Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,660.00 ft (810.77 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
6.80 mi (10.94 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Mount Hood is the second-most-climbed* glaciated mountain on earth. Adventurers have been climbing to the top of Mount Hood via its formidable north side for over a hundred years, while an overwhelming majority scale to the top via Timberline Lodge along the mountain's southern route. The northern and far more challenging route follows a prominent ridgeline just east of Eliot glacier called Cooper Spur.

In 1885, David Rose Cooper built a dauntingly-steep, 22-percent grade wagon road up to 6,000 feet at the base of Eliot Glacier.  This road cleared the way for visitors to experience being in such a remote place with dramatic views of Mount Hood's summit, Mount Jefferson to the south, and Mounts Adams, Rainier and St. Helens to the north. A few years later, William Ladd and C.E.S. Wood purchased the road and started the Mount Hood Stage Co. They built a new road, the one still used today, and constructed a timber lodge called the Cloud Cap Inn. Interestingly, the architect who designed the Inn would later become the architect of the famous Forestry Building for the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland in 1905. Due to its remote location, the Inn never truly took off, and it switched owners numerous times before finally being sold to the Forest Service in 1942. Since 1952 the Inn has been maintained and occupied exclusively by Crag Rats, the oldest search and rescue organization in North America, who use it as a base for snow surveys, training, rescues and general gatherings.

Adjacent to Cloud Cap Inn, the trail for Cooper Spur starts at the very modest Cloud Cap Campground.  The campground has six campsites with picnic tables, fire pits and access to potable water.  The campground is operated on a first-come, first-served basis.

* Mount Fuji in Japan is the most-climbed glaciated mountain.

Note: Tours of the historic inn are often arranged by the Mount Hood National Forest Service. Contact the Hood River District Information Desk at 541.352.6002 for more information.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Amazing views of Mount Hood, Rainier and Adams. Camping at the trailhead and along the trail.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

5,850.00 ft (1,783.08 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Big vistas
Shelters

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

08/25/2017
Great hiking day up to Cooper Spur today. The trail has some good grading, but is also very sandy and rocky, making the journey a bit more difficult than the number of miles + elevation would suggest. Kept pushing and got a great, sunny view from the top. The glacier was amazing.
08/10/2016
Excellent, up close view of Wy'East from this area.
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