Flag Mountain Trail is a 4 mile out and back trail located near Rhododendron, OR that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Sandy: Follow Hwy. 26 east to Rd. 2632. Take 32 south one mile, to a fork. Stay to the right on Rd. 2632-160 and look for the trail sign about 1/2 mile on the right.
The first mile or so is pretty steep, but worth the effort for someone in decent shape. Initially, there's a fantastic view of Hunchback Mountain to the west. There's a bench at the top of this viewpoint for those who like to take their time. After those first couple hundred yards, it's about a mile to the view of Mt. Hood, and another 0.75 or so to the end of the trail. There's some descent along those 2 miles, so it's a workout both ways. About 2hrs round trip, including pictures. I combined this with the Castle Canyon trail just a few minutes away on the other side of Rte. 26...it was a fun way to spend 4 hours. Cloudy, a little drizzle, but undeniably gorgeous!
Great for a quick workout if you just need some time in nature and live in Portland. There was no one else on the trail which was nice and I was able to let me dog run off leash. GPS took me to the wrong place. Not sure how long the hike was, I turned around at mile 1.5 (did a total of 3 miles). The views are just "ok". I dont use trekking poles, but I would have for this hike to help with the descent. The best part of this hike is that it is close to Portland and no ones is usually around. Stop by Skyway after for lunch :)
Very difficult for older climbers. 500 foot assent in the first half mile.
I ran this trail. It is obscenely steep. However if mountain biking, it is relatively free of obstacles requiring one to dismount. I'm not sure if 3.2 out and back means 1.6 each way or 3.2 each way. There is a view that frames Mt Hood at what feels like 1.5miles and makes a natural turn around.. I continued on. The trail becomes less maintained beyond that but still passable.
The trail follows the spine of a mountain in fairly dense forest with periodic views.