Friday, May 11, 2007

Mt Hood Highway 26 Scenic Byway

If you want to take a great day trip, the Mt Hood Scenic Byway is a beautiful drive, and just a few hours to make the trip around. Just head east on Hwy 26 from Gresham, and on out to Mt Hood you go! Slow down in Sandy, the speed limit is 25 mph - and they're strict about it around there. Once you pass Sandy, you'll be on your way, through the areas of Brightwood, Welches, Rhododendron, and then Government Camp.
On your way past Government Camp, you'll see a turn on the right hand side for Trillium Lake, which is about two miles from the highway. It's a beautiful place, and worth seeing if you've got the time. (Right - Picture we took last summer with a relatively cheap digital camera.) Head back out, turning right onto the highway from the road to Trillium Lake, and continue east towards Highway 35, where you will catch it heading north.
This is a great drive on a clear day, because on the way to this point, you see the southwest side of the mountain, and once you are on Hwy 35 you can see the east and north sides of the majestic mounain, especially if you head towards Lost Lake (west from Hwy 35). If you take this route, it's got some pretty steep uphill driving, so make sure your car is in good condition for the drive. Otherwise, stay on Hwy 35 heading north and take in the beauty of the fruit tree orchards along the way to Hood River.
From Hood River, you would take Hwy 84 west towards Portland. This is another very scenic part of the journey around Mt Hood. You can visit many places along this stretch of the Columbia Gorge, such Cascade Locks, the bridge of the gods, Multnomah Falls (which is the largest of a series of waterfalls in this area. Taking Bypass 30 west will take you through an area where you can park and view each one. Both Hwy 30 and Hwy 84 will take you west, and you can then travel through Troutdale, and either continue on back to Portland area on Hwy 84 towards downtown, or exit 238th/Hogan Drive from Hwy 84, then travel south to Hwy 26, and go either left or right on Burnside. Left will take you back towards the mountain, right will take you through Gresham towards downtown Portland. Have fun, and be safe!

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Blogging the local Mt Hood area of Oregon. With skiing, snowboarding, hiking, shopping, wind surfing, live bands, resorts, movies, and much more to do, you'll never be bored in the Mount Hood area.