Tamanawas Falls Trail on Mount Hood in Oregon

We are currently in Washington State, visiting my husbands parents here in Washougal (just a stones throw from Portland, Oregon). This is our annual winter visit, and over the years we have somehow developed our weird little traditions that we look forward to every New Year.
Visit Powells Books in Portland. Check! Eat a maple bacon donut at Voodoo Donuts? Check! Eat conveyor belt sushi at Hana Sushi in Vancouver? Check! Go play in the snow? SUPER CHECK!
One of the very first Christmases Jonathan and I spent as a couple (long before the kids came along) Jonathans parents gave us some snowshoes for our treks into the Columbia River Gorge winter wonderland in Oregon and Washington. But as things always tend to do with children, we have taken a step back from grand outings and instead spend our time focusing on the little things.
Like the way snowflakes drift down from the sky. The way icicles cling to vibrant leaves buried in the snow. The way ice crunches underfoot. All the tiny details of creation from the macro to the micro that make a toddler stop, gasp and say OH WOW.
Tessa has been obsessed with snow after being bombarded with Christmas shows, watching Frozen on a continuous loop at Grandmas, and our recent trip into the Sequoias on Christmas Day. So the entire drive up the mountain into snowy country, Tessa was buzzing with excitement. So much so that Jonathan had to pull over to grab a couple of handfuls of snow for Tessa to play with. (At one point I threw the snow out the window when it was melting in the car, to which Tessa started crying… Nooo, that’s MY ice!


We had initially hoped to make the full drive up Mount Hood to Timberline Lodge so we could order the ridiculously large and crazy delicious hot cocoa, but the snow was pretty intense, and the roads were thick with ice, so we decided to stop short and take a small hike along the Hood River.
Want some Wikipedia info on Mount Hood? Of course you do! Ahem: Mount Hood, called Wy’east by the Multnomah tribe, is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. In addition to being Oregon’s highest mountain, it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence. The peak is home to 12 named glaciers and snowfields.
According to the legends of the native Multnomah tribe, the two sons of the Great Spirit Sahale fell in love with the beautiful maiden Loowit, who could not decide which to choose. The two braves, Wy’east and Klickitat, burned forests and villages in their battle over her. Sahale became enraged and smote the three lovers. Seeing what he had done, he erected three mountain peaks to mark where each fell. He made beautiful Mount St. Helens for Loowit, proud and erect Mount Hood for Wy’east, and the somber Mount Adams for the mourning Klickitat.
The mountain was given its present name on October 29, 1792, by Lt. William Broughton, a member of Captain George Vancouver’s discovery expedition. Lt. Broughton observed its peak while at Belle Vue Point of what is now called Sauvie Island during his travels up the Columbia River, writing, “A very high, snowy mountain now appeared rising beautifully conspicuous in the midst of an extensive tract of low or moderately elevated land lying S 67 E., and seemed to announce a termination to the river.” Lt. Broughton named the mountain after Lord Samuel Hood, a British Admiral at the Battle of Chesapeake.





There is a special kind of beauty in the landscape of Oregons mountains. It is simply impossible to spend any amount of time under the canopies of these ultra green forests, in any kind of weather, and not feel renewed, refreshed and energized. It makes my heart so happy to introduce my daughters to the natural beauty of Gods creation.
Tessa was mesmerized by the icy water cascading over frozen icicles along the East Fork of the Hood River on the Tamanawas Trail, and literally RAN along the trail, eager to explore every turn and corner along the snowy landscape. She wanted to grab the snow, taste the snow, crawl in it, throw it, build snowmen with it.
Even little Thyme was smiling and giggling and watching the world with wonder in her eyes. I always thought just being in nature was a wonderful experience.. I never knew that it could be blown away by watching my daughters enjoying the beauty of creation.
We didn’t make it all the way to the falls, since Tessa got cold. She was rolling around in the snow so much that she started shivering around the halfway point. But if there is one thing having kids has taught me is that:

It is not about the destination. It is all about the journey!





Our family is so very blessed. Jonathans parents, Bob and Connie Jo had so much fun with the girls, and the girls are enjoying every moment with their grandparents. (These stinking kids are spoiled from BOTH sides of the family!)

I am looking forward to every new year bringing new levels of enjoyment and new escapades in the gorgeous Northwest!

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

22 thoughts on “Tamanawas Falls Trail on Mount Hood in Oregon

  • 17 January, 2016 at 1:44 am

    What a beautiful photos! It seems you had a fantastic time with your in laws…

    • 17 January, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      I did!! I love that area and it is always so fun!

  • 17 January, 2016 at 2:07 am

    So beautiful! It’s posts like this one that make me wish I was more of an outdoorsy girl 🙂

    • 17 January, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      LOL, I dont understand how ANYONE cant love the outdoors!! I am addicted!

  • 17 January, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Oregon is a beautiful state, my mom was born and raised there.. I spent a month there in 1995 and fell in love with all its beauty♡

    I walked the Silver Falls trails and loved it… the state has so much to offer. I’m happy your family has the opportunity to enjoy it and other west coast states xox ♡

    • 17 January, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      How wonderful!! I could totally see myself living there for a season.. it is so gorgeous and there is so much to explore!

    • 17 January, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      You too! <3 <3

  • 18 January, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I must be completely honest here and say I hate Winter. I hate snow. I hate cold. If I could avoid it at all costs, I would. That being said however, your photographs are so stunningly beautiful and the snow looks so whimsical that I’d LOVE the opportunity to visit and go through those woods, too! Sounds like a very fun (yet cold) tradition 😉

    P.s. You have me seriously craving a maple bacon doughnut now. LOL

    • 18 January, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      I am actually right there with you in that I HATE the cold.. like.. seriously, you have no idea. Major cold hatred over here. haha. But I do love the snow! <3

  • 18 January, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    So stunning place darling!! *-*
    You have a lovely family! And Tessa is so sweet! ^-^

    • 18 January, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Awww, thank you dear! <3

    • 18 January, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Kisses to you toooo!

  • 18 January, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Testing comments for my Gingi! I love you!! Lala!

    • 18 January, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Thank you husband dearest!!

    • 19 January, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you! <3

  • 20 January, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Boy do I miss the west coast.
    And maple bacon donuts!

    • 23 January, 2016 at 12:18 am

      Arent those things addicting?!?!?!

  • 31 January, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    That sounds and looks like a wonderful vacation tradition to uphold. Your photos are awesome. And I know how gorgeous the landscape in that region is. My inlaws live on the Olympic Peninsula and our last family reunion was in Bellingham, WA, which we used as an excuse to drive up into the mountains (love that moss dangling from the trees). Of course, it was late summer, so these with that insane amount of snow is a totally different view. But easily as beautiful.

  • 9 February, 2016 at 5:35 am

    While you are going and planning to go some where. You first need to analyses the area where you are going. If you are going places like snow area. Then you have to pack some things like antifungal soap to prevent you from like ringworm or jock itch problems.

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