Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
800.00 ft (243.84 m)
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.

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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)

Highest point

4,934.00 ft (1,503.88 m)

Features

Bird watching
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Top Spur Trailhead to the Sandy Glacier

Comments

This was a nice hike. I agree the road in is pretty rough!
08/01/2014
Nice hike. Long rough drive, coming from the Portland side. Trail is in good shape.
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