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Your guide to Government Camp
Welcome to Government Camp
As the only community perched on the slopes of Mount Hood, Government Camp is the main hub for the Summit, Mt. Hood Skibowl, Mt. Hood Meadows, and Timberline ski areas. Throughout the busy winter season, fresh powder blankets this alpine village, which sits about 4,000 feet up the side of Oregon’s most famous volcano. Government Camp is often the first stop for adventurers heading to the resorts. It’s also a low-key spot for some après-ski brews and bites.
In the town’s rustic center, you’ll find ski shops, outdoor-gear outfitters, a few restaurants, and a beloved craft brewery. While the winter snow conditions typically define the pace of things, Government Camp’s position within the sprawling Mt. Hood National Forest also makes it a warm-weather hot spot for hikers, mountain bikers, paddlers, and sightseers. In the national forest, you’ll find backcountry trails leading to waterfalls, gurgling streams, and scenic overlooks.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Government Camp?
Snow lovers flock to Government Camp for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, with winter and early spring being the busiest time on the slopes — though the higher-elevation spots allow you to rip and shred in the peak of summer. The powder that blankets the area starting in late November and December means some natural sites become inaccessible and a few attractions close until late spring. May through early fall are prime time on the trails and alpine lakes, particularly on weekends.
What are the top things to do in Government Camp?
The white-capped cone of Mount Hood towers above this shimmering alpine lake, where you can see the snowy peak reflected in the calm waters. The 1.9-mile Trillium Lake Loop Trail ranks among the most scenic in the Mt. Hood National Forest — drawing droves of nature photographers. Visit mid-week to revel in the serene views without the crowds. In the winter, the trail transforms into a picturesque snowshoeing spot.
White River West Sno-Park
More than two dozen “Sno-Parks,” or designated winter recreation areas, dot the Mt. Hood National Forest. Purchasing a State of Oregon Sno-Park Permit grants you access for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well as some spots well-suited to sledding and tubing. White River West Sno-Park is especially popular with snowshoers, who crunch through mixed conifer forests and across wide-open snowfields.
Timberline National Historic Trail
This epic trek circles Mount Hood, passing through alpine landscapes defined by misty waterfalls, wildflower meadows, and evergreen forests. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the historic trail here in the 1930s, opening up access to panoramic vistas around the mountain. It’s a multiday hike worthy of your bucket list, though only experienced hikers should attempt it in full. Most hikers choose a segment of the trail for shorter daytime outings to get a taste of the wilderness.