Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,030.00 ft (618.74 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
8.20 mi (13.20 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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Incredible views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson. Backcountry campsites.

Cons

Only accessible for hiking in late summer/early fall.

Trailhead Elevation

4,470.00 ft (1,362.46 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Shelters

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

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