Mt. Hood or Crater Lake?

Old Jul 27th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Mt. Hood or Crater Lake?

I will be in Oregon (Portland) for work at the end of August. I plan to stay 2 extra days to visit family in Portland as well. I was hoping to get some hiking in and thought I might visit either Mt. Hood or Crater Lake during the extra days. So here are my questions:

1. If you had 2 days to spend at either area, which would you choose?
2. Is the hiking better at one as opposed to the other?
3. Would it be difficult to find lodging around Crater Lake if I made a last minute decision to go there?

Distance and weather are going to be the biggest consideration. It would only be about 1.5 hours to drive to Mt. Hood, so I'd have more time there. Crater Lake would be about a 4.5 hour drive.
If I chose Mt. Hood, I would stay at my brother's in Portland and wouldn't have to pay lodging. If I chose Mt. Hood, I would need lodging for the night. Cost isn't really an issue. I wasn't sure if 2 days would be adequate for Crater Lake, so if not, I'll just go to Mt. Hood instead.

What are your thoughts?
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Come east on I-84 to Multnomah Falls and hike up the path/stairs to the top for a great view of the Columbia Gorge.
Head east to the town of Hood River and head up Rt. 35 on the east side of Mt. Hood. Take US 26 to Madras and US 97 south through Bend to La Pine OR. Best Western is good for an overnight stop. http://bestwesternoregon.com/hotels/...wberry-station
If the weather is good the next day, head for Crater Lake north entrance. Your other choice from La Pine is the head out to the Newberry Caldera and Paulina and East Lakes. There is still some snow left in Crater Lake NP. You can easily return to Portland by way of Roseburg and I-5. There are some great places to hike along the Umpqua off Rt. 138.
Even if you decide to stick closer to Portland, do a visit to Multnomah Falls and Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.
If you come through Bend, spend at least 2 hours at the High Desert Museum.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Right, Portland to Crater Lake NP is about 4.5 hours behind the wheel--half a pretty unpleasant drive on the I-5 corridor and the other half on a two-lane road.

Instead, hike in the Columbia River Gorge, spend a night in Hood River, and drive to Mt. Hood via Highway 35 for the most scenic views.

HTTY
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 07:31 AM
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Right, Portland to Crater Lake NP is about 4.5 hours behind the wheel--half a pretty unpleasant drive on the I-5 corridor and the other half on a two-lane road.

Instead, hike in the Columbia River Gorge, spend a night in Hood River, and drive to Mt. Hood via Highway 35 for the most scenic views.

HTTY
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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We loved both places. Crater Lake is more unusual--the bluest lake I have ever seen. As I recall, the hikes there are simply around the rim of the lake so they don't differ a lot. If you go to Mt. Hood, the Tom, Dick and Harry hike has incredible views at the top.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Crater Lake is one of the single most beautiful places I've ever seen, there is a big lodge there, but cannot tell you anything about it.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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For hiking, the Columbia River Gorge is great - you can do really short hikes to very scenic waterfalls (Latourell, to the bridge at Multnomah, Briday Veil Falls). There are really nice longer hikes to Punchbowl Falls at Eagle Creek, to Elowah Falls at John Yeon SP and up the Oneonta Gorge to a waterfall that looks straight from Hawaii. All these hikes are within about a 30 min. drive of each other.

From the Gorge, you could easily loop around to Mt. Hood, and I agree that Timberline Lodge is worth a stop.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 03:35 PM
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For hiking you'd love Mt Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. If you could luck into a room at Timerline Lodge - wow!

But, in my opinion, Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. And sitting in a rocker on the patio at Crater Lake Lodge looking out over the lake is unlike anything you'll ever do. Timing is important when driving the rim of Crater Lake. You'll want the sun behind you to get the best color when looking out at the water.
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Old Jul 28th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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I'm heading to Crater Lake NP tomorrow with my DW.
The road to the pinnacles area is now snow free(SE of the lake).
I wish we had a closer major airport so that more people would come to see our beautiful national treasure.
From Portland, I always like US 26 and US 97 through Bend vs.I-5 and Rt. 138. There are hundreds of great places to take a hike in Oregon besides Mt. Hood/Columbia Gorge and Crater Lake.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 02:52 PM
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bookmarking
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 04:39 PM
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This trip was in 2011.
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