Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,300.00 ft (701.04 m)
Trail type
11.30 mi (18.19 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.

As the snow melts on the slopes of Wy'east in late summer, many worthy subalpine hiking trails open for exploration, but the hike to Paradise Park is one adventure everyone should prioritize. Simply put, Paradise Park boasts the most plush, lively and abundant wildflower meadows in Oregon's Cascades. 

One of the perks of the hike is that it begins and ends at Timberline Lodge, so you can order a fresh salad or a cold beer to sustain you for the 6 miles in on the dusty trail. The trail passes through groves of mountain hemlock and patches of Sitka mountain ash before reaching Zig Zag Canyon. Here, casual hikers may choose to enjoy the view and turn back after seeing the Zig Zag chasm.  Indeed, it appears as intimidating as it is beautiful. To cross this canyon you'll drop roughly 1,000 feet in elevation and regain 1,200 feet, but the effort makes the destination that much more rewarding. Once you arrive you'll return through meadows full of lupine, various species of paintbrush, western pasque flower, Cascade aster, arrowleaf groundsel and stream banks lined with Lewis's and common western monkeyflower. You'll also find numerous backcountry campsites to call home.  Enjoy!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Incredible wildflowers in August. Views of Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mount Hood.


Only accessible in late summer.

Trailhead Elevation

5,900.00 ft (1,798.32 m)


Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day



Nearby Lodging + Camping

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


Started from Timberline Lodge on August 29th and came back out August 31st, 2018 (the other end down near Government Camp is cut off about 4 miles in due to downed trees, which we confirmed with the Zigzag Ranger Station). Went to Ramona Falls (as our end point), although we camped both nights at Paradise Park. The wildflowers were on their way out, there were basically no bugs, and we were in one of three main campsites on the south end of the Paradise Park Loop Trail, right near Lost Creek.
There was water flowing at almost all stream/river beds along the way (Lost Creek being in between some of the campsites, and flowing), although all were easy to cross.
Perfect September hike! Above the smoke. Minimal flies. Some wildflowers are still blooming aspecially along the creek beds. Very few people out mid week.
The wildflowers are still out, and the flies weren't too bad today. There were a couple of big trees down on part of the trail but you can climb over or under them.
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