Hiking and Biking Trails
A wide variety of trails for hikers and mountain bikers connect the Village of Government Camp as well as the surrounding Mt. Hood National Forest.
Visit the Mt. Hood National Forest website (www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood) for a complete list as well as current conditions.
Many of the gravel roads make excellent mountain bike routes. Some provide a variety of loops to challenge your endurance and skills.
Test your skills at the Mountain Bike Park, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, 503-282-3206 (www.skibowl.com). Connects with more than 40 miles of bike trails. Mountain bike rentals, guided tours, and race clinics are available. You can ride the lifts with your bike to the top.
Road biking is also popular on the paved road system in the Government Camp area.
Located one mile west of Welches, this 560-acre day-use site includes more than five miles of forest hiking and walking paths along the Salmon River. Interpretive signs are located along the wetland boardwalk and Cascade Stream Watch. Picnic shelters with running water, grills and tables are available with reservations at 877-444-6777. Parking Permit required when the gate is open, otherwise park outside the gate and walk in.
A variety of campgrounds with various levels of service are close to Government Camp.
For up-to-date information on forest service campgrounds, please go to (www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood).
With 10,000 summit attempts per year, Mt. Hood is the second most-climbed mountain in the world, surpassed only by Japan's Mt. Fuji. Climbing season is mid-April to mid-June and a wilderness permit is required. Groups must carry are encouraged to carry a Mountain Locator Unit (available at Mt. Hood Inn in Government Camp) and all climbers must sign out at Timberline Lodge before their climb and sign back in upon return.
Several outfitters offer snow school and climbin g instruction that culminates in a summit attempt . Current conditions and outfitters are listed on the Mt. Hood National Forest website (www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood) and include:
Timberline Mountain Guides, 1-800-464-7704 or 1-541-312-9242 (www.timberlinemtguides.com)
Northwest School of Survival, 503-668-8264 (www.NWSOS.com)
Northwest Mountain Guides, 503-698-1118 (www.gotrek.com)
Portland Parks and Recreation, 503-823-PLAY (www.portlandparks.org)
Mountain lakes such as Trillium Lake and Frog Lake are favorites for family swimming and kids play once they warm up, usually in July.
Several properties have swimming pools available for their guests including: Golden Poles Condominiums, Thunderhead Lodge , Collins Lake Resort and Timberline Lodge.
Test your skills at the Mountain Bike Park, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, 503-282-3206 (www.skibowl.com)
More than 40 miles of signed trails, mountain bike rentals, guided tours, and race clinics are available.
Additional trails are also located in Mt. Hood National Forest (www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood).
Nearby smaller lakes where only nonmotorized boating is allowed are great options for family canoeing and kayaking, including Trillium Lake and Frog Lake.
The larger lakes such as Clear and Timothy Lakes offer more options for the adventuresome.
Wyeast Kayak Rentals will arrange to meet you at Trillium, Frog or Timothy Lake with inflatable kayaks that you can rent by the hour or the day. Call 503-622-6895 for more details.
Outfitters on the Deschutes, Sandy and Clackamas Rivers provide family rafting adventures throughout the spring, summer & fall. These rivers are within an hour’s drive from Government Camp.
All Star Rafting, 1-800-909-7238 (www.asrk.com)
Ski on the Palmer Glacier at Timberline Ski Area all summer long. For more information, go to (www.timberlinelodge.com). Summer ski and snowboard camps make Government Camp their home in June and July. Camps are popular with recreational skiers and snowboarders, as well as serious Olympic hopefuls.
Oregon Cascade Birding Trail (www.oregonbirdingtrails.org) sites are located nearby and include Trillium Lake, Timberline Lake and Timberline Lodge. At the Bonney Butte Hawk Watch raptor migration program (generally operational from the end of August to the end of October), visitors can observe the tallying, banding and recording of data for migrating raptors during their fall migration. This is a great opportunity to see these incredible birds up close. The rough gravel road to Bonney Butte is best driven slowly by slowly by high clearance vehicles (www.hawkwatch.org).
Wildflowers are found in rotational bloom as soon as the snow melts and up to the fall frosts when the fall colors begin. Popular spots for viewing the widest range of wildflowers include Trillium Lake Loop Trail and Summit Meadow and trails above the timberline, especially the Timberline Trail/Pacific Crest Trail east and west of Timberline Lodge, Paradise Park and Elk Meadows (generally in July and August).
Nearby lakes are regularly stocked throughout the summer season with trout.
For information on steelhead and salmon, go to (www.flyfishusa.com).
Fishing licenses and info is available at CJs Chevron, located (two miles ,east of Government Camp on Highway 26.
All you ever wanted to know about fly fishing can be found at The Fly Fishing Shop, 67296 E. Highway 26, Welches 503-622-4607 (www.flyfishusa.com).
Rainbow Trout Farm, west of Government Camp on Highway 26 near Milepost 33, 503-622-5223 (www.rainbowtroutfarm.com).
Free harvest maps are available at the Zig Zag Ranger Station, 70220 US Highway 26, 503-622-3191
Also contact Oregon Mycological Society (www.wildmushrooms.org).
Westleg and Still Creek Roads are fairly short drives, great for the meanderer. The Mt. Hood Scenic Byway and Historic Columbia Gorge Highway are sections of the Infinity Loop and great for a day trip. More information about these routes can be found at (www.byways.org/browse/byways/61400) and (www.mthoodcolumbiagorge.com).
Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Ski Bowl, 503-222-BOWL
Timberline Lodge's Magic Mile Sky Chair Ride, 503-222-2211