Hood River’s location close to both the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood make it a prime spot for families and kids to enjoy the fun an Oregon vacation offers.
- Hood River and Mt. Hood offer tons of outdoor recreation for kids—like biking, hiking, swimming, and horseback riding.
- Mt. Hood Ski Bowl has a Summer Action Park with many kid-oriented activities and an Alpine Slide.
- The Hood River County Fair in July will delight the whole family.
Families will have no trouble finding fun things to do in summertime Hood River. This charming town sits right on the Columbia River Gorge, and magnificent Mt. Hood is only 35 miles south. Here’s some summertime recreation that kids of all ages will enjoy.
Summer Kid-friendly Activities
- Biking: The Historic Columbia River Highway has sections where vehicular traffic is prohibited, offering easy and beautiful biking routes.
- Boating: River cruises on the Columbia and boat rides down the scenic Oregon river canyons will delight the whole family.
- Hiking: Lots of easy- to moderate-difficulty trails can be found near Hood River and in the Mt. Hood National Forest, many with great views and fun things to do along the way.
- Horseback Riding: Some trails permit equestrians, and local stables offer horses for hire.
- Mt. Hood Ski Bowl Adventure Park: This mountain resort’s summer park has mountain biking lessons, bungee tower and trampoline, Indy Karts, a rock wall, a Super Kids’ Play Zone, and the Alpine Slide.
- State Parks: Many Oregon State Parks lie near Hood River, with swimming, camping, playgrounds, and other activities kids will love.
- Windsurfing: Hood River is the windsurfing capital of the world, and lots of providers offer lessons for young first-timers.
Summer Fun Attractions for the Family
- Alpine Slide: Kids of all ages will adore this exhilarating half-mile vertical ride at Ski Bowl’s Summer Adventure Park.
- Hood River County Fair: In July, this country-style fair showcases local crafts and livestock, with something to offer the whole family.
- Magic Mile Scenic Sky Chair: At Timberline Lodge, ride the Magic Mile 7,000 feet up Mt. Hood’s slopes for a glorious view.
- Mt. Hood Railroad: Take your family on a train ride through Oregon’s past on the historic Mt. Hood Railroad.
The sparkling snowy wonderland lying on the slopes of towering Mt. Hood makes this area a favorite family winter vacation destination. Six ski resorts lie scattered around Hood’s base, providing a playground where families can enjoy every type of wintertime fun. Whether learning to snowboard, inner-tubing down the hill, building a snowman, or enjoying an après-ski cup of cocoa, kids will find many delights around Mt. Hood. Following is a list of some activities and attractions to consider when planning your wintertime family vacation:
Winter Kid-friendly Activities
- Skiing and Snowboarding: Six ski resorts around Mt. Hood have beginner lessons, novice runs, bunny slopes, and snow play.
- Dog Sledding: Tour companies near the town of Welches offer 90-minute dog sled rides.
- Snowshoeing: Snowshoe trails abound on “the Hood,” many of which are suitable for beginners; Trillium Lake is worth checking out.
- Sleigh Rides: Horse-drawn sleigh rides can be found at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl and in the nearby Mt. Hood Villages.
- Snow Tubing: Most of Mt. Hood’s ski resorts have special runs set aside just for inner tubing. They supply the tubes—you enjoy the fun!
- Snow Play: Mt. Hood’s more than 400 inches of annual snowfall means there’s plenty of snow to play with…and in. Besides tubing and sledding, you can build a snowman, make a few snow angels, or engage in a good old-fashioned snowball fight!
Winter Fun Attractions for the Family
- Ski Resorts: All the ski resorts have runs set aside just for tubing. Cooper Spur and Summit, with their gentle slopes and patient, friendly beginning instructors, are good choices for family visits. After the ski lesson, relax in front of the crackling lodge fires with a steaming mug of cocoa.
- Snow Bunny: Snow Bunny is Mt. Hood’s one and only park just for snow play—pay a low fee for a whole day of fun. Good novice snowshoe trails begin at Snow Bunny too.