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PDX to Mt Hood Rte 26 out & back, or loop 26-35-84?

Lagrangeville, NY
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PDX to Mt Hood Rte 26 out & back, or loop 26-35-84?

We will be visiting Oregon in September, and spending multiple days in Portland with day trips to CRG, Mt Hood, etc.

For our Mt Hood day, we plan to get up early to get to Mirror Lake Trailhead for the Tom Dick & Harry Mountain hike. Then we will stop at Timberline Lodge for lunch and look around, maybe Zigzag Overlook.

Question:

After Timberline Lodge is it worth the longer drive (more scenic) to continue on Route 35 to Hood River then back to Portland in a loop? Or should we just turn back using Route 26 for the shorter way home? We will do CRG a different day, and at the end of our 2 week trip we will go from The Dalles to Portland so we will be driving through the Gorge multiple times and not worry about missing the portion between Hood River and Portland on our Mount Hood day.

Another question:

Would there be good wild flower viewing still at Paradise Park in September?

2 replies to this topic
Florence, Oregon
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1. Re: PDX to Mt Hood Rte 26 out & back, or loop 26-35-84?

Absolutely, go on Highway 26 one way and I-84 and Highway 35 the other way. That is referred to as the "Mt Hood Loop". I-84 from Hood River to the Eastern edge of the metropolitan Portland (Troutdale) is the Columbia River Gorge and is a must see. Highway 35 from Hood River to the junction of Highway 26 is known as the "Fruit Loop" and is very scenic. Near the junction of Highway 35 and Highway 26 is Timberline Lodge. Highway 26 from Portland to Highway 35 is actually a mountain pass but is not all that scenic although it is a fast road being 4 lanes much of the way and fairly straight.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: PDX to Mt Hood Rte 26 out & back, or loop 26-35-84?

Just to clarify, the Fruit Loop is actually a loop, starting and ending in Hood River: http://hoodriverfruitloop.com/ . Should be nice around harvest time in September, but if you've already got plans to see the Columbia River gorge, it could be included on that day(s).

Edited: 09 August 2017, 05:20
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