Mount Hood Forest is vast and could easily accommodate even more visitors…if they didn’t have cars. Mount Hood ski areas boast thousands of parking spaces, but each wants more. Ski Bowl has parking for 500 cars on the west side of US 26 and parking for 400 cars on the east side. Timberline has parking for 1,000 cars, but would like to add an additional 900 parking spaces. They have had to turn away people during 17 days last year because parking was at capacity. Timberline is considering building an additional parking lot at the base of its Molly’s lift two-thirds of the way up Timberline Highway. Mount Hood Forest motorists must have a valid windshield displayed “Sno-Park permit” to park in a designated winter recreation areas from November 1 to April 30. Sno-Parks permits are available from ODMV for $20 per season. Snow Park fees are used to offset winter mountain highway maintenance costs.
When lots fill at Ski Bowl or Timberline, motorists turn to Government Camp, which understandably irks “Govy” residents who don’t want their unincorporated village to become Mount Hood’s parking lot. SnoPark permits are required to park on Government Camp Loop Road in the winter. Timberline shuttles snow riders to and from Government Camp when their parking lot is full.
Meadows ski area has slots for 2,500 vehicles and has plans for additional parking Bennett Pass for 900 more. Lot construction is should soon be underway assuming funding for fish passages. On busy days, Meadows upper lot is full by 8:30 AM. Then, motorists are directed the Meadows annex lot, then to Hood River Meadows lot. Four or five times each year, Mt. Hood Meadows turns away prospective riders.