You don't need a car any more to access the recreation that Mount Hood has to offer. This is the first summer of full operation of the Mt. Hood Express, a bus service between Sandy and Timberline Lodge, with stops along the way.
The service began last fall, so it had all winter to work the bugs out. If it can operate during a snowy Mount Hood winter, the summer ride is a breeze.
The bus route starts off U.S. 26 at 362nd Avenue at the Mount Hood National Forest headquarters on the west end of Sandy. The next stop is the Sandy Transit Center.
Buses leave the Transit Center daily at 5:25 a.m., 7:55 a.m., 9:25 a.m., 1:25 p.m., 3:25 p.m., 6:25 p.m. and 8:55 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), or 9:35 p.m. (the other five days). They arrive at Timberline Lodge about 55 minutes later, though the last bus on Sunday to Thursday ends its run at Government Camp.
Fare is $2 one-way, cash. The driver does not make change. Or better yet, buy a book of 20 rides for $30.
For information, call 503-668-3466 or go to mthoodexpress.com. Buses are equipped with bike racks. They are not flag stops, however, so you will need to be at one of the 11 designated stops along the route.
There is also a separate line of village shuttles, which operate Monday to Friday between Sandy and Rhododendron, three times a day. The two systems are operated by Clackamas County Social Services.
There is also new bus service that makes for convenient travel on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, from Vancouver to the Dog Mountain trailhead in Skamania County, and througout the north Oregon coastal counties of Lincoln, Tillamook, Clatsop and Columbia, with connections inland to Portland, Salem and Albany. Click those links to read my reports about those transit services.
Copyright 2014 - The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.