The sun setting over Eliot River and Mount Hood / Getty
“We have so many great rivers to raft, lakes to swim at and mountains to climb, we never run out of things to do or places to see,” says Kasey McCullough, head brewer and owner of Working Hands Fermentation in Hood River, Oregon.
“We truly are spoiled to live in a place this beautiful and diverse, and I try to never take that for granted.”
Whether you want to hike, ski, fly fish or anything in between, the region is ripe with adventure and picturesque landscapes within a three-hour drive from the Portland International Airport (PDX).
Here are some of the best spots to explore, according to beer and cider pros.
Working Hands Fermentation
Hood River, Oregon
Working Hands Fermentation offers German-style lagers, cold-fermented IPAs, Kölschs, hard ciders and more. When Kristyn Fix, operations manager and owner, isn’t working in the taproom, you’ll find her “at the water.”
“We live on the majestic Columbia River, which is one of the top destination spots for windsurfing and kiteboarding in the world,” she says. “It also has tributaries where you can float, swim, fish, whitewater raft, splash or just lay out and take a dip when you’re hot.”
Fix also likes to kayak on Laurance Lake. Make sure to keep an eye out for bald eagles.
When McCullough isn’t working, he’s looking for quiet trails with his girlfriend and two dogs.
“Soda Peaks Lake trail is at the top of the list,” he says.
But McCullough’s favorite way to get outside and beat the heat? White water rafting.
“I grew up in Dufur, [Oregon], close to Maupin, [Oregon], where the Deschutes River is the king of summer,” he says.
Little Beast Brewing
A backpacker hiking through the Timberline Ridge Trail / Getty
Little Beast Brewing offers everything from traditional lagers and IPAs to wild-yeast fermented, wood-aged beers.
When Charles Porter, founder and brewmaster, isn’t mixing up funky brews, he enjoys hiking, foraging and archery hunting.
He especially likes to head to Mount Hood, just over an hour from PDX, where there are miles of trails to hike.