dogs on leash
cross country skiing
Located twenty miles east of the city of Portland, Oregon and the northern Willamette River valley, the Mt. Hood National Forest extends south from the strikingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge across more than sixty miles of forested mountains, lakes and streams to Olallie Scenic Area, a high lake basin under the slopes of Mt. Jefferson.
Absolutely a true Oregon experience. The trail is around 8.2- 9 miles not 6.6. Moderate to easy hike, 1200 elevation. We finished it in 3 hours. Had concern about the muddy trails because 2 days prior it was heavily rained but the trails was not slippery. The only challenge was a way to cross the river. It was too cold for us to get in the river so my husband walked over a log and I (the CHICKEN!) butt crawled over a log. Very serene walk. We completed it on 10/11/2016.
We did this hike on 8 Oct. and started at the Wachlella Falls area. We got to the trail at about 9:30 am and the parking lots for the falls was full so we wound up parking on the shoulder at the off ramp. We walked the little bike trail on the right hand side as you are going to the falls until we seen a little dirt trail going off the pavement marked Gorge trail 400. We walked this easy trail (a couple switch backs at start) for a little more than a mile and took an unmarked trail from there on the left hand side (we came across three parties that missed this turn off). This trail came to a T not long after and we took a left turn once again. From this left turn began the climb upwards. Other reviewers have said you will be grabbing tree roots and rocks to help you upwards, and that is no understatement. The trail splits quite a few times on the way up, but they all merge back together. Keeping to the right going up keeps you in the easier paths, trails on the left tend to be "shortcuts". Save yourself the energy and take the right. The trail has loose rocks everywhere so if you are traveling with others, make sure to give each other distance for those falling rocks! I had some serious doubts for myself on completing this trail because of the scrambles and the exposure. I'm proud to say I completed it. It was definitely a challenge but doable. The final push to the ridge from the chimney was the most challenging of the climbs but was still not overly complicated..just stay low (hips down) and make sure you have good feet and hand holds! There was no rope to assist here. The ridge was beautiful for sure and worth the effort to get up to. Time came to turn around which was more difficult in my opinion than going up, especially the chimney...be confident in your hands and feet and dont freak out if this is your biggest fear (like it was for me). In hindsight, that was the most challenging part and it is mostly mental...just have good hands and feet. We used our trekking poles after the chimney on the way down and still we're slipping and sliding all down the trail. The rocks were slick from the past rain and our boots had a good amount of mud packed in..either way we came down in one piece! If you have a fear like I do, go out there and challenge yourself. Don't let the reviews scare you away, try it for yourself and know your limits.
great trail. Good work out climbing uphill. Beautiful views at top. Lots of dogs for my dog to visit with. Hunter gets hot and thirsty at top, so carry at least 1-2 liters water for you and dog. Fun hike to do at night, when moon is full or close. You can do the round trip in 2 hours if you move fast, don't linger too long at top or easily in 3 hours and enjoy views. Parking is a challenge on weekends.
The way is up is not super steep but still gets a workout! Mostly just forest the entire way up until you get to very top. There are a couple clearings where you can get a glimpse of the mountains. Was misty up there but I did get a couple minutes of seeing Mt. Hood. I did the whole thing in 5 hrs 20 minutes with frequent stops on the way up and then had lunch up there too. Bring warmer clothes for the top cuz it's freezing up there!! Did not see one human the entire time!