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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.80 mi (7.72 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.

The hike to Owl Point begins with a 0.4 mile walk through a hemlock and Douglas fir forest to the Vista Ridge Trailhead Junction. Here you'll see a self-serve wilderness registration station right at the edge of the burn zone from the lightening- caused Dollar Lake fire of 2011. As you proceed to the first Vista Ridge Trail junction, take a left to hike back into the forest. You'll hike up to the crest of the ridge, where avalanche lilies dominate and blueberries ripen in August. After a mile you will reach the first view point of Mount Hood and of Owl Point's summit; here you can clearly see the immensity of the wildfire's destruction.

Continue for 0.7 miles as the trail rises and falls through small meadows until you reach the junction for Owl Point. From the rocky summit you'll find bear grass scattered around and amazing panoramic views of the Hood River Valley and of Mount Hood's north face. If you have time, look at the registry box: inside there are old pictures of Mount Hood as seen from Owl Point. Listen for the pikas, as well, which can be difficult to spot.

Once you've finished with these views, head to Alki Point for more: from the Vista Ridge Trail, proceed another 200 yards down and veer right for an additional 200 yards. From here you'll get a better view of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier to the north. Return to the trailhead and parking on the Vista Ridge Trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Great mountain views. Wildflowers.

Cons

Rough dirt road to the trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

4,500.00 ft (1,371.60 m)

Net Elevation Gain

650.00 ft (198.12 m)

Features

Bird watching
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Geologically significant
Big Game Watching

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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

Comments

accidentally drove to Pinnacle ridge trail which is 1 ridge over to the East. They both hook up to Timberline trail so they share the same area after deadending there. Went up the trail from Timberline which shows as loop. Climb was steep and super windy after about 2000 ft + elevation gain, didn't make it to loop part. Great spot for camping short hike up from the TL trail at that point includes a natural spring.
05/28/2016
We visited the place on 5.28.2016, there is still closed sign on Forest Road 12 but I literally drove all the way to the trailhead without any problem. There were other 5~6 cars at the trailhead that day too. After the first 1.5 miles or so, the trail was completely covered by snow and we literally squeezed through the trees and crossed two rock piles till we saw the sign for owl point 0.2 mile away.
05/02/2016
I came out here last weekend on April 23, and Forest Road 12 is closed for forestation. I'm not sure how permanent that closure is, however I couldn't reach the trailhead.
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