Explore the most popular birding trails in Mount Hood Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

21 hours ago

Awesome trail that starts from the Meadows Nordic Center. The elevation gain is all at the end during the switchbacks. The views from the meadows are pretty spectacular and the shelter is in good shape. We had to break trail most of the way, but with GPS it isn’t hard to follow the trail.

once your over newton creek the 1400 ft climb is nice wooded heavy snow with some great views south. near the top there is a awesome view of Mt hood looking west. the day was goergous winter wonderland

24 days ago

Nice walk through the woods to a good waterfall.

Downhill, then uphill on way back. Great hike and super pretty in the fall. Also, very busy since it's near the timberline lodge.

Awesome hike on a well maintained trail. Gain was not too tough to feel strenuous, and was surprised by how far I was walking in the time! Took about exactly 5 hours with a half hour at the top of the point for lunch. Bummed the mountain was hiding but the valley was beautiful. Wonderful diversity of forest scene and my dog really enjoyed it too!

Beautiful hike. Lucky we had a clear day got to see Mt Hood and Rainer. Good workout too.. went on Sept 2, 2018

5 months ago

A nice walk through the woods and over a creek. A small meadow at the top in the middle of the loop but didn’t see the abundance of wildflowers I expected. I did not want to go off trail and maybe there were more views had I done that or maybe they have already peaked. There’s a small log bridge along the loop that did not seem sturdy. I heard it crack as I walked over it....be careful! Also, be careful crossing the creek. It took some steady footing. This hike was relatively easy otherwise.

A relatively quick, relatively easy hike to some great views of Mt. Hood. Of course, the views of Mt. Hood are great at the lodge you start at too! What makes the hike is Zig Zag Canyon. Very unique, and still a great view of Mt. Hood. Would do this hike again!

5 months ago

I would call this moderate based on the fact that you climb 1,000 ft in 1 mile. Otherwise an easy hike overall. Not many campsites but those on the east side of the meadows have nice views of Mount Hood.

5 months ago

Hiked 08/01/18. I used this hike as the basis to make a longer loop around Elk Meadow and a quick side trip to Tamanawas Falls on my return to the trailhead. See recording for details. The waypoint in my recording serves as a word of caution. There are thousands of 6’-8’ Larch, Pine and Spruce saplings in the burn area as you continue up Bluegrass Ridge. Additionally, there are large burned snags and logs that have blown over and are crossing the trail. The combo of these 2 ingredients makes it very difficult to get through quickly. Also, the Bluegrass Ridge Trail has not been maintained in years and you will have trail finding issues. I say this since I had plenty of time to do 16-18 miles, but this area of the hike made for a slow pace, and I lost approximately an hour of daylight overall. However, the best mountain view is on Bluegrass Ridge, so pick your battles wisely. All of the major lower elevation stream crossings (2) over North-Fork Cold Spring Creek are fallen logs approximately 12"-14" in diameter and are at least 20' across from stream bank to bank. The summer current can be swift and cold. You must be comfortable crossing streams without formal bridges to do this hike. The Elk Meadows Trail section is highly maintained and highly utilized. Have fun. If you pack it in... pack it out. Other online resources here: http://www.nwhiker.com/MHNFHike37.html

Great hike. Will do it again but go further on down past the Zig Zag Canyon, pass the Zig Zag River, and all the way to Paradise Park. Hikers told us the park was another 2 to 3 miles. Totaling out and back at about 10 to 12 miles depending on your tracker. This app told me that I hiked 6 miles out and back but the hike claims that it is a 4.6 mile hike. I’m never sure on my total miles.

Tough trail through some pretty nice forest. Either way is a descent then climb, no getting the hard part out of the way first. Some parts of the trail aren’t very obvious but using this app fixes that problem. It’s a long 9.1miles, be prepared.

Beautiful views of Mts. Jefferson, Sisters and Bachelor on a clear day. As another reviewer stated, this hike was approximately 6 miles round trip with some good elevation changes along the way.

Did it yesterday from the lodge to zigzag river, a little over six miles in about three hours. Good views along the trail with light traffic. Trail starts descending and then ascending, personally, I like climbing first and then descending.

trail running
6 months ago

Wide open, dry forest with plenty of views and vertical. For a longer run, you can connect it with the Eight Mile Loop trial.

Mosquito infested but a easy hike with kids.
The lake is more like a swamp though.

7 months ago

Solo backpacked this on 6/15/18. Cloudy, gloomy and in the mid 50’s. No views today unfortunately, but maybe next time! Didn’t see another person on the trail until the zigzag lookout.
A few downed trees along the way, but noting you can’t crawl over or under, unless you’re carrying a 36 lb backpack. A few spots with snow left on the trail once you reach 5000ft, but it’s easy to walk across to stay on the trail still.

7 months ago

We hiked this trail on 5/26/18 to Cast Lake. We encountered snow above 4500ft, which slowed us down. Wow... This was a duzey with a 50lb pack, but we made it. We took the Cast creek trail out which was a welcome 6 mile hike. Then we hitched down Lolo Pass to my car at the zig zag mt. trailhead. This hike is not for amateurs.

I’m sure this is a great hike once the snow melts. We neglected to check snow levels and spent our time picking through snow looking for the trail. We eventually gave up and will be back in a few weeks.

Trails were very well marked. We took the shuttle up and started behind the Chevron station and followed the Crosstown trail for a while and made a circle around Enid Lake and then took Lucy out to the road which put us right at Mt. Hood Brewing Company.

horseback riding
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

One of my go to summer rides for fit horses. Several loops,are possible as well. If you & your horse are in shape this is a rewarding ride, however blow down can be an issue.

Beautiful trip. Definitely a difficult hike. Lots of ups amd downs. My body is totally feeling it today.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This hike is fantastic. Lots of wildflowers and spectacular views. The altitude can make it more difficult if you are not used to being more than a mile above sea level. What also makes this great is that you are on the Pacific Crest Trail the entire way, something to put on your bucket list.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

I would have rated this 5-stars if the trail was better maintained. some parts are getting hard to follow and quite a few downed trees. from fire road 18 it starts off a little unimpressive- just a lot of switchbacks in the woods. but once you get up to the Ridgeline, views are awesome - if visibility is good, there is a vantage point about 10 miles in where you can see 5 of the surrounding stratovolcanoes.

It was a great view but it was a good climb to get there. I would do it again. there is a peak where you see all 4 mountains at the top.

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