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Mt. Hood Scenic Byway

Basics
Location:
Around the base of Mt. Hood in central-northern Oregon
Surface:
Paved
Length:
105 miles (169 km)
Time:
3 hours to drive or 8 hours to experience the Byway.
Season:
Drivable year round

Description

Mt. Hood Scenic Byway makes its way around Mt. Hood, Oregon's tallest peak and largest glacier. Travel to the banks of the Columbia River Gorge through temperate rainforest, densely filled with life and luxurious views of the mountain.

The Mt. Hood Scenic Byway begins in Troutdale, 16 miles east of Portland. Drive along HWY 35 for the entire drive until finishing in Hood River.

The scenery and the recreation change dramatically throughout the drive, from shady old growth forests to wild rivers and rocky slopes. The area is full of vineyards, orchards, flower nurseries, and small family farms. Stop at any local farm stand or shop to get a taste of what the region can offer. The Timberline Lodge is located on the slopes of Mt. Hood and is a great place to access many hikes and summer or winter skiing on the glacier. One more must see along the way is Hood River, one of the world's top windsurfing destinations.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Barlow Pass/Pioneer Woman's Grave (OR)

In 1845, Sam Barlow built the Barlow Road as an overland route around Mt. Hood as an alternative to the Columbia River rapids. Interpretive sign gives an account of the trek the pioneers encountered. The Barlow hiking trail continues along the emigrant route, descending a hill one mile to the Pioneer Woman's Grave, a memorial gravesite to all those who lost their lives enroute. The grave was discovered in 1924 by a survey crew. Along the trail wagon rut traces can be seen.

Directions

Follow signs to the Pioneer Woman's Grave on FS Road 3531 turning right off Hwy 35.

Jesse and Winifred Hutson Museum (OR)

Built in 1993 to match the style of the neighboringRies-Thompson House, the oldest remaining residence in Parkdale (circa 1900), the Museum is located on the 2-acre complex designated as a National Historic Site. The property, surrounded by boardwalk, offers a commanding view of Mt. Hood. A USFS ampitheater is host to lectures and demonstrations. The museum's collection of rocks, minerals and Native American artifacts provide valuable resources for numerous areas of study.

Directions

Travel 2 miles west of Hwy 35 on Baseline Road (Hwy 281) to the community of Parkdale. The museum is located at 4967 Baseline Drive in Parkdale.

Jonsrud Viewpoint (OR)

This bluff provides a spectacular vantage point for viewing the portion of the Sandy River and Devil's Backbone the Oregon Trail pioneers crossed on their route over Mt. Hood along the historic Barlow Road. Interpretive signs share accounts of the early pioneers who settled in the area around Sandy and point out the Sandy River valley and Devil's Backbone. Clear sightlines to Mt. Hood, the valley floor, farmlands and surrounding natural scenic areas are an added bonus.

Directions

Traveling west on Hwy 26 through Sandy, turn right at the traffic light intersection of Bluff Road. Proceed 1 mile, past the High School to Goldenrain Street.

Laurel Hill Chute (OR)

Laurel Hill was once the site of a horrific descent off the southern slopes of Mt. Hood. The hill was a series of three declines, the worst of which was reported to be a 60 percent slope. The current highway is a six percent grade. Pioneers used ropes and sheer strength to lower their wagons down the near-vertical slopes on their way to make land claims in Oregon City. Travelers can walk a short trail up the steep path to view the steep rocky chute and an interpretive sign.

Mount Hood Railroad and Historic Downtown Hood River (OR)

Newly revitalized into a quaint and trendy shopping district, explore Hood River with a tour of the downtown historic district, which includes the Railroad, a National Historic District. The Railroad serves as an economic life-line for the valley, transporting fruit and forest products to market since 1906. The Mount Hood Railroad's scenic excursion tours now offer visitors breathtaking scenery from Hood River through meadows and orchards to the base of Mt. Hood.

Directions

From the intersection of Hwy 35 and Hwy 30, turn west on to Hwy 30. Follow Hwy 30 into downtown Hood River, turning right (north) at 2nd Street, then right again on Railroad Avenue to access the Depot.

Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum (OR)

The Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum is the centerpiece of history, culture, and mountain geology for the Government Camp community at the 4,000 foot level of Mt. Hood. Mt. Hood history is kept alive through the events, stories, exhibits and artifacts from the region housed in this former B&B. The museum features photographs, artifacts and reference books for additional research, and houses a display of original Ray Atkeson photos, a renowned photographer from 1928 to the 1960s.

Directions

The Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum is located at 88900 E. Hwy 26, Business Loop in Government Camp, Oregon.

Panorama Point County Park and Viewpoint (OR)

A quick trip up to Panorama Point offers the best views of the Hood River Valley stretching from the summit of Mt. Hood to the Columbia River Gorge. Park facilities and interpretive signs offer geological history of the Hood River Valley. The view features more than 15,000 acres of orchards and vineyards that make up the area's agricultural economy. In spring, the fruit trees in bloom offer a photo opportunity not to be missed.

Directions

From Hwy 35, turn east on Whiskey Creek Road and follow the signs to Panorama Point.

Philip Foster Farm National Historic Site (OR)

Philip Foster's 1847 farm was the first real civilization the pioneers encountered after their 2,000 mile trek west. Located on the Barlow Road, the Foster Farm hosted an estimated 10,000 exhausted pioneers. Visitors can explore the house, barn, store, blacksmith shop and participate in daily chores and activities that were a part of early pioneer life. The garden is home to the oldest lilac in Oregon, carried by Mrs. Foster on the sea voyage from Maine around Cape Horn.

Directions

Traveling east on Hwy 26 through Sandy, turn right at the intersection of Hwy 211. Travel 6 miles south to Eagle Creek at the intersection of Hwy 211 and Hwy 224.

Sahalie Falls (OR)

Sahalie Falls is a perennial horsetail waterfall fed by the Newton Clark Glacier and flows into the east fork of the Hood River. The falls are 100' high and 20' wide. This is an enchanting waterfall, surrounded by subalpine trees and bushes. The road takes travelers to a pedestrian bridge for viewing the falls from high above its pool. Just north of the Mt. Hood Meadows access road, travelers can access Sahalie Falls for a brief respite and photo opportunity.

Tamanawas Falls (OR)

Just north of the Sherwood campground is the Tamanawas Falls trailhead. A moderate two mile (four miles round trip) hiking trail leads visitors along Cold Springs Creek, over four wooden footbridges to the striking 100 foot falls. Total elevation gain is only 400 feet. There are several places where hikers can find easy access to scenic streamside settings; perfect spots for a few photos, a snack break, or just a chance to stop and enjoy the incredible natural surroundings.

Details

Location:
Around the base of Mt. Hood in central-northern Oregon
Surface:
Paved
Length:
105 miles (169 km)
The drive can be made a loop by connecting back to Troutdale via I-84 or The Columbia River Scenic Byway from Hood River which will add another 43 miles.
Time:
3 hours to drive or 8 hours to experience the Byway.
Main Roads:
US-26 E/Mt Hood Hwy and OR-35 N
Season:
Drivable year round

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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