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Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes

04.10.18

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Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
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  • View of Mount Hood from Newton Creek crossing.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Mount Hood from Elk Meadows.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Mount Hood (11,250 ft) and a lupine field.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Mount Hood's summit (11,250 ft) from Zig Zag Canyon.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Zig Zag Falls at the bottom of Zig Zag Canyon via the Pacific Crest Trail.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Mount Hood (11,250 ft) from the Cloud Cap Inn.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Mount Hood (11,250 ft).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Mount Hood (11,250 ft) and Eliot Glacier.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Looking back down at the Cloud Cap Inn.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • The sun peaks out from behind the Cooper Spur Shelter.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View looking north toward Mount Adams (12,281').- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Mount Hood from Gnarl Ridge just above Lamberson Butte.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Newton Creek Canyon and Mount Jefferson (10,495 ft), from Gnarl Ridge looking south.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View south to Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood Meadows Resort at the bottom.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Mount Hood (11,250 ft) from Owl Point summit (4,934 ft).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Owl Point registry box.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Pacific rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Zigzag Mountain Trail sign with Mount Hood in the background.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Two-tailed swallowtail butterfly (Papilio multicaudata).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • A USGS marker near Burnt Lake.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Mount Hood (11,250 ft) from the shore of Burnt Lake.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Mount Hood (11,250 ft) in the fall.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View looking northeast to Mount Hood (11,250 ft) from the Rockpile Viewpoint.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View looking northeast to Mount Hood (11,250 ft) from the Rockpile Viewpoint.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • A long exposure creates star trails over homey tents at McNeil Point.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • The McNeil Point Shelter.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Grabbing a quick bite at the shelter and enjoying the moon glow on the mountain.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Hiking to McNeil Point.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • A stream crossing on the Muddy Fork hike.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • A  bear cub in a tree, viewed from the Muddy Fork.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View to waterfalls from the Sandy Glacier.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View looking north toward Mount Adams (12,280 ft).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View of Mount Hood (11,250 ft) to the south with field of arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Clear Lake under Mount Hood.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • The views are amazing from the Clear Lake Butte Lookout.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Fivemile Butte Lookout Tower.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Mount Hood (11,250 ft) with red willowherb (Chamerion latifolium).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • The forest road leading to the Gunsight Ridge Trail.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • A rewarding view of Mount Hood (11,250 ft), Mount Adams (12,281 ft), and Mount Rainier in the distance (14,411 ft).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • Bonney Butte's summit (5,590 ft) with HawkWatch International interpretive boards.- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
  • View south (left to right): Broken Top (9,177 ft), Three sisters (10,358 ft), Mount Washington (7,795 ft), and Mount Jefferson (10,495 ft).- Mount Hood's 15 Best Day Hikes
Article
Contributor

Mount Hood is an iconic symbol of the Northwest that looms at 11,250 feet above sea level over the surrounding Oregon landscape, including Portland. It sits in the federally designated Mount Hood Wilderness, and it is the state’s tallest mountain, making it one of the most pristine and well-loved mountains in region.

Mount Hood is a great place to spot wildlife such as black bears, elk, and marmots, and it is also a prime choice to see and smell wildflowers that grow in colorful bursts throughout this segment of the Cascades. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the summer, but it also has plenty of trails to explore and places to avoid the crowds.

Many hikes in the Mount Hood area also offer rewarding views of the mountain itself. As amazing as it is to stop and take in the snow-capped peak of this one of a kind scene, be sure to enjoy the less grandiose aspects of these hikes, as well.  

Below you’ll find some of the most ideal trails in the Mount Hood Wilderness to really get to know Mount Hood and it’s surrounding forest. Whether you are craving some glacial views, a long rugged trek, wildflowers strewn scenery, or a nice alpine lake for a picnic, the trails on this list will not disappoint.

  1. Elk Meadows
  2. Paradise Park
  3. Cooper Spur + Cloud Cap
  4. Gnarl Ridge
  5. Owl Point
  6. Burnt Lake and Zigzag Mountain
  7. Hunchback Mountain
  8. McNeil Point
  9. Muddy Fork
  10. Bald Butte Hike
  11. Clear Lake Butte Lookout
  12. Fivemile Butte Lookout
  13. Lookout Mountain from High Prairie
  14. Gunsight Ridge Trail
  15. Bonney Butte
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