Mt. Hood Skibowl — Getting there and around
By air: Portland has the nearest airport, 53 to 68 miles away, depending on the ski area.
By car: U.S. Hwy. 26 passes Mt. Hood SkiBowl, 53 miles east of Portland. To get to Mt. Hood Meadows, go through Government Camp to Hwy. 35, then turn left. It’s 68 miles from Portland. An alternate route to Meadows is to take I-84 east from Portland 47 miles, following the Columbia River to the town of Hood River, where you turn south on Hwy. 35 for another 35 miles.
Getting around: A car is vital; however, if you rent you may find yourself in a Catch-22 situation. Tire chains are a necessity and you can get fined if you’re caught without them (or four-wheel-drive) when “Traction Devices Required” signs are posted. The Portland airport has five rental-car agencies. Some will permit chain installation as long as you pay for any damage to the car, but you must buy the chains. (Ask about this when you inquire about rental cars.) It’s better to rent a four-wheel-drive car—most agencies have them.
All the Mt. Hood ski areas are in Sno-Parks, which require parking permits. They cost $5 per day or $25 for the season and are available at the ski areas and at many stores on the way to the mountains.