Rhododendron, Oregon is nestled at the base of Mt. Hood and within Mt. Hood National Forest. It's a fantastic place to stay if you want to ski at Timberline, hike to the summit of Mt. Hood, and much more.
Mt. Hood is one of the best mountains to climb in Oregon, and in the Pacific Northwest. It's startlingly beautiful no matter what time of year you visit and is easily accessible via Timberline Lodge. The mountain is over, 11,000' tall!
Visit Timberline Lodge
The famous Timberline Lodge is a world-class skiing and snowboarding destination. It's also the start of the trail to the summit of Mount Hood--the tallest mountain and Oregon and an ever-present sight in this area of the state.
To get to Timberline Lodge, follow Highway 26 from Rhododendron south. The turn-off for the lodge, onto Timberline Highway, will be on your left after about 24 minutes and 13 miles. This road will lead up to the lodge, where you can take a guided tour, enjoy a delicious meal, look at the incredible views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson, and enjoy the many hiking trails right outside the door.
Timberline Lodge also boasts the longest ski season in North America, with runs that are split between beginner (25%), intermediate (50%), and advanced (25%).
Hike the McNeil Point Trail
The McNeil Point Trail is one of the premier hard hikes in Rhododen and in this area of Oregon. It climbs to the flanks of the ever-present Mount Hood and provides incredible views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, and Mount St. Helens.
The trail ascends through the gorgeous PNW forest with hemlock and ash trees, provides spectacular views of Mt. Hood, and takes you up to a stone hut that's been used as a storm shelter in the past. The trail will take between 5 and 7 hours to complete, so make sure you plan accordingly! The best time to take on the trail is in the summer after all the snow has melted away, making it an easier endeavor.
The Ramona Falls Trail
The gorgeous Ramona Falls is accessible from a trailhead near Rhododendron, Oregon.
It's a 7.1-mile loop that takes you to a beautiful viewpoint. It only gains around 1,000 feet in elevation, so it's only considered a moderate hike. The trail does have its fair share of downed trees, though, so be prepared for that and for crowds in the summer. This is one of the most popular hikes in the area!
See Trillium Lake
The gorgeous Trillium Lake is a not-to-be-missed destination near Rhododendron, Oregon. It's one of the most beautiful lakes in the area and in all of Oregon!
Ski at Mt. Hood Skibowl
Skibowl is another famous destination around Rhododendron, Oregon. It's America's largest night ski area and one of the best spots for tubing.
It includes 34 night runs and a total of 65 runs over 960 acres. Some, with a vertical drop of 1,500 feet. It also has the most Black Diamond runs anywhere in Oregon! The area around the Skibowl is also popular with hiking. We highly recommend the Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain trail that takes you high above skibowl and has fantastic views of Mt. Hood.
Mt. Hood Adventure Park
If you don't like skiing or it's the middle of summer, you can also enjoy Mt. Hood Adventure Park.
Skibowl turns into a family-friendly location in the summer months where you can ride a unique alpine slide, try freefall bungee jumping, zip lines, and much more! The Adventure Park is open between Labor Day and September 25th. Passes start at $20 and go up to $79.
Hike the Castle Canyon Trail
The Castle Canyon Trail is a short but difficult hike that takes you to some beautiful views of Mt. Hood National Forest.
Although the trail is only 1.5 miles long, it gains around 800 feet of elevation in .75 miles, making this a very uphill challenge. It's a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to get out and push their endurance but doesn't have a whole lot of time to do so! We highly recommend doing this trail in the summer when the road in is in good condition, and the entire hike is snow-free.
Visit the Devil's Peak Lookout
The Devil's Peak Lookout is a unique destination near Rhododendron. The tower is used as an overnight destination, but there is no reservation system. All visits are first-come-first-serve.
The tower is at the top of the 5,045' Devil's Peak and offers amazing views of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. It was used as a fire lookout for many years prior to its decommission in the 1970s. You can access the fire lookout from the Cool Creek Trail, and you should be prepared for a hard, 8-mile hike.
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