There’s no doubt about the views from atop Hood River Mountain.
The hike up this little hill just outside of downtown Hood River covers just under 2-miles roundtrip and goes up 600 feet or so pretty steadily. So it’s not going to blow you away in terms of exertion or exhaustion.
The view from up top, however, is another story.
Yet sometimes, despite the grand views like this, there are other, more subtle sights that can have just as big of an impact.
We hiked up to the top with the kids a few weeks ago, and even though the day was gorgeous, the flowers in bloom, the mountain and all of the Hood River Valley in big, full view, it just wasn’t enough to keep the little girl happy.
But then she started looking around a little more and found something much more enchanting than a jaw-dropping mountain view. And all of a sudden, Hood River Mountain became a much better place.
(Thinking this is a Western Fence Lizard; knowing that it is inside an empty Stack Wines glass — great for the trail!)
We didn’t climb Mount St. Helens for Mother’s Day this year — we will again someday though! — but we did get outside and enjoy a beautiful Oregon day. We tooled out into the country past Stafford, crossed the Willamette on the Canby Ferry, and spent a little time at St. Josef’s Winery a few miles outside of Canby.
The views of Mount Hood on the way to St. Josef’s were big, but the mountain is hidden from view once you actually arrive at the winery. No matter, it’s still an enjoyable and scenic place to stop for a sip.
But it also got me to thinking about some other wineries in the region that have not only nice wines, but nice views of Mount Hood. I wrote about a few of them in the 2012 Gorge Guide, which just came out a few weeks ago. Among my favorites, Hood River’s Phelps Creek Vineyards and Cascade Cliffs out in Wishram, Wash., both of which offer some fine wines and incredible mountain scenery.