I've lived in Oregon since 2007 and Mt Hood never gets old for me, the fact that we can have a cloudy day that will completely hide an 11,000 ft volcano still baffles me despite my mind's ability to reason out how its possible. We stopped at the Ranger station before we got to the trail where they have to spend long days with this terrible view :) The trees were orchards along the highway, many miles of the road between Hood River and the forest were lined with orchards and wineries - had we not been planning to hike I would have had to stop in a few of the tasting rooms.
The Rangers warned us the trail hadn't been cleaned yet, the worst of the snow had only recently melted but being stubborn we figured we could handle it... perhaps if I'd done more research on the trail to know what landmarks, bridges, etc but we had a trail book with a basic description. It wasn't enough that the trail was in poor condition and full of snow, we were at 4700 ft which makes breathing a bit more of a challenge. Even the hubby who is normally running by comparison to me was winded.
We did manage to find one of the 2 waterfalls, Sahalie was the first along the trail. We hiked off the trail down to a road that passed the fall, the condition of the bridge was questionable for cars but was safe enough for us to wander out for a view. Another half hour up the trail and we lost the trail and decided it was not the best idea to get lost in the forest. I had the map and a compass but just because I can read a map didn't make me feel any better wandering across the snow with no visible trail. Happily we are in the forest and there are plenty of things to see here. 4 miles on the trail and we headed off for a bit of sight-seeing.
This is one of those places we always see in pictures but most of the lakes are several miles along a trail. Trillium has drive in access and a campground and draws a bit of a crowd to fish in the lake.
From there we went to Timberline Lodge, one of the highest points we can drive. The lodge was dedicated in 1937, a building project of the WPA. If you've seen The Shining(the original with Jack Nicholson), this was the building used for all the exteriors in the movie. We walked outside and I was never so pleased to not have the clouds forecast, this view was amazing. The peak in the center of the photo is Mt Jefferson and just left you can see more snow in the distance, Google Maps has confirmed is actually 3 volcanoes, the Sisters in Bend Oregon.
Amazingly lifts are still open and there were many people up skiing. The ski lift in the photo runs along the Palmer Glacier so there is still enough snow to ski. Last time we were up here in July and they still had lifts open, it was a sight to see people skiing and snowboarding in shorts and t-shirts because the weather was so warm.