Mt. Hood Scenic Byway

State: Oregon
Length: 105 miles / 169.0 km
Time to Allow: 3-4 hours, but allow 7-8 to experience the Byway.

At the top of the Columbia River by Portland, down into a v-shape under the Mount Hood Wilderness and back up to Hood River sits the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway. The byway measures 105 miles and takes about three to four hours to drive by car or motorcycle without stops. Visit this beautiful area year-round for gorgeous views of mountains, lakes, and other scenery, making for an essential road trip ready to impress anyone.

If you are looking for waterfalls, you can find hundreds in Oregon, but the best are right in this byway. Start with Tamanawas Falls Trail near Mount Hood with a massive cascade of water just a short three-mile hike away. What makes this waterfall so special is you can actually picnic behind the waterfall, making it the dream! For another impressive waterfall, check out the Ramona Falls cascades down a stair-way cliff. It’s a beautiful hike that takes about seven miles round trip.

Another waterfall sits by the Columbia River Highway. The Metlako Falls is named after the Mazama Native American salmon goddess, and it’s on the Eagle Creek Trail. It’s the tallest waterfall on the trail, but the Tunnel Falls is no less impressive a little farther down the trail. Find campgrounds, local wine, hiking areas, farmer stands, and much more, making this a fabulous destination for summer with the family.

For a resort experience, visit the Lost Lake resort in between the two sides of the byway. Get camping, a general store, famous burgers at the grill, and tons of outdoor activities at the lake. If you do not like camping, rent a cabin or a room at the lodge. The views will impress you so much you may find yourself house hunting nearby! Stay closer to the river if you want easy access to the city life in Portland, along with tons of amenities, hotels, dining options, and cultural activities.

Visit a variety of towns along the way for trails, camping, and hiking. Visit the Salmon River Bridge to grab a family picture near river rocks and trees, or head to the Underwater View Chamber to see the fish at water level. The area offers playgrounds and other amenities for families. Catch some incredible views at Mirror Lake, with views of the mountains and clear water.

Keep in mind Mount Hood gets snow year-round, which means it may be an excellent option for skiers. You cannot fit all the sights into a single day, but if you just want a scenic drive, you can do that too. No trip is complete without a trip to Government Camp with tons of recreational options for everyone and a museum. Kids will love the Mt. Hood Skibowl Adventure Park with slides, racing carts, and more. Lastly, the Timberline Lodge and Ski Area nearby offer restaurants, lodging, and tons of activities perfect for a holiday.

More Oregon Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Oregon by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Oregon Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.