Timberline Trail and Paradise Park Loop is a 11.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rhododendron, OR that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, birding, and backpacking and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Only did the 5.5 mile portion but the views were absolutely amazing. By far the best hike I have done.
This loop is a GREAT day hike. Get up close to Hood and amazing wildflowers even till now. When you get to the split off from the PCT take the right and go counterclockwise up Paradise Park Loop trail. You will get some great incline going that direction. Very nice hike and workout with a good sized pack on.
Amazing! I did the counterclockwise loop starting at Timberline which I felt was perfect - get the hard, rocky stuff over and done with in the beginning and leave the long stretches of lovely forests and meadows for the end! Camped at Gnarl Ridge, Cairn Basin and then Paradise Park, which was the perfect ending to a beautiful trip. Eliot Creek crossing was dicey but if you cross where other people recommend (parallel to the Cloud Cap shelter) it would probably be far less scary (mine just involved a frightening solo scramble up loose sandstone boulders). I really recommend the long haul from Cairn to Paradise (14 miles but mostly downhill) because if the weather is clear like it was for me, Paradise has the most amazing vistas and it makes for a really easy last day!
Kicked my ass and was worth every second
Best backpacking trip ever! Elliot Glacier was a challenge and White River kept surging. Simply awesome!
Holy moley! This was one of the best trips I have done to date. 3 nights and 4 days - we went counter clockwise only because we wanted fresh legs for the Eliot crossing. I prefer going up harder routes and descending on what would be the 'easiest' - only because I get incredibly bad knee pain on steep descents. Going this route made Eliot crossing a lot easier vs going clockwise. Besides some other fast creek crossings, the trail was pretty easy to do in that amount of time. In order we spent the night at Gnarl ridge, then Cairn basin, then finally Ramona falls. I would recommend this loop to anyone seeking some adventure. 10/10 experience!
We did the route clockwise, starting at Top Spur.
Night 1: Cairn Basin
Night 2: Gnarl Ridge
Night 3: Paradise Park
Very beautiful. Amazing views of the cascades and the mountain meadows are spectacular. Would definitely do it again.
The most difficult part was the Elliot Creek crossing. We had trouble finding the route down, but once at the bottom we got across and up no problem.
We did the loop from Timberline Lodge heading clockwise.
Day 1: 9 miles to camp next to Sandy River along Rushing Water Creek.
Day 2: 9 miles and camp just under McNeil Point.
Day 3: 6 miles to other side of Elk Meadows and camped on burnt out ridge almost directly due north.
Day 4: 9 miles crossed Elliot Glacier washout (very sketchy; be prepared for following cairns and rope help up and down dangerous skree riddled with giant boulders) and camped just after Newton Creek crossing (small scramble up rope after easy makeshift log bridge).
Day 5: 7 miles and finished. Final 4 or so miles there is no water source so fill up just before leaving Mt. Hood Meadows. Last 2 miles up the PCT to the lodge is a slog up steep and sandy trails. Hurts until the end but so fucking worth it.
Give yourself an easy day on the North side. It's too majestic to spend the day head down banging out miles. The people thin and the views of Hood's North and Eastern sides will leave you humbled. Know how to cross rivers and be comfortable across snow fields. Don't do this hike alone. For safety and for me hiking alone isn't even fun.
We hiked the 3 miles or so west from timberline lodge, down a large zig zag to a river in the bottom of a canyon. Trail was a strange combination of too hot and too much snow. Not that pretty. We wanted to eat by river, but no shade and too many flies.