Hood National Park

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I have been to the Northwest a few times but never explored it beyond the locality I stayed spending time with family or friends. But this memorial day I wanted to explore the northwest. It’s untouched greenery and its enchanting waterfalls was an incentive. Its been almost six months since I left New York City for a trip and this trip was my stress buster. I planned on hiking in Oregon and Washington as well as checking out the food scenes in the places I visited.

I booked my tickets for an early Friday evening flight so that I would land around 9 Pm in Seattle and rent a car before the rental agencies in the airport closed. After landing and picking up the car I crashed at my friend’s place for the night and rested the whole of Saturday rather than pushing myself to go on a hike. I got my forest passes which are required in most of the national and state parks in the northwest. You need a Northwest Forest pass to be able to park at Hood National Park. Also get a GPS or offline google maps in your phone since cell reception completely dies out in Hood National Park. Early Sunday morning we drove towards Portland to hike in Hood national park. Our plan was to hike the Lost Lake Butte Trail near Lost Lake to a viewpoint which supposedly had one of the best views of Mount Hood. But since Oregon had an intense winter the whole trail was snowed in. The trail head itself is hard to find in normal conditions and I suggest you use offline Google maps to find it. Instead of hiking, we decided to explore lost lake. Lost Lake has one of the best views of Mount Hood. For 20 bucks you can kayak for an hour and absorb exceptional views of the majestic Mount Hood. The lake is not crowded once you kayak to the center and we lazed on the kayak under the hot sun above the cold lake and immersed ourselves in the scenery. After Lost Lake, we headed to The Dalles a small town north of Lost Lake along the Columbia River to grab a bite. The riverfront walkway is a good spot to absorb the beauty along the Columbia river and wait for your order from Solstice Woodfire. Solstice serves perfectly crusted wood fired pizza and as a New Yorker ( with a lot of pizza experience), I can say that was a really good pizza.  Even though the Truffle fries were of small servings for the price tag they do grow on you.

After having filling up on food in Dalles we headed to Trillium Lake for a gorgeous view of Mount Hood. One cannot get enough of the drive to Trillium Lake and of Mount Hood itself. You could say it’s the Swiss Alps of America.The road to Trillium Lake was closed due to winter conditions when we got there and we had to hike 2 miles to get to the lake. But this unexpected hike was well worth the effort. We were greeted with a breathtaking view of Hood Mountain and its reflection on Trillium Lake was simply stunning. Anyone could camp by the lake all night savoring the views of Mount Hood and the night stars. Our hike back to the car park was through pitch darkness adding a sense of adventure. But we had to be cautious since cougars roam the region. After a tiring day of beautiful views and unexpected happenings, we crashed at Hotel Aloft. To those who take their pets along on trips Aloft is a pet-friendly hotel with no additional fee, unlike Hyatt and Marriott. It is the best bang for the buck hotel around Portland Airport for the amenities and comforts it provides.

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