There's a whole host of reasons to make the journey to Mt. Hood without a car. You can save yourself a lot of money. You don't have to worry about driving in winter weather. Plus you can just relax instead of worrying about the road while a pro does the work for you. We think that the most compelling reason, however, is to help lower your carbon footprint.
We're thrilled that an increasing number of people are concerned with recreating responsibly these days — using refillable water bottles instead of single-use plastic, staying on the trail when out on a hike and following "leave no trace" principles. Transportation is another aspect of being a good steward to consider while exploring. Thanks to public transit options, visitors can make it from anywhere in Portland or the Portland International Airport to Mt. Hood without having to step foot in a single car.
Between TriMet and the MAX line, Sandy Area Metro (SAM) and the Mt. Hood Express, visitors can stop at or within walking distance of many of the popular attractions between Sandy and Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. The best part is you're helping sustainability efforts by lessening environmental impacts. Taking a car requires about 30 trees pumping out oxygen for a year to offset the trip. Taking the bus takes only nine, giving a lot of trees a well-earned break. Just think of how quickly those numbers add up. If just 1,000 more people opted for car-free, that would be 21,000 trees whose oxygen output is actually improving things, not just trying to break even.
Once out exploring, there are even more steps you can follow to "Take Care Out There." Prepare before you go. Know where you're going, check area conditions, ensure you have all needed supplies and let someone know your plans, including your destination and when you plan on returning.
Once on the trail, know your limits and don't push yourself too hard. Nothing ruins a good trip like an injury. Be sure to take only pictures of the wildlife you see out there, so using a zoom lens is much preferable to a cell phone to get that close-up shot. Remember, most animals aren't as eager to get on your social feed as your friends are. Finally, remember to take nothing with you but what you brought, including your trash.
Perhaps most importantly, really immerse yourself in our authentic offerings. Shopping at local small businesses keeps more money in the communities you're visiting, so you can make a real positive impact on those places. Enjoy a delicious bite or a cold brew, get to know someone from the area and perhaps find that secret spot that's a hidden gem. There are some great options to learn about the history and culture of the region, and they're also right near bus stops.
The only thing better for the soul than a well-earned vacation, is doing so with a 100% clear conscience. And going car-free in Mt. Hood Territory is the best way to accomplish just that.