In the peak of the summer, everyone starts craving a release from work. The problem? A two-day weekend is never long enough. Before you know it, the dreaded Monday comes knocking, the monotony of a 9 to 5 job is in full swing, and day dreams of a short weekend come roaring back.

There is a solution: a three day weekend. But instead of waiting for a three-day holiday when everyone in the office has the opportunity to escape the workday flow, treat yourself to an impromptu three-day weekend — just because you can.

I’m thinking Mt. Hood, Oregon, where you can pack three full days of thrills you can’t find anywhere else in the heat of the summer. From mountain biking in an extreme adventure park to river rafting along the Clackamas to hiking through some of the prettiest trails in the United States, the king of all weekend trips is waiting for you just outside Portland.

The best part is it’s already been planned for you.

Day 1:

Where you’re staying: Rapid River Retreats
This place is in the heart of the Mt. Hood wilderness so it’ll feel like camping — without sacrificing the modern-day luxuries we all love so much.

What you’re doing: Hiking
I wasn’t kidding when I said we were going to hit the ground running.

As you’re checking into your digs for the night, ask about the concierge hiking tours at The Resort at The Mountain. In particular, try booking a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail so you can really take in the amazing Mt. Hood views. Don’t snub your nose at a guided tour, either. The staff knows the area like no other and they’ll be sure to give you the inside scoop on all the things the locals love about Mt. Hood.

Day 2:

Where you’re staying: Timberline Lodge
Think of the second night in a different lodge as a chance to get closer to the adventure. As an added bonus, you’ll also be at 6,000 foot elevation so you can fully submerge yourself in the beauty of Mt. Hood – and enjoy every second away from the office.

What you’re doing: Rafting and Biking
FYI: This isn’t the day to sleep in during your vaca. 

Nix the caffeine rush and head over to our friends at Blue Sky Rafting for a rush of adrenaline along the Clackamas River.  The three and four-level waters with rapids nicknamed “Rock ‘n Roll” and “Powerhouse” will be just as exciting for full day or half-day tours, too.

After you’ve spent the morning going full throttle down the Clackamas, it’s time to change things up and cruise through Mt. Hood’s mountainside by bike at the, fittingly named, Adventure Park at Mt. Hood Skibowl. Ranging from a full mountain bike course (think of those cool, old-fashioned wooden roller coasters) to full-blown mountain bike tours, this is the place that’ll make you fall in love with Oregon. Honestly, it’s going to be hard to pass up the chance to bungee jump, too, so go ahead and splurge on one of the adventure passes.

Day 3:

What you’re doing: Kayaking

Plan ahead and go for an evening flight out of Portland because, really, the office can wait. There’s still plenty of daylight to burn by Willamette Falls before you go home. The one-hour car ride will be more than worth the fun you’ll have with eNRG Kayaking. Choose your own adventure (if you like it wet and wild try kayak rafting), but I suggest a kayaking tour so you can learn the ins and outs of historic Oregon City and get some of the background knowledge of Willamette Falls.

Plan your Mt. Hood Territory adventures