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Exploring Trillium Lake in the Fall & Winter

Exploring Trillium Lake is amazing anytime of year. Summer activities end around September and then there are completely new options.

With summer winding down and fall on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start planning your next outdoor adventure. And if you’re looking for somewhere beautiful to enjoy the changing leaves, look no further than Trillium Lake! This mecca for outdoor enthusiasts offers stunning views of Mt. Hood and is teeming with vibrant foliage this time of year. Here’s everything you need to know about making the most of a trip to Trillium Lake in the fall.

Autumn is a beautiful time to explore Oregon. The leaves are changing color, the air is chilly but refreshing, and there’s a feeling of magic in the air. One of my favorite places to explore during this season is Trillium Lake. The views are stunning, and there’s always something new to see.

Exploring Trillium Lake in the Winter is also amazing. The famous Trillium Lake usually has easy access and popularity make this one spot where you’ll find scores, not just from skiers but also snowshoers or cross-country riders looking for some fresh tracks in between tree lines!

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No matter what time of year you go, Trillium Lake is an excellent spot for a day trip from Portland. It’s one the many great things about living in this area and exploring its natural beauty.

Getting to Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake is located just off Highway 26, about an hour and a half from Portland. From the east side of town, take I-84 to Troutdale and then follow signs for Sandy/Mt. Hood. Once you reach Rhododendron, continue straight onto Highway 26 for about 28 miles until you reach the lake.

If you’re coming from the west side, take Highway 26 east from Sandy until you reach Trillium Lake. The journey takes about an hour and 45 minutes. Keep in mind that during peak leaf-peeping season, traffic can be heavy so plan accordingly!

The road to Trillium Lake is closed by mid-fall, but winter users can still enjoy all kinds of fun in the forest. It’s one Of Mt Hood National Forest’s most popular spots because it has an easy access and offers great views!

Things to Do at Trillium Lake

Go for a Hike

One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Trillium Lake is to hike around it. The 4-mile loop trail provides stunning views of Mount Hood, as well as opportunities to see wildlife like beavers, otters, and native fish. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for all skill levels, making it an enjoyable experience for everyone in your group. And, if you time your hike right, you might even catch a glimpse of the sunset reflecting off the lake’s surface—a truly magical sight!

Enjoy the Snow

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers can enjoy the snow-covered trails in the Trillium Sno Park.

What to Bring

No matter when you go, be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and traction devices for your boots. As the snow falls and temperatures drop, it’s important to be prepared for winter weather. Make sure you have proper gear like layers so that your body can adjust accordingly when going out in cold conditions with extra shoes or gloves on hand. And no matter what time of year it is, always remember to Leave No Trace and pack out whatever you bring in!

And of course make sure to bring your camera along because the views are truly breathtaking!

Permits Needed

You will need a State of Oregon Sno-Park permit to visit the area from November – April.

Trillium Lake is a stunning spot that’s well worth a visit any time of year. However, if you have the opportunity to go in the Fall or Winter, when the leaves are changing color and the air is crisp and cool, definitely take it.

Have Us Help You Plan Your Mount Hood Adventure

Exploring Trillium Lake is day 3 of our Winter on Mount Hood trip. When you hire the Land Wander team to plan your outdoor adventure, we handle all the reservations, permits, and planning for you. This allows you to enjoy the outdoors without the hassle!

leave no trace hiking sign

Essential Guide to Leave No Trace Hiking

In order to help protect the environment, we’ve put together this leave no trace hiking guide. By following these tips, you can make sure that your hike doesn’t negatively impact the landscape and wildlife. Hiking is a great way to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential impact that hiking can have on the environment.

What is Leave No Trace Hiking and Why Should You Do It?

Leave no trace hiking means making sure that your impact on nature remains minimal and invisible. When you go out into nature, it’s important to think about the environment and how your actions may affect it. One way of doing this is leaving no trace – making as small an impact as possible.

The first step is to educate yourself on the Leave No Trace principles. These principal will help you not only have a safe and fun hiking adventure they will help you avoid harming the natural spaces that you visit. Once you understand the principles, it’s important to put them into practice.

If you’re a nature lover, then you know the importance of leaving no trace when you’re hiking. You may have heard the phrase, “pack it in, pack it out.” This phrase covers elements of several Leave No Trace principles, and therefore it’s a very important one to follow.

