Larch Mountain Crater Loop is a 6.5 mile loop trail located near Cascade Locks, Oregon that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This peak with its rocky summit spire will provide you great views of Portland, Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge This loop hike will start off at the top of Larch Mountain at Sherrard Point just over 4,000 feet with fantastic views of 4 major Cascade Volcanoes! Sherrard Point is an easy walk from the parking lot at the top of Larch Mountain Road. This road is not open in the winter so plan accordingly. From here you will then take a loop hike around the crater of Larch Mountain down to Multnomah Creek and up to its headwaters which ultimately feed the famous Multnomah Falls in the Columbia Gorge. Then you will traverse across the bottom of the crater to the Oneonta Trail which will bring you back to the parking lot.
Benches on the Sherrard point were totally destroyed by some vandals. Very sad.
A very nice out of the way hike. Not too crowded if you go early. As the day progresses, the crowds increase in number (and decibels). The short hike to the look out is beautiful, well worth a few stairs. Definitely download the trail map as we went off trail a few times before using our satellite GPS to get back on track. Bring an extra jacket for the way down then put it away for the trek back up, it is quite a work out.
Download the trail map offline, you'll need it plus good boots and long pants. The deeper you go the colder and wet things get. Got bit by an unknown insect on my leg while going through lots of shrubs. Overall, great hike trough the forest. Best part is the overlook. I wouldn't recommend doing the whole loop with a kid, some parts are a bit rough. $5 cash to park.
We hadn't hiked this trail before. All downhill to start with, if you start by the bathrooms. The signage isn't very good and we got off track but managed to find our way back to the trail. 7.4 miles total. I suggest getting an actual trail map. There are too many turn offs that lead to other trails. It also didn't loop back to the beginning like I thought it would. It came out on the road about 1/4 mile from the beginning. All in all it was a good hike, but I've been on better!
Hiked this loop on a Wednesday in early August at 11:30 am, and only ran into 3 others coming up as I was starting down. Lovely and peaceful hike through the forest.