MOUNT HOOD SCENIC BYWAY
Refer to National Geographic’s Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways. Page 419
We took this ride last Saturday, June 2, 2015. We’ve taken all but two of the rides from National Geographic’s Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways now in the state of Oregon. The only two we haven’t taken yet are near the Oregon – Idaho border. The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway and Elkhorn Drive.
From where we are staying at the Bridge RV Campground in White Salmon, WA, we crossed The Hood River Bridge to Oregon.
We got on Hwy 84 and traveled west along The Columbia River. We stopped at a pull-out to take some pictures of the river.
Wildwood Recreation Site
In the town of Sandy we got on Hwy 26. We planned on stopping at the Wildwood Recreation Site, which is mentioned in passing in the Natl. Geo. book. What an understatement this is on their part! True, its only a day use park but an amazing place to stay for a day. We were able to use our America the Beautiful 2015 Pass since it is part of the National Park System.
America the Beautiful 2015: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass
Its maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.
We parked our car and followed a path right out of a JRR Tolkien story down to the Salmon River.
We brought our Kermit Chairs with us. When Bruce wanted to buy these chairs they seemed overpriced to me. Now I’m glad he got them. He bought them online. They are well made, lightweight, and they break down into a narrow bag that has a shoulder strap so you can sling it over your shoulder. We didn’t have to take our the chairs really however. They have beautifully carved benches all along the path.
I was mesmerized by this place
Moss Covered Trees
A canope of High, Old-Growth Trees
Wildflowers anywhere the sun came out enough to let them grow.
I can’t stress enough how wonderful a park this is. If you get the chance to see it do! Until now we’ve associated BLM land with desert and rock; areas where nothing green is allowed to show its face. This park couldn’t be further from that! When leaving I took a picture of the parking lot. This is a Saturday afternoon in June! If this were California there would not be a parking place to be found.
Further up the highway I made Bruce stop again because the Wild Rhododendron’s were in bloom.
We passed the turnout for Mirror Lake which is described in the Natl. Geo. book but didn’t stop because it was getting late in the day. I did get a picture of it from the parking lot near the summit of Mount Hood.
Timberline Lodge & Mount Hood
We took the turnout to Timberline Lodge which is almost on the summit of Mount Hood. It was constructed by the 1930’s. I don’t think this picture does it justice, but we were more interested in the views than going inside the hotel.
We left Hwy 26 and took Hwy 35. We took the exit to A Pioneer’s Woman’s Grave which takes you on an old highway, which we are guessing may have been old Hwy. 35. We couldn’t be sure of the grave site but did see the beginning of Barlow Road. This was the first road across the Cascade Mountains. We would like to take the jeep back and explore this old wagon trail.
We stopped to look at this old spring that someone must have used for drinking water.
We followed the highway on down to the Hood River Valley. Miles of fertile farmland produce the bulk of Oregons fruit crop.
We ended the drive at the Hood River, which flows into the Columbia. Then across the bridge again to our trailer, dinner and sitting outside to watch the sunset.