According to Multnomah tribal legend, the mountain we call “Hood” was once a chief who was filled with so much jealousy over a woman that, enraged, he turned into a volcano.

Today the 11,249-foot-tall mound of rock and ice gurgles with a molten core just 60 miles east of Portland, its perfect, A-shaped peak rising like a child’s drawing above the city’s skyline. Generations of Portlanders have grown up sledding, skiing, and tossing snowballs on its slopes. City zoning laws protect our views of it. In short, we feel possessive. Only the gods could imagine what we might feel if we were to lose Hood to another city. (Fortunately, it’s not going anywhere.)

Crafting a guide to such an icon is no easy task. But we’ve worked hard to highlight 23 essential experiences, from a doughnut shop whose sweets will rev you up on your way to the mountain to a three-story alpine palace that’s yours for the relaxing. We dish up details on the secret stashes of fresh powder at Mt Hood Meadows and recount unforgettable tales of alpine adventure. You’ll even learn about the mountain’s storied canines.