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Tyson Gillard | 12.23.2013

Congratulations! If you are reading this blog post, chances are you're on vacation enjoying time off for the holidays... or, if you're not off work just yet, you will be soon. As most of us take a moment to relax and spend time with family and loved-ones, we thought it would be ideal to share a few ideas of where to head outdoors with the whole gang, particularly now that you'll have a little extra time on your hands.

So here is a short list of six adventures that are sure to be fun for your entire holiday contingent. With the recent spate of warmer weather in the Pacific Northwest, we've chosen adventures at higher elevations, since you still won't find a ton of snow below 5,000 feet in most areas.


If you haven't been out sledding in a long time you're missing out on this classic pastime. Snow Bunny, on Mount Hood, is perfect for the kids, and the Glade Trail from Timberline is one long route down from top to bottom for those of you who are interested in a little more thrill. For the Glade Trail, either snowshoe up the hill or depart from Timberline (but make sure you have a shuttle to take you back up top). If you've been sledding for years and aren't interested in the kiddy stuff, we suggest you venture onto Mount Bachelor's Cinder Cone, just to the northwest of the West Village parking lot, to get some of the best easily accessible and steep sledding to be found anywhere.

Ice Skating

Well, there aren't many options for outdoor ice skating in Oregon, but skating at Bend's Seventh Mountain ice skating rink is always a holiday classic. And afterwards, warm up next to their ring-side fire pit or sip on a hot toddy at their Rimrock Bar.


Hike to the top of Central Oregon's Tumalo Mountain, the shield volcano across from Mount Bachelor. Simply put, it's one of the best vistas anywhere in Oregon.

Cross Country Skiing

For those of you who are looking for a work out with your family and friends, there are few places you can go to get more fit, have so much fun, and enjoy such big vistas than the Cascades. Tucked away on Mount Hood's northeastern slopes, the historic Cloud Cap Road zigzags for 9 miles before it finally reaches Cloud Cap and the Tilly-Jane area. Once at the top, you'll enjoy spectacular views of Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and even as far north has Mount Rainier.  There's one thing we can promise, the ski down will be a lot faster than the way up, so don't be too intimidated by the 18-mile total distance.


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