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Whetstone Mountain Hike

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Whetstone Mountain Hike

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  • The trailhead to Whetstone Mountain.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • Hiking through lush old-growth on the Whetstone Mountain Trail.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • Sign marking the entrance into the Bull of the Woods Wilderness on the Whetstone Mountain Trail.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • Negotiating around a fallen tree.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • Snowmelt in a basin below Whetstone Mountain.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • Snow remains on the trail into June.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • A view of Mount Hood (11,250') from Whetstone Mountain.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • A view of Mount Jefferson (10,495') from Whetstone Mountain.- Whetstone Mountain Hike
  • The view south from Whetstone Mountain includes the Three Sisters and Mount Washington (7,795').- Whetstone Mountain Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Fantastic views. Not crowded. Great hike.
Cons: 
Long drive.
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Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,100.00 ft (335.28 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
8.50 mi (13.68 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,950.00 ft (1,203.96 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The summit of Whetstone Mountain is a dramatic, fairly moderate hike offering expansive views of several peaks, from Mount Rainier all the way to the Three Sisters. The foundation for a long-gone lookout tower is visible on the rocky, wide open summit. The trail winds in and out of old-growth fir forests, passing several small streams and a small pond under a rock slide. The hike itself is pleasant and rarely steep, with several viewpoints to different peaks along the way. The trail is lined with large huckleberry plants promising plenty of trailside snacking in late summer. Spring means flowering rhododendrons, trillium, and bunchberry.  

Getting to the hike is a bit of slog, taking just over two hours from Portland, but it is mostly on paved roads with the last few miles on decent gravel roads. On the plus side, the isolation of the hike means few people. Snow is present into late June, as are mosquitoes, but not in unbearable numbers. Usually the trail is passable from mid-June to early November. 

The hike starts with a quarter-mile descent into old-growth forests. At the mile mark the trail passes a pond and ascends to a wooded ridge. Turn right near the top of the ridge onto a somewhat faint trail leading to the summit. Stay right at the next intersection as the trail climbs quickly to the top. 

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(48 within a 30 mile radius)

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(77 within a 30 mile radius)

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