Cooper Spur Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mt. Hood, OR that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The only place in Mt. Hood where you can drive to the tree line and start your hike for quick views of glaciers. Begin from the small campground at Cloud Cap. Hike 200 feet south to the intersection of the Timberline Trail #600, then follow the pointer to Gnarl Ridge uphill to the left. Stay left on the trail, avoiding an intersection created by climbers who use a short cut to the glacier. The Timberline Trail climbs gradually to the southeast, passing a canyon with running water, before it reaches the junction with the Cooper Spur Trail after 1.2 miles. Turn right and switch back up Cooper Spur. Continue up Cooper Spur to Tie-In Rock where the trail ends and the climbing route begins. Here is a spectacular viewpoint. There you'll find a view of the north side of Mt Hood and the Elliot Glacier.
We hiked up from the Tilly Jane campground in late July. It was a clear day and views from the top were spectacular, you could see six other peaks! Once you hit the last section it's tough due to the soft sandy soil but it's definitely worth it. There were nice chunks of lupine at lower elevation. Sunscreen is clutch in summer.
hard. bring extra water and sunscreen. very exsposed.
Great views of Elliot Glacier. Trail is longer than 5.8 miles.
Relatively easy hike until the last mile of scrambling up rock and scree to a ridge with the north face of Hood in your face. Highest you can go with out rock climbing gear.
Amazing trail. Be careful you dont get iff track near the trailhead.
Cloud cap inn road is open. There are still snow fields over the beaten path but it makes for a much cooler climb on a hot day.
The road to the start of trail 600 is currently closed. If you plan to do this prior to July expect to have to hike Tilley Jane trail #643. It will add about 3 miles each way to your hike. (2.5-3 miles to the cabins, .5 to the cloud cap inn where you connect with cooper spur trail head) it is absolutely beautiful. I wouldn't recommend this hike for people who are just starting out (unless you're in fairly good shape). The hike is well worth it just be sure you're aware what it entails. Make sure you bring enough water to last you through the hike. I'd also recommend and early start so you can avoid the heat as much of the trail does not fall under canopy cover.
Hard, pretty, and worth it. Went late spring so we were on snow half the time. Also, the road was closed so we had to hike Tilly Jane trail as well. Only got to the stone house due to late start, but we still had fun!
Looks awesome! I would think that this is better in autumn or end of spring
Beautiful hike! Still very hot!! Bring extra water!!! There's no shade for a lot of it and the sun just blazes down on you.
Very bumpy road to get there, like other reviews said. Bring a bigger vehicle.
Also, like others said, watch your trail!! There are several trails at the top and it's confusing!! I was on a "shortcut" type trail going straight up for a long time before I realized there was an easier switchback trail! AND I got lost going down. The map on here is wrong. Told me I was somewhere where I wasn't and looking at it now I see it's not even the trail it gives you directions to! So I hiked all the way to the top and it spit me out at the beginning of cloud clap road. Which is 9 MILES AWAY FROM MY CAR!!! I was lucky enough to wave someone down and have them give me a ride to my car. Insane! And at that point my phone died and I had no water left. Some birthday hike that turned out to be hahaha but the top was worth it ...
Great trail, with great views. Difficult but not extreme. Bumpy road up to Tilley Jane Campground. Take plenty of water, no shade for much of the way.
Steady climb right out the gate! The views are outstanding all hike long. It's well worth the experience.
Did not consider this difficult, but stupendous views all the way? Great hike!
This was an awesome hike! The original plan was to camp near the top or at the stone hut, but there were signs posted near the trail head saying "no camping at top" which deterred us from doing so (even though I've read of people doing it), so we set up camp at the cloud cap camp ground, which has 6 spread out campsites($14) with fire pits and picnic tables. It was great because the trail head is maybe 20 feet away. After we claimed our camp spot, we started hiking at around 1pm. We took the Eliot glacier approach, which follows an open ridge line the whole way (stunning views), you're maybe hiking in the woods for 1/4 mile. Not sure how the other way is. As you get to what looks to be about the end of the ridge line you'll see a trail leading down and then up again on to another ridge, at that point you'll be heading towards grass and large bushes. Keep following the trail and you'll come to the stone hut! Great place for lunch (and there's camping spots everywhere, so if you want to do it, go for it). After reaching that is when the real climb begins. Mind you it's very steep and through rocks and mountain ash. I wish I would have taken gaiters. We went on an 80 degree day but it was so so sooooo windy! And of course the higher you climbed the colder and more windy it got (there's also a few snow fields/patches to cross). Just keep that in mind. Another thing to watch out for is remembering the way you came once you get off the ridge line and head back into the woods, there's a ton of unmarked/unnamed trails. We got lost for maybe 10 minutes (whoops). I think all the small trails lead to the main one in one way or another. Made it back to camp around 6:30 and went up the road to watch the sunset from the cooper spur ski lodge. All in all great trip and an even more amazing hike to add to the list! I will be doing this one again :)
Cooper Spur Rd. is FINALLY reopened!!! As of June, 2015, the service road all the way up to Tilly Jane and Cloud Cap Inn is open and in better shape in this early season that I have ever previously seen it. Caution to low clearance vehicles... There are still sections of the rd that employ larger size gravel and rock chunks for traction, probably remnants of the rock used for log trucks when removing dead timber, of which there is still a LOT!
The upper flanks of the switchback near the 8,000' level are still covered in pack-able snow, but easy to traverse. I completed the entire scramble from the Cloud Cap parking lot, up to the 9,000' level in 2.5 hours. Set out at about 10 am, driving from the West side of Portland. Pictures to come...
This is absolutely my happy place!