CAMP 2018: What to do in Welches

by Emily DeRuy

Just an hour east of Portland in the shadow of Mount Hood, the resort town of Welches welcomes visitors with lush forests, glittering lakes and plenty of opportunities for adventure. And lucky for those coming to Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) 2018, many of the town’s offerings are located right in or just steps from the Mount Hood Oregon Resort.

  • The Mount Hood National Forest offers trails for hikers of all levels, showcasing waterfalls and lakes, foliage and wildlife. Fish, swim, cycle, picnic or simply go for a scenic drive…the options are endless. For more information, including directions and trail maps, visit the Forest Service’s website.
  • Along the Salmon River, the Wildwood Recreation Site offers great bird watching. Spot everything from loons and swallows to hawks and kestrels at this oasis in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
  • Prefer a little pampering? The hotel’s 5,000 square foot spa offers a range of services, including massages, manicures and even pine cone facials. View pricing and make a reservation here. (Note: Cancellations within 24 hours of your appointment may result in a charge.)
  • Take a dip in the hotel’s outdoor pool, heated year round, and enjoy the whirlpool spa.
  • According to local lore, Welches is the home of Oregon’s first golf resort, opened in 1928 when Ralph Shattuck and George Waale rented a hayfield from one Billy Welch and opened a 9-hole golf course. Today, the golf course is 27 holes and offers stunning views of the natural beauty surrounding the resort. Golfing is a seasonal option and may or may not be available in October during CAMP, weather depending. See more information here.
  • Looking for something slightly less traditional? Try your hand at FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf where players advance through a traditional golf course layout using soccer balls. For more information, call the resort at (503) 622-3151.
  • Welches may not be big, but there are plenty of fun restaurants and cafes to try. Dragonfly Cafe and Bakery offers fresh baked bread and other treats. Or check out Wraptitude, serving up wraps and burgers. For something a little more upscale, consider The Rendezvous Grill.
  • Not far from the Willamette Valley, which produces some of the world’s finest Pinot noir, the area around Welches is home to some wonderful wineries. Try Oregon berry wines at Buddha Kat Winery in Sandy, a short 20-minute drive from the resort.
  • Want to pick up souvenirs or gifts for family and friends back home? Check out the Hoodland Shopping Center just up the street from the resort.