Ultimate Cascades

Hood River, Oregon

Jan 4, 2006
Outside Magazine
Hood River, Oregon

Lush Rush: Bridal Veil Falls Creek, Oregon    Photo: Corel

The Inside 5

Hood River–based pro kayaker Tao Berman is partial to: 1. Paddling the five-mile Class V froth on the Little White Salmon and White Salmon rivers. 2. Mountain-biking Syncline, a web of trails across the Columbia in Washington that climb 800 feet above the river. 3. Grabbing a burger and a pint of locally brewed Full Sail Ale at Sixth Street Bistro & Loft. 4. Teeing off at the 18-hole Indian Creek Golf Course, in the Hood River Valley. 5. Riding motocross on the singletrack off the Mount Adams Boundary Trail, which offers enough options, he swears, to "last a month."

Wave Rave: From June to September, Oregon's warm eastern desert sucks cool Pacific air through 4,000-foot-high walls to turn the Columbia River Gorge into a world-renowned wind tunnel. Kiteboarders flock to the Hood River Sandbar, where shallow water makes for easy launching. New Wind Kite School, 541-387-2440
Ski Summer Corn: About three-quarters of the way up Mount Hood, the Palmer Glacier stays open all summer, allowing skiers and snowboarders to carve 1,524 feet of vertical. Timberline Lodge serves up bloody marys and picture-window views of 10,495-foot Mount Jefferson. 503-622-7979
Gorge Yourself: The first paved road through the Columbia River Gorge lasted from 1922 until 1960, when the interstate made it obsolete. Today, segments of the Historic Columbia River Highway remain open only to hikers and bikers, including the ten miles from Hood River east to Mosier and back. Bicycle Adventures, 800-443-6060
Stump Jump: With its gap jumps, ladders, and teeter-totters, the new Post Canyon stunt park, just west of Hood River, is quickly attracting the freeride mountain-biking set. Want to keep your collarbones? Start out on Family Man, where a biff on lower stunts will likely leave you bruised but not broken. Discover Bicycles, 541-386-4820
Classic Cascades: Summit 11,235-foot Mount Hood via the Hogsback, the traditional ascent from Timberline Lodge, where some climbers opt to pitch tents for a wind-blasted sleep. Come morning, crampon your way to the summit for views of the Pacific Ring of Fire volcanoes, from Rainier in the north to the Three Sisters in the south. Mazamas, 503-227-2345
Cast the Chutes: Anglers will find one of the most productive trout streams in the West, where the lower Deschutes River pours cool Cascade runoff into the Columbia. Wander among alder trees and under basalt cliffs to fish for the redside, an endemic rainbow trout. KD Guide Service, 509-493-3167

The 1913 Hood River Hotel
is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and still maintains its Victorian flare with antique reproductions in its 41 rooms. The Cornerstone Cuisine restaurant's pomegranate-glazed salmon will do a body good. Ditto the deep-tissue massage at A Salon Day Spa Boutique, just down the street. Doubles, $69–$119; 800-386-1859
Windsurfers and bikers meet over vintage Formica at Dog River Coffee for shots of Portland–based Stumptown Roasters Coffee. 541-386-4502