Growing up in Indiana, a mountain was anything taller than your house, and you had to drive hundreds of miles for a mountain vacation. In fact, I’d wager that’s true for anyone living in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains states. We just don’t have mountains. You have to head south and west, past where the glaciers stopped during the Ice Age to get into the real mountains and a real mountain vacation.
Luckily, I’ve had a chance to travel to a few mountains in my life, including the Rockies and the Appalachians. While those are indeed majestic mountains, I never like doing things everyone else does. So here are a few suggestions for mountain vacation getaways that won’t get as crowded — or expensive! — as the “big mountains” everyone thinks of when they want a mountain retreat.
Mount Hood, Cascades, Oregon:
Located about 50 miles east-southeast of Portland, this is the state’s highest point at 11,249 feet. And on a clear day, you can just barely see Mt. Hood from Portland. The people of Portland have sort of claimed it as “their mountain,” at least unofficially, and it’s a great place to spend the day hiking or skiing, depending on the time of year.