Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Warming hut
Yes
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.

It it easy to underestimate this challenging little trail leading to the Tilly Jane A-Frame.  Because the trail is only 2.5 miles one-way, a little extra weight from gear, food, or drinks that may make your overnight stay a little more luxurious might seem acceptable.  Keep in mind, however, that the trail climbs 1,9250 feet in those 2.5 miles.  The hike can feel like an unforgiving slog with a heavy pack.

The trail is beautiful, however, and worth exploring even if you haven't been fortunate enough to land an overnight reservation at Tilly Jane or at the Guard Station.  The early portion climbs through ponderosa and lodgepole pine, white fir, western larch, and mountain hemlock.  One-third of the way up, however, the views open up as the trail enters the burn area from 2008's Gnarl Ridge wildfire.  On a clear day you will enjoy constant views of Mount Hood's north face, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier.

Naturally, the steep climb in also means a steep descent out.  The Tilly Jane Trail may not be the best choice for cross-country or backcountry skiers leaving the area; fortunately, descending the nine miles on Cloud Cap Road is an excellent option.  The road offers plenty of shortcuts for those eager to return quickly and a gradual, graded downhill for those who remain on the road.  The views are spectacular, as well.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Men's and Women's • $229.95 • Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Men's and Women's • $475.00 • Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

$189.95 • 35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Men's and Women's • $134.25 • Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

$79.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Men's Powdercloud • $181.61 • Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Men's and Women's • $149.95 • Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Men's and Women's • $64.95 • Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

 

If you are snowshoeing into avalanche terrain, you should be prepared, equipped and educated on how to use avalanche rescue and snow safety gear - including but not limited to an avalanche beacon/transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Incredible views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. Tilly Jane Lodging.

Cons

Heavily used.

Trailhead Elevation

3,800.00 ft (1,158.24 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,920.00 ft (585.22 m)

Features

Big vistas
Historically significant
Cross-country skiing
Lodging
Warming hut

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

03/01/2019
Is the most direct route up trail # 643? A little more information would be really helpful (trail #, are there any junctions, is Tilly Jane campground different than Tilly Jane A-Frame, does the trailhead start at Tilly Jane Sno-Park or just a pull out near Cooper Spur Ski Resort?). Thanks!
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