Gnarl Ridge Hike

Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon

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Gnarl Ridge Hike

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  • Bridge over Clark Creek.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View of Mount Hood (11,250 ft) from the Newton Creek crossing.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View of Mount Hood from Elk Meadows.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • Ground juniper (Juniperus communis).- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • - Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View looking north toward Mount Adams (12,281').- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • - Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View of Mount Hood from Gnarl Ridge, just above Lamberson Butte.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View of Mount Hood from Gnarl Ridge just above Lamberson Butte.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View of Newton Clark Glacier.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View of Newton Creek Canyon and Mount Jefferson (10,495 ft), from Gnarl Ridge looking south.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • View south of Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood Meadows Resort at the bottom.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
  • Lamberson Butte.- Gnarl Ridge Hike
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Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Incredible views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson. Backcountry campsites.
Cons: 
Only accessible for hiking in late summer/early fall.
Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
NW Forest Pass
Total Distance: 
8.20 mi (13.20 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
4,470 ft (1,362 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
2,030 ft (619 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes

Current Local Weather

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Today

Light snow (under 1 in.) until afternoon.
35°F
26°

Fri

Snow (1–3 in.) throughout the day.
33°F
27°

Sat

Mixed precipitation until evening, starting again overnight.
35°F
28°

Sun

Mixed precipitation (1–2 in. of snow) until afternoon, starting again in the evening.
36°F
30°

Mon

Mixed precipitation in the morning and evening.
37°F
25°

Tue

Clear throughout the day.
38°F
23°

Wed

Clear throughout the day.
38°F
22°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

When compared with the crowds that flock to Mount Hood's south side, the relative calm of the Gnarl Ridge area is a welcome relief. Whether you are attempting the 8.2 mile, 2,030-foot climb in one day or you are stationed at Elk Meadows, you'll find the views from Gnarl Ridge well worth the journey. Once you pass Lamberson Butte on the Timberline Trail, the craggy Newton Canyon dramatically opens up to views of Mount Hood's summit. From this ridgeline you'll also gain expansive views as far south as Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters. To the north, look for glimpses of Mount Adams through the subalpine forest of gnarly mountain hemlocks and windblown lodgepole pines.

Return via Elk Meadows or continue southwest on the Timberline Trail (this is the best choice if you are backpacking). When you reach the Umbrella Falls Trail, head east until you return to Hood River Meadows. This is a long loop, so plan accordingly.

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(54 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(148 within a 30 mile radius)

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