Elk Meadows Loop Trail is a 7.8 mile loop trail located near Mt Hood, OR that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.
Directions from Hood River: Travel south on Highway 35 for approximately 33 miles. Turn right at the Hood River Meadows Nordic ski area sign and drive to the trailhead parking lot on the right.
Elk Meadows Loop will be 9 miles unless you add on Gnarly Ridge and that will add a couple more miles. Plenty of water falls but little else.
One thing of note on this trail. Newton creek can vary in size depending on the day. It can go from easy to cross in the morning to almost impossible for some folks in the mid afternoon, depending on the season.
Coming from Portland, drive past Mt. Hood Meadows for about a mile and take a left at the Nordic Ski Area. You'll see Nordic to the right and there is a road to the left. Go down the road to the left. The trail head is obvious and on the right, about 1/4 mile down. The trail is somewhat flat for a while, then after crossing the Newton creek it starts gaining elevation. When you come to the creek, there are some small logs that you will cross over. At first we didn't know we were crossing the river so we turned left, because it looks like the trail goes to the left. Don't turn. Cross the river. The trail will continue. There are plenty of trail signs throughout the hike. There are plenty of campsites as well for backpacking. The sites we saw circled the Elk Meadows Perimeter loop. Enjoy.
Great Day hike with stunning views of Hood. We camped overnight which was nice too. Plenty of water.
This trail is moderate to difficult depending on what section of the loop you choose. I recomend pushing up along the east side of the meadow and than looping back arround. The meadow is large and has some amazing photo oppurtunities. There is a waterfall in the area but didnt feal like seeing it this trip. At the north part of the meadow there is a trail that carves in to the center giving way to many shady rest areas to have lunch with the view.
We took the far west connecting trail in an attempt to take the infamouse wiped out section trail which is all but after the large flood that occured some years ago. We had to forge accross Newton Creek that is not very safe. Luckely someone managed to mark the in trail with orange ribbon so we found our way across. After crossing much of the trail was under snow with little sighn of previouse foot traffic. We finally connected with the 600 trail that took us back to the parking lot along the ridge.