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Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Warming hut
No
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The Hex Mountain winter route provides a rare opportunity to reach some phenomenal viewpoints with low avalanche danger. A nice portion of the route climbs a ridge through sparse pine trees, granting sweeping north-to-south views of Cle Elum Lake. The stunning scenery from the top, including the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to the north (with particularly intimate views of the Stuart Range) along with rolling foothills toward the barren lands of Eastern Washington, showcases the arrant contrast of Washington's landscape.

After parking along the west shoulder of SR 903 on the south side of the Newport Creek bridge, carry your snowshoes or skis up the highway for 0.2 miles to Forest Road 116 on the right. The first mile of the route zigzags through a series of junctions and spur roads, and it can present a mild navigational challenge if you happen to be pioneering the first tracks of the day. Use your best judgment to stick with the main road (always in a northeast fashion) until approximately 0.5 miles in, where it is important to bear all the way to the right.

At 1.7 miles and 3,485 feet, the forest road reaches the signed Hex Mountain summer trailhead. Here you get a small taste of the sprawling lake views to come. The trail cuts up the hillside, eventually gaining more open territory and the beginning of a ridge.  There are some incredible views of Hex Mountain and the remainder of your route, along with the Newport Creek basin below.  For the next mile up the ridge, it is definitely worthwhile to look over your shoulder often before crossing into the dense Wenatchee National Forest. Once you meet the Sasse Ridge Trail junction, hang right for an additional 0.2-mile push up to the bare summit. 

Note: Though this is a low risk adventure in terms of avalanche danger, always check avalanche and weather conditions before traveling in the backcountry.

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

Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Men's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Men's • $431-475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

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

Standard Fit • $189.95-199.95 • Mammut | Amazon | Backcountry

Small Fit • $199.95 • Mammut | Amazon

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Men's and Women's • $179

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

$79.95 • Black Diamond | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Men's • $99.95-181.63 • The North Face | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $99.95-100.00 • The North Face | Backcountry

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Men's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Men's • $41.32-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $49.95-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Summit views. Old-growth forest.

Cons

Wayfinding is difficult for the first mile.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

2,391.00 ft (728.78 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,600.00 ft (792.48 m)

Features

Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Cross-country skiing

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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