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Choose Your Pace: Hiking Mt. Hood and Cascade Mountain Lakes

Program No. 4895RJ
With experts, hike the scenic trails of Mt. Hood and the Cascade Mountains at your pace, discovering hidden waterfalls and lakes and the National Historic Landmark Timberline Lodge.
7 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at

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DATES & starting prices
Jun 25 - Jul 1, 2023
Starting at
Sep 24 - Sep 30, 2023
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Jun 25 - Jul 1, 2023
Starting at
Sep 24 - Sep 30, 2023
Starting at

At a Glance

Hike along sparkling lakes with majestic Mount Hood towering over the landscape, to vistas overlooking the forested Cascade Mountains and to hidden gems like Little Crater Lake. Each day, pick a trail option based on your pace preference and set out with a small group and a nature expert to learn about the history, geology, birds and plants of the area. Enjoy the summer flowers or fall color of vine maples as you hike through old growth, mountain meadows and timberline scenery.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Choose Your Pace
Each day, choose from multiple hiking options based on your desired level of challenge and pace, ranging from 3-8 miles on varied terrain. Elevations of 3,000-6,500 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Visit Timberline Lodge — a National Historic Landmark located at the slopes of Mount Hood — and explore the grounds of this local treasure.
  • Hike to the exquisite Tamanawas Falls, a 100-foot waterfall that stems from Cold Spring Creek.
  • Experience the beauty of the lakes nestled into this beautiful region, including Mirror, Timothy, Trillium and Little Crater.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon
by William Sullivan
Good description of hikes we will be hiking.
A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest
by Robert Ruby, John Brown, Cary Collins
The Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest inhabit a vast region extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and from California to British Columbia. For more than two decades, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest has served as a standard reference on these diverse peoples. Now, in the wake of renewed tribal self-determination, this revised edition reflects the many recent political, economic, and cultural developments shaping these Native communities. From such well-known tribes as the Nez Perces and Cayuses to lesser-known bands previously presumed extinct, this guide offers detailed descriptions, in alphabetical order, of 150 Pacific Northwest tribes. Each entry provides information on the history, location, demographics, and cultural traditions of the particular tribe. Among the new features offered here are an expanded selection of photographs, updated reading lists, and a revised pronunciation guide. While continuing to provide succinct histories of each tribe, the volume now also covers such contemporary and sometimes controversial issues as Indian gaming and NAGPRA. With its emphasis on Native voices and tribal revitalization, this new edition of the Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest is certain to be a definitive reference for many years to come.
In Search of Ancient Oregon
by Ellen Morris Bishop
Geology is an extremely visual subject, and In Search of Ancient Oregon is a beautifully photographed, expertly written account of Oregon's fascinating geological story. Written by a passionate and professional geologist who has spent countless hours in the field exploring and photographing the state, In Search of Ancient Oregon is a book for all those interested in Oregon's landscapes and environments. It presents fine-art-quality color photographs of well-known features such as Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Smith Rock, Steens Mountain, the Columbia River Gorge, and Cannon Beach, and scenic, not so well known places such as Jordan Craters, Leslie Gulch, Abert Rim, Hells Canyon, Elkhorn Mountains, and Three Fingered Jack. Each of the more than 220 stunning photographs is accompanied by readable text, presenting the story of how Oregon's diverse landscapes evolved — and what we may expect in the future. Until now, no book has presented this dynamic story in a way that everyone interested in Oregon's natural history can easily understand. The combination of extraordinary photographs and the author's lucid explanations make this book both unique and essential for those curious about our own contemporary landscape.
Eden Seekers-The Settlement of Oregon 1818-1862
by Malcolm Clark, Jr
Good summary of Oregon’s history between 1818-1862.
Salmon without Rivers-A history of the Pacific Salmon Crisis
by Jim Lichatowich
Easy to read book on Salmon, and hatcheries.
Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Katharine Berry Judson
Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, the salmon and noted geographical features of the territory.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest
by Peter Alden
Filled with concise descriptions and stunning photographs, the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest belongs in the home of every Pacific Northwest resident and in the suitcase or backpack of every visitor. This compact volume contains: An easy-to-use field guide for identifying 1,000 of the region's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more; A complete overview of the Pacific Northwest's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns and night sky; An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, beaches, forests, islands, and wildlife sanctuaries, with detailed descriptions and visitor information for 50 sites and notes on dozens of others. The guide is packed with visual information -- the 1,500 full-color images include more than 1,300 photographs, 14 maps, and 16 night-sky charts, as well as 150 drawings explaining everything from geological processes to the basic features of different plants and animals.
Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast-Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska
by Pojar and MacKinnon
This easy-to-use field guide features 794 species of plants commonly found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatic plants, grasses, ferns, mosses and lichens. PLANTS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST covers the coastal region from shoreline to alpine, including the western Cascades. Includes: * 1100 color photographs * More than 1000 line drawings and silhouettes * Clear species descriptions and keys to groups * Descriptions of each plant's habitat and range * 794 new color range maps. Rich and engaging notes on each species describe aboriginal and other local uses of plants for food, medicine and implements, along with unique characteristics of the plants and the origins of their names. For both amateurs and professionals, this is the best, most accessible, most up-to-date guide of its kind.
Northwest Exposures-A Geologic Story of the Northwest
by David Alt and Donald W. Hyndman
Northwest Exposures chronicles the events that shaped the region's rock and landforms through the ages. The tale of the Northwest's geology began more than two billion years ago when an ancient continent split, creating oceanfront property in what is now western Idaho. Pacific islands mashed into that coastline, making large parts of Washington and Oregon. These events were followed by monstrous volcanic eruptions, catastrophic ice age floods, and mountains rising to an accompaniment of earthquakes.
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
by Bernard Devoto
Abridged, version of the journey.
on Mount Hood a Biography of Oregon's Perilous Peak
by Jon Bell
On Mount Hood is a contemporary, first-person narrative biography of Oregon's greatest mountain, featuring stories full of adventure and tragedy, history and geology, people and places, trivia and lore. The mountain itself helps create the notorious Oregon rains and deep alpine snows, and paved the way for snowboarding in the mid 1980s. Its forests provide some of the purest drinking water in the world, and its snowy peak captures the attention of the nation almost every time it wreaks fatal havoc on climbers seeking the summit. On Mount Hood builds a compelling story of a legendary mountain and its impact on the people who live in its shadow, and includes interviews with a forest activist, a volcanologist, and a para-rescue jumper. Jon Bell has been writing from his home base in Oregon since the late 1990s.
9 Reviews
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5 Average
(5) Review left 10/06/2022

Would highly recommend! Memorable experience! Todd was the best hiking guide ever! Great diversity of hikes, along rivers, along creeks, around lakes with fantastic views of Mt Hood, plus a visit to Timberline Lodge as well as to the local "ski" town, Government Camp.

(5) Review left 7/04/2022

Delightful, well-managed hiking experience on beautiful and sometimes demanding terrain. Participants encouraged to pace themselves according to their respective interests and levels of fitness.

(5) Review left 10/10/2021

As my first hiking adventure with Road Scholar, this experience was fabulous and challenging! The hikes included views of old growth forests and mountain ridge lines, reflective lakes and rushing rivers and falls.A delight for one’s eyes and spirit! Top-notched team leaders shared their wealth of information about the region with witty stories and vivid, memorable descriptions of flora, fauna, geology, and history. They reached beyond the standard European-American narrative to give better insight into indigenous cultures and the impact of human development upon the region. Their experienced hiker tips were priceless! I appreciated the Choose Your Pace option. It served as a good introduction to Pacific Northwest terrain/weather and encouragement to try hikes I might not have done solo. Loved the small group experience! And the delicious meals! When packing for this trip, good to follow the “Additional suggestions specific to this program” for items essential to outdoor adventures in the Pacific NW. I'm ready for more Road Scholar adventures!

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 10/09/2021

It is a good experience, but this program is a hike. It is not a walk in the park.

(5) Review left 10/05/2021

Overall, a well organized and challenging program. The 3 guides planned our activities each day in response to weather, etc. Meals were extraordinary. Each day had a short, medium and long hiking option. Pick your poison. Lodge was pretty basic and remote but roomy and comfortable. Our 5 days of hiking visited 5 different topographical zones - river side, easy forest, waterfalls, uphill climb. We also visited a historical site on the Oregon trail as well as Timberline Lodge. Transportation was comfortable - 3 vans for 20 participants.

(5) Review left 7/04/2019

This program has it all: amazing location, great food which exceeded my expectations in many ways, lovely location of the retreat center (you can actually hike around the retreat center), interesting and challenging hikes with different scenery every day, helpful guides, and overall wonderful educational experience. The last Trillium Lake hike was a real treat.

(5) Review left 7/01/2019

Excellent program. What really helped was 3 guides instead of the usual two. The head guide Ken just needs to remember that not all of us are camels and need more water than he does but it wasn't a big problem. Excellent food! The variety of hikes and the different pace for slower hikers was a good idea. The guides were really diligent and caring especially during a freak hail storm when one inconsiderate hiker took off on her own and they needed to look for her. They were ready to call out search and rescue. Beautiful scenery in the rain forests and all the water falls and lakes. A real Northwest adventure!

(5) Review left 6/30/2019

Good balance of hikes for all levels. Stunningly beautiful scenery. My favorite was the old growth forest walk.

(5) Review left 6/29/2019

Our first Road Scholar trip exceeded all expectations!

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