The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics created the following seven principles to help guide you in protecting the environment while you’re out enjoying the outdoors:

  1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
  2. Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Resources for Learning More About Leave No Trace Hiking

If you’re interested in learning more about Leave No Trace hiking, there are a number of resources available. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a great place to start. They offer awareness workshops, educational resources, and plenty of information on how to minimize your impact when hiking. You can also check out their website, which has a wealth of articles and tips.

Of course, one of the best ways to learn about Leave No Trace hiking is simply to get out there and do it! There’s no substitute for first-hand experience, so get out there and explore with the knowledge that you’re doing your part to protect our wilderness areas. You can get started with our Outdoor Adventure Checklist and begin planning a day adventure now.

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The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Checklist

Our outdoor adventure checklist can help you begin planning the perfect family vacation. If you want to get your family outside and enjoy the great outdoors, but you’re not sure where to start we have just the resource for you. When you head out into the wild, there are many things to keep in mind. You can make sure that your time in nature stays safe and enjoyable by following our tips for a successful adventure. We know it can be overwhelming to figure out all the details, but we want to make getting outdoors easy.

In this blog post, we’ll give you all the tips you need to plan the perfect outdoor adventure. So pack your bags and get ready for some fun!

How to Plan the Perfect Outdoor Adventure

  1. Choose a destination – Consider your interests and the activities you want to do in order to select the perfect destination.
  2. Plan your route – Make sure to take into account the distance, elevation changes, and difficulty level for each member of your group.
  3. Pack accordingly – Use our printable Outdoor Adventure Checklist to be sure to bring the necessary gear and supplies for your trip.
  4. Enjoy yourself! – Take in the sights and sounds of nature, and have fun with your friends or family and make memories!

Finding the Perfect Destination to Explore

Outdoor adventure travel is a great way to explore the world and learn about nature, all while getting in some exercise and fresh air. But before you start packing your bags, it’s important to think about what kind of outdoor adventure you want to have. Consider your interests and the activities you want to do when choosing your destination.

We have created trips based on popular activities including: mountain biking, hiking, white water rafting, skiing, horseback riding, or walking on the beach. This is the best way to find a destination for your group. Have a look at our current trips here. We make it easy for groups to find a destination where they can enjoy their favorite activities. If you don’t see just the right trip or want to build your own trip around another destination, just let us know.

Planning Your Outdoor Adventure

Now that you have some ideas of where to go, it’s time to start planning your outdoor adventure. We can help with that! Our team is experienced in creating custom trips for groups of all sizes and interests. So whether you’re looking for a challenging backpacking trip or an easy family-friendly hike, we can make it happen. Get started by filling out our online form and one of our Adventure Consultants will be in touch soon.

When planning your hiking trail, make sure to check for updates and alerts about conditions on the different trails. You can also message us if you need any help!
Also check what other groups have done recently by consulting online resources like AllTrails, which has user reviews from people who’ve already completed hikes similar as yours- this can help decide which trails will best match up with individual preferences while still being challenging enough for everyone’s ability level.

Make sure you have all the permits necessary for your trip. Some activities, such as fishing in designated areas or hunting wildlife with special tags from a licensed seller are only available through purchasing them beforehand – don’t count on finding these locally!

Packing for Your Trip (Free Outdoor Adventure Checklist)

Outdoor adventures can be a lot of fun, but they can also be pretty daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You’ll need the right supplies for your outdoor adventure. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or paddle-boarding, it’s important to bring the necessary gear and supplies with you so that you can enjoy your activity to the fullest.

Here’s a checklist of everything you’ll need to make the most of your trip. Make sure to download our free printable outdoor adventure checklist. This list will help you remember everything you need for a great time outdoors. And as always, if you have any questions about what to bring or how to do something on the list, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Enjoy the Outdoors and Leave No Trace

The outdoors is a beautiful place to explore and we must preserve it for future generations. Follow these simple guidelines so that you can enjoy this special area without impacting the natural world around us.

  • Walk on designated trails
  • Pack out what you pack in
  • Share the path with others
  • Respect the wildlife and their habitat

We hope that this outdoor adventure checklist will help you and your family get excited about your next vacation. The outdoors can be a great place for families to reconnect and have some fun together. Make sure to download our free printable packing list so you don’t forget anything while you are out enjoying nature. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring!

man using laptop at table in a campervan

8 Big Advantages of Traveling in a Campervan

Traveling in a campervan has many benefits and can be more affordable than staying at hotels and more comfortable than tent camping. Van life has its perks!

In addition to being easy on your wallet; camping on wheels provides some major advantages over traditional forms of accommodation like hotels, motels, or resorts. You may even prefer it to tent camping. Although, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy sleeping under the stars. You’ll find that staying at your favorite campground is even better in a campervan. Read on to discover all the benefits of traveling and vacationing in a campervan.

Read More “8 Big Advantages of Traveling in a Campervan”
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3 Nights on the Central Coast

3ish hours south of San Francisco lies the peaceful city of Paso Robles. It’s the last major stop on the way to San Luis Obispo heading south and the perfect destination to get lost for a long weekend. Very similar to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, we were eager to explore!

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We applied the usual calculus to set up our trip parameters: xxx miles per day, yyy amp hours in the house batteries, zzz gallons remaining in the holding tanks before we need to find a dump station. Get the kids back in time for school and maintain the proper balance of old and new experiences, masked at 6′.

Stanger Vineyards


Lots of options to overnight in the area but limited avails last minute. It’s becoming our biggest limitation as glampers: scarcity of qualified places to park it. We decided make a call to our friends at Stanger Vineyards and we lucked out. Roger & Laurie Janakus are great people to know in the Paso wine scene. Very easygoing and were always accommodating. Their hospitality was only exceeded by their delicious wines, both of which we enjoyed immensely.

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Staying on the property is a dream. It’s not downtown Paso but that’s not what we were looking for either. Acres of rolling hills to explore, kids can run off and be kids and easy access to really good wines. Each time we’ve been, the crowds have been minimal and there’s not a lot we haven’t been allowed to do. The view from atop the main hill captures breathtaking views throughout the day but sunrises are the best. It’s easy livin’ and a great place to call home for a few nights.


Splash Cafe

Whenever the opportunity presents itself, it’s always a good move to eat with the locals, especially when you’re in town for a few days. Splash Cafe is the kind of place that attracts both locals and those just passing through. It’s their second storefront in the area, just a quick trip south from Stanger, in the heart of San Luis Obispo.

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They serve a great mix of top notch fare, but are most famous for their clam chowder. Eating with the locals wasn’t in the cards, because… COVID, but we did do some risk taking and took our bread bowls of chowder to eat in the car. This chowder is so good, we even served it at our wedding! Truth. Get yours fully loaded (topped with seafood, clams, bacon, green onion & cheese). You wont go hungry.


Central Coast Trail Rides

One of the challenges in wine country is trying to find things for the family to do that isn’t related to wine. We found the perfect detox at Central Coast Trail Rides. It’s wine-adjacent, starting our journey from the back lot of Cass Vineyards and walking the horses through the wintering vines for the first part of our adventure but cross the road and we were in a beautiful dry river bed where the horses felt at home.

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Brian Hallett and his wrangler Olivia were the best: perfect blend hospitality, kid curator/question answerer and chaperone for the young and old. They are the NICEST people and were naturals at explaining everything unique about this very new experience for the whole family. So many questions. So much patience with the ability to control several 600lb. animals at once (a skill I really appreciated). We all felt safe and watched over by CCT and are already planning our next horse adventure!


43 Ranch Olive Oil

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Day 3: we pulled up stakes at Stanger and drove north back home via an overnight stop at 43 Ranch. Greg and Cindy Traynor are doing it right. After years in big business, Greg became the 5th generation of farmers in his family business, growing olives and milling some of the best oils in the US. 43 Ranch Olive Oil applies a lot of sophistication to an ingredient I never thought much about beyond the initials EVOO. Did someone say olive oil tasting? LET’S GO! we tasted them all but found our happy place with the co-milled Meyer Lemon Olive Oil – 2021 harvest. Greg was amazing!

The milling season had just wrapped up the week prior, and the warehouse was a hot mess but he still took the time to walk us through a day in the life of an olive, from tree to bottle, in a 30-minute farm tour. The automation. The machines. The gadgetry. When paired with an expert like Greg, it makes for a tasty finishing oil. I’ll remember two things from this adventure: doing olive oil shots with my 9-year-olds & scoring an overnight spot, up the hill away from hwy 101 with views of rolling green hills in every direction. When passing through or overnighting, stop in and have a few shots. You’ll leave with a new appreciation for finishing oils and you’ll learn something too.