Hiking near Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood from Lost Lake

The view of Mt. Hood from Lost Lake
Image by Thomas Shahan Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The national forest and parks surrounding Mt. Hood are wonderful places for hiking and outdoor activities. If you love the great outdoors, you will find an endless variety in the Mt. Hood area.  In fact, every year hikers come from all over the world to enjoy the Mt. Hood scenic area. The area is popular due to its amazing scenery, proximity to Portland, and its variety. There is a hike for everyone and anyone. 

There are hundreds of miles of trails that are perfect for every skill level. Some local trails are handicap accessible, allowing easy access to the beauty our landscape provides. Hikers will quickly find lush forests, grand views, sparkling streams, cascading waterfalls, and glistening mountain lakes. Below are a few of the many hikes found around and near the resort. 

 

Wildwood Park

Wildwood Recreation Site, in Welches, Oregon
Image by Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Wildwood Park is a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) park found about 1 mile from Whispering Woods Resort. This park is great for all ages. The trails are paved, gravel, or board walk, all which are relatively flat, highly marked, and well maintained.

There is a picnic area which consists of a play ground, athletic fields, and picnic shelters. The Cascade Stream-watch trail meanders long the local Salmon River and side channels. Be sure and check out the underwater fish viewing window. Here you can see all the fish and water critters swimming around the stream. There is also a wetland trail and boardwalk. These trails wander through the wetland. Maybe you’ll see a heron or salamanders. This park will sure keep you busy for a while.

Lastly, there is an option to exit the park onto Forest Service land via the Boulder Ridge Trail. This trail is a little more challenging, it is fairly steep, and about 7.4 miles round trip. But the view on the way to the top make it worth the struggle. There are magnificent views of Mt Hood, surrounding mountains and ridges, and the town

of Welches. 

 

Mt. Hood Wilderness

View from Bald Mountain, hiking on Mt. Hood

View from Bald Mountain, hiking in the Mt. Hood National Forest Image by Thomas Shahan Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Mt Hood Wilderness area is 47,000 acres.  No cars or motorized machinery are allowed in this area. The area is peaceful for hiking and for those looking to feel isolated from civilization. You can find short, easy hikes and also long extensive hikes, where you will truly be in the middle of the wilderness. Mount Info has provided a list of trails in the Mount Hood National Forest. The trails are listed alphabetical, and include trail lengths and the specific districts. Another list provided by the Forest Service, includes the day hiking options found in the whole National Forest.

 

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail Market on Mt. Hood

Pacific Crest Trail Marker on Mt. Hood
Image by Sheila Sund Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Pacific Crest Trail, is 2,650 miles in length, starting at the border of Mexico in Southern California, up into Oregon, and Washington, ending just within the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Though this trail is incredibly long, it can be broken up into segments. Leaving from Timberline Lodge, heading north for roughly four miles, you’ll reach Zigzag Canyon, which is a popular destination. Another option is to continue into the canyon, out to Paradise Park. Both are excellent for someone looking to hike the well known trail. In the later summer months these routes are usually snow free. There are many amazing panoramic views of Mt Hood, the surrounding valleys, and beautiful alpine wildflowers.

 

 

Multnomah Creek Footbridge, on a hike to Multnomah Basin

Multnomah Creek Footbridge, found in the Columbia River Gorge
Image by Ian Sane Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The Columbia River Gorge is a 80 mile long canyon acting as a boundary between Oregon to the north, and Washington to the south. There are many waterfalls, spectacular views, and lots hikes within this portion of Oregon. It is a popular destination, and a must see, whether through the many hikes or the beautiful drive along Historic Route 30.

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