Drive time: 1.5 hours
Activity: Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
Distance: Up to 4 miles round trip
WHY IT’S GREAT
A favorite among staffers at Otto’s Ski Shop in Sandy, this straightforward out-’n’-back traverses a maintenance road on the heavily wooded boundaries of Mt Hood Skibowl East and West.
Groomed frequently by resort crews, smooth, set tracks are all but guaranteed (with plenty of room left over for snowshoe tromping), and the gentle, rolling terrain helps keep first-time Nordic outings crash-free. The entire route is off-limits to snowmobiles, though skiers may encounter the occasional horse-drawn sleigh.
Amid a pair of clearings, look for peekaboo views of Mount Hood’s A-framed summit and ravens gliding between snow-flocked firs. The wood-shingled Multorpor Lodge at Skibowl East makes an inviting turnaround point, with a roaring fire and piping-hot cocoa.
APRÈS-SKI WATERING HOLE→
A Vegas-style heart-shaped road sign and a gargantuan burger menu (nearly 40 variations in all) draw crowds at the lovable Calamity Jane’s Hamburger Parlour Restaurant near Sandy. Beneath a glorious dollar bill–plastered ceiling (left), peruse beefy delights like the “Honey Lovin’ Jimmy Carter,” smothered with bacon and peanut butter. Bud and Coors dominate a short draft list, but bottled beers like Bridgeport IPA and Black Butte Porter still come with a frosty mug.
42015 SE Hwy 26, Sandy; 503-668-7817