Oregonians living near Mt. Hood National Forest are in on a big secret: This popular summertime getaway is actually a great place to head in winter -- maybe even better than summer. Sitting 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Portland, the forest sprawls 60 miles (97 kilometers) south from the Columbia River Gorge, passing through forested mountains, lakes and streams [source: USDA Forest Service]. The area is a popular spot for a variety of snow sports, such as downhill skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skating, sledding/tubing, Nordic skiing and even skijoring, which involves getting on cross-country skis, then having your dog tow you across the landscape.
The forest is so large, you have a number of places to choose from when selecting a camping spot. One good choice is Trillium Lake Campground. Trillium Lake is a small, pretty lake with a prime view of stately Mt. Hood. There are a number of unimproved roads in the area, which are particularly nice for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing [source: Great Oregon Vacations].