory attractions earn top honors

December 14, 2016 | Jarrod Lyman
Dahlia Festival

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

A pair of attractions in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory earned top honors recently, being placed on a list of 100 best destinations in Oregon.

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and Swan Island Dahlias made the 100 Best Fan-Favorite Destinations in Oregon for 2017 list which was created by Portland-based MEDIAmerica. The firm is known for being the publishers of the Oregon Business magazine and the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey. The list was crafted by pouring over 22,000 reviews on popular websites such as Google, Trip Advisor and Yelp, with the best of the best determined by those that had overwhelmingly positive reviews from guests.

Dahlia FestivalSwan Island Dahlias is a beautiful farm in Canby. The largest grower of dahlias in America, the farm opens to the public for the annual Dahlia Festival each August. It’s a stunning display of a seemingly endless variety of dahlias, from cute pompoms to massive dinner plate types, and an entire rainbow’s worth of colors.

Located in Oregon City on the actual spot pioneers completed their months-long journey, the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center tells the story of how pioneers made the dangerous trek across the country to settle Oregon. The museum combines static exhibits with period-dressed docents and interactive learning opportunities to bring those stories to life and showcase the harsh realities of the families who made the perilous trip.

We’re proud of these two attractions and the many more in Mt. Hood Territory we think are among the best in the state if not the country. Visit our plan your trip page to craft the perfect itinerary to include these two activities and many more fun options.

Celebrate the New Year in style

Fireworks over skibowl

Timberline Lodge Fireworks

It’s hard to believe we are already saying goodbye to 2016 soon, it seems like it just got here. We want you to plan ahead to get the best start on 2017 with these fun events in Mt. Hood Territory.

Timberline Lodge is famous for their annual New Year’s event. The celebration starts with night skiing and snowboarding at 4 pm. Live music kicks off the celebration at 10 pm, and then an awesome fireworks display lights up the night to mark the coming of the new year.

The dinner they have planned for the evening sounds absolutely amazing. There are some delicious sounding dishes throughout the multi-course affair, each one making our mouths water. The alder smoked Prime Rib option for the main course really has us excited.

Fireworks over skibowlThe fireworks will also be flying at Mt. Hood Skibowl. In fact, Skibowl is celebrating 29 years of their famous fireworks display as well as the arrival of a new year. Cosmic Tubing will light up the tube hill, and a torchlight parade will illuminate the lower skibowl prior to the fireworks. Live DJs will be rocking the mountain, and food and drinks will be flowing at the Beerstube Bar and the Starlight Cafe. Across the way in Government Camp, the Ratskeller Lounge will also have food and drinks to help ring in the new year.

New Year’s is the perfect time to try something new, so this year book your stay in Mt. Hood Territory and celebrate the start of something special at our iconic celebrations.


Jarrod Lyman Jarrod Lyman has more than 12 years working in destination marketing. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht FacebookInstagramTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest accounts. His work has recently been recognized by the TTRA with the J. Desmond Slattery Professional Marketing Award.


The snow has arrived! Here’s where to get your snowplay on

Snowshoeing on Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge

Snowshoeing on Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge

Snow has arrived in Mt. Hood Territory, and quite a lot too. Timberline Lodge is reporting 73 inches of snow as of December 7. For those who, like me, don’t enjoy math, just know that’s more than 6 feet of powder at the lodge. Far more is waiting for skiers and snowboarders even higher up the mountain. So with all this white stuff covering Mt. Hood, you may be wondering how best to take advantage of all the wintry fun. If only you could find some options in convenient listicle format. Without further ado, here’s five ways to enjoy the snow in Mt. Hood Territory. Number three will make your jaw drop. Okay, not really, but they’re all really cool!

  1. Cosmic Tubing at Mt. Hood Skibowl

Cosmic Tubing has quickly become one of the hottest things on Mt. Hood, and for good reason. Could there be anything better than tubing down a mountain? Yes! Doing it to a rock and roll, laser light show. And better yet, you don’t have to walk back up the hill; Skibowl’s conveyor lift takes care of that part for you. New this year: Skibowl doubled their conveyor lifts by adding a second one to the tube hill. This gives you even more time doing the fun flying down the hill stuff with even less of the less-fun going back up. And, since Skibowl is America’s largest night-ski area, you can take to the slopes as well late into the night.

   2) Ski/snowboard lessons at Timberline Lodge and Ski Area

This is where the pros come to learn to ski or snowboard. Not a pro? No worries, we won’t tell. They can help even the most novice of beginners get the skills they need to confidently tackle Timberline’s famous runs. Considering that Timberline has the longest ski season in all of North America, you’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of all those new skills you just developed.


3) Sledding at Summit Ski Area

Summit Ski Area has been running since 1927, and they’re not out of breath yet. With that much time under their belt, you know they must be doing something right. Summit is known for being an ideal place for beginners to learn, plus the tube runs at Snowbunny are a blast.

4) Pretty much everything from Mt. Hood Adventure

We could populate an entire article with everything Mt. Hood Adventure offers winter action seekers. Snowmobiling? Check. Cross-country skiing? Yup. Snowshoeing? You betcha. Add in various equipment rentals and lessons, and you’ve got a whole winter’s worth of activities at your gloved fingertips.

5) Mountain biking with The Bike Concierge (seriously)

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to give up cycling. Check out the Fat Tire bikes through The Bike Concierge, and let them create a snowy ride for you on Mt. Hood that’s tailor-made for your ability and adrenaline seeking needs. These bikes are quickly becoming all the rage on the mountain, and one trip will show you why.


Of course you can’t do all these awesome things in one day. Why not stay a while and make a whole week of the awesome winter time adventures we have to offer in Mt. Hood Territory?


Jarrod LymanJarrod Lyman has more than 12 years tourism experience. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht FacebookInstagramTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest accounts. His work has recently been recognized by the TTRA with the J. Desmond Slattery Professional Marketing Award.


“Shopportunities” in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory

December 7, 2016 | Jarrod Lyman
Shopping Lake Oswego

Shopping Lake Oswego

With the Christmas shopping season officially here, people are looking for options for a variety of gifts. Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is home to great shopping options, from full-blown malls with all the big names, to local shops featuring unique gift items when you want something special.

The Favorite 5 Farms country tour is a great place to start shopping for just about any member of the family. This collection of farms in the Wilsonville area offers all sorts of amazing gift ideas. From custom jewelry at Pure Pizazz for someone who enjoys the finer things in life, to cool truck, tractor and other farm toys for kids at Haider Farm Store, shabby chic decor from Farm Vintage, a stunning pair of cowboy boots from Tollen Farm or quality, organic ingredients for the home chef in your life from Our Table, it’s safe to say you can get a lot of names crossed off that Christmas list from Favorite 5 Farms.

For the true Christmas lover in your life, you’ll want to shop at Christmas at the Zoo in Oregon City. It’s Christmas year-round at this charming shop located in Oregon City’s mainstreet district, and the options for unique, hand-crafted ornaments is seemingly endless. Dozens of Christmas trees are set up with beautiful ornaments, many of which can be found only in this very store. They also have a great selection of plush animals, with better wildlife diversity than some zoos I’ve been too. Oh wait, I think I just figured out the name.

For a truly fun and “retro” shopping experience, head over to Milwaukie’s Main Street Collectors Mall & Soda Fountain. Located in downtown Milwaukie, this eclectic shop hearkens back to yesteryear with it’s soda shop. But the real fun comes in its many collectible gifts. From Legos to GI Joe, Star Wars and Star Trek and many others, there’s a huge selection of gifts for the geek or collector in your life. I’m hinting here people, just in case anyone is looking for something for me.

Nearby is another perfect option for unique gifts, Molly Muriel Apothecary. Handmade soaps, essential oils and beneficial herbs make ideal gifts for that person on your life who loves to live natural. An even better gift would be to sign them up for classes where they can learn to make many of these natural products themselves. Teach a person to fish and all…

For a more traditional shopping experience, head to downtown Lake Oswego. You’ll find storefronts of all types, delicious eateries and public art displays that will have you wanting to make a whole day of your shopping visit. Lake View Village is a particularly scenic stroll, reminiscent of an old town square, with a tremendous selection of stores and restaurants, all on the water’s edge.

If you’re more the mall type, we’ve got you covered there. Clackamas Town Center has everything a mall should: name-brand stores mixed with unique local shops conveniently located right off of Interstate 205.

If all of these options aren’t quite enough to get you excited for Christmas shopping, remember that it’s  completely tax-free. With all those savings, perhaps you can get yourself a little something special as well. Better yet, grab some friends and make a whole weekend of it.


Jarrod LymanJarrod Lyman has more than 12 years tourism experience. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht FacebookInstagramTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest accounts. His work has recently been recognized by the TTRA with the J. Desmond Slattery Professional Marketing Award.


Hotel renovation roundup

Crowne Plaza Lake Oswego

Crowne Plaza Lake Oswego

Hotel Renovation Roundup

Mt. Hood Territory hotels take care of all your creature comforts, at any price level, and they are looking better than ever with these recent renovations.

Cortyard by MariottCourtyard by Marriott Portland Southeast in Clackamas completed a multi-million dollar renovation this past April. The entire hotel was updated – from the lobby to all guest rooms and meeting spaces. The highlight of their newly-renovated lobby experience is The Bistro – guests’ source for healthy food and beverages offering breakfast, dinner and room service, as well as a full-service bar. Just off of I-205 and 13 miles from Portland International Airport, Courtyard Portland Southeast offers superb convenience. And being one mile from Clackamas Town Center’s expansive tax-free shopping also makes it the perfect destination for retail therapy.

The Crowne Plaza Portland-Lake Oswego underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation and celebrated with a reopening party on October 13. They have enhanced the guest experience in all areas of the hotel, including the meeting rooms, pool and fitness center, all guest rooms (including new walk-in showers in all king rooms), restaurant, atrium lounge and lobby. This convenient location offers easy access to top Oregon destinations from Mt. Hood to Willamette Valley and even offers a complimentary shuttle service within a five-mile radius from 8a-10p.

The Best Western Plus Rivershore Hotel in historic Oregon City is also making improvements. An Oregon City staple for over 40 years, Rivershore is excited to unveil their new siding project with completion in winter 2016. Along with the exterior, they have made upgrades to the Rivershore Restaurant, as well as the spa, pool, corridors and guest rooms. Rivershore is the perfect place to stay and experience Oregon City’s happening Main Street and burgeoning craft beverage scene (four wineries and four breweries), as well as cycling with The Bike Concierge, paddle trips with eNRG Kayaking to Willamette Falls, the 2nd largest waterfall by volume in the U.S., fishing, experiencing the rich history of the area (official end of the Oregon Trail) and more.


Annie Austin Mt. Hood TerritoryAfter nearly a decade in broadcast media, Annie Austin packed her bags and moved to tourism, earning US Travel Association and PR News kudos for her PR and social media expertise. This native Oregonian relishes the hunt for hidden gems, hideaways and cute goats.