Elk Meadows Loop Trail is a 7.8 mile loop trail located near Mt Hood, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used 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.
Did this June 2016, beautiful view of Hood from a side you don't normally get to see. Saw about 15-20 people the whole hike which now a days is good. The meadow itself is a great place to stop halfway for lunch or a break. Some areas in the meadow have more bugs than others so it's worth checking it all out before settling in.
Day use permit required, 5 dollars at the parking area.
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.