Elk Meadows South Trail

MODERATE 53 reviews
#47 of 155 trails in

Elk Meadows South Trail is a 5.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,056 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

running

views

snow

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.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

So many flies this time of year! As long as you kept walking it was fine, but as soon as you stop you were bombarded with bugs buzzing about. Bugs aside, this is an absolutely beautiful trail with amazing mountain views, though the trail was difficult to spot after the river crossing. Once