Konect Aviation’s Helicopter Tour of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

Mount Hood is one of the many beautiful mountains we have in the Cascades that run through the Northwest. This mountain sits just east of the city of Portland and very near to the Columbia River Gorge. It is popular to visit in winter by those looking at going skiing and snowboarding, as well as in summer when hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing are popular.

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I’d been to Portland a number of times and even to Mount Hood, but I’d never experienced the area from the air. I had the opportunity to do just that though when I booked a tour through Konect Aviation for their Portland Premium tour. We were taken straight up into the air from Portland and gained some incredible views of the city from all sorts of angles. We then headed east and were able to see several recognizable landmarks like Mt. St. Helens and Multnomah Falls. The tour then took a turn to the south and we explored the slopes of Mt. Hood on the way back to Portland.

All the while, we snapped hundreds of photos – Thank you digital cameras!

Getting this opportunity was amazing and though I mainly road trip on the ground, I was happy to have the opportunity to briefly extend my road trip up into the skies that day.

Konect Aviation did an awesome job of giving me an experience I don’t think I will ever forget.

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort

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Mount Hood dominates the skyline when looking east from Portland. The visual effect of the mountain over the city is incredible too. But Mount Hood is much more than just something to look at from afar. Mount Hood begs for visitors to come out and explore and enjoy its slopes.

The Northwest is peppered with a lot of high quality mountain ski areas. This is true in British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. One very special place to visit and try the skiing at is Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort near Portland, Oregon.

This is a full service ski resort that offers everything you would want, and so much more. If you are new to skiing, you can take lessons there. You can rent skis and all the equipment you could want and need for a full day on the slopes. You can venture up the mountain via chairlifts and try runs that range from beginner and intermediate level, all the way to expert. After exhausting the slopes, you can even retreat to the lodges down below and enjoy everything from your very own hotel room to dining rooms serving some of the best food in the area.

My favorite of the eating establishments there is the Paradise Grill. Go there, and you can enjoy great tasting barbecue, right out on the sundeck if you’d like. There are plenty of other great options too, including the Schuss Grill, and each of them offer some great food and refreshment for after a long day out on the slopes.

Whether you’re an avid skier or just touring the area on a road trip, stop in at the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort. Take a day and ski the slopes. If you want though, skip the slopes and enjoy a nice drink or meal up on the side of this beautiful mountain. In fact, you can even find a great deal to do on the sides of Mount Hood during the summer months.

Regardless of your intentions, but especially if you’re a skier, the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort is a wonderful destination.

You should definitely take the time to visit this excellent destination.

Oregon’s Crater Lake

The Pacific Northwest has a wealth of incredible scenic sites. From north to south and east to west, it really is not that hard to find an incredibly beautiful place to visit or experience. One of the top ones to see first hand, and one that is entirely unique, is Crater Lake in southern Oregon.

Crater Lake is basically a water filled dorman volcanic crater at the top of a mountain. This doesn’t explain the beauty that you will find there though. As road trippers, we get used to driving through the mountains here in the Pacific Northwest. But here, as you ascend up the side of the mountain, you have something waiting for you that you don’t usually encounter at the top. A full alpine lake just waiting to be enjoyed.

I have two favorite parts about Crater Lake. First, the historic lodge that sits on the rim and overlooks this natural beauty. There is a beauty in some of these older forest service buildings that still stand in our region. I like having the opportunity to enjoy a meal there while looking at the history represented not only by the building itself, but also the photographs on the walls. Once outside, there are some viewing areas and picnic tables that allow you to enjoy the scenery, but I always take some time to enjoy the inside of the historic lodge first.

The other thing I truly enjoy at Crater Lake is called Rim Drive. This is the name of the road that winds completely around the lake at the top of the mountain. This road gets a lot of snow, naturally, so it is closed during the winter and quite late into the spring. My recommendation is that if this sounds like something you want to do, call ahead and find out if that road is open. There are several great vantage points along this road to get out, stretch your legs, and take pictures from. Rim Drive is a true treat that should be experienced at least once.

One thing that I’ve never done, but should, when at Crater Lake is get down and take a cruise on the water from the tour boat that operates there. How cool would that be?

Anyway, I cannot recommend Crater Lake more highly as a place to go when going on a road trip through southern Oregon. You are sure to want to go back again and again.