Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
After years of lagging behind Skibowl and Timberline in summer activities due to Forest Service restrictions, Mt. Hood Meadows is moving decisively into year-round attractions with its biggest lineup yet of August events and concerts, plus a promising foray into summer camps.
Last summer Meadows pounced on the opportunity offered by eased-back Forest Service regulations to test out summer chairlifts, day camps for kids and an uphill running race. This summer the expansion continues with lift service every weekend in August, music shows every Sunday and bus service from Portland to the mountain for a week-long summer camp for kids.
“We have a great resource for summer recreation, and our permit area is underutilized in the summer,” says Meadows spokesman Dave Tragethon. “The goal is to make better use of this beautiful area, so people can gain an even greater appreciation of Mount Hood in summer.”
Meadows will run its Stadium chairlift from 11 to 3 every Saturday and Sunday in August to offer access to wildflowers and waterfalls from Ramshead to Heather Canyon and beyond, with day lift passes available for $10, free to 2015-16 season pass holders.
There will be summer events each weekend in August including another uphill race August 22nd, a "sustainability shindig," painting and photography workshops, and concerts each Sunday featuring various acoustic singer/songwriters. The Sun Deck will be open for barbecue and local brews.
The August events will follow a new initiative by Meadows to develop a week-long summer camp for kids on the mountain. The Meadows Outdoor Education and Summer Adventure Camp will run July 27-31, and it will focus on glaciers, volcanoes, and native plants and animals. Kids will get to build a seismograph, identify animal tracks, swim in Timothy Lake, and raft the Deschutes River. Josey Rice, who heads up ski and snowboard programs for children at Meadows in the winter, will serve as camp coordinator.
Shuttle buses for summer campers will run daily from the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland to the mountain, and Tragethon says the driver can also pick up campers at convenient locations between Portland and Mount Hood. For more info about the first week-long summer camp at Meadows click here.
The new emphasis on non-snow events from Mount Hood's largest ski resort follows two of the worst peak snow seasons in memory. The other two large resorts on the mountain, Skibowl and Timberline, have a long history of year-round operations, with zip-lining, bungee-jumping and mountain biking at Skibowl and a strong lineup of summer training camps at Timberline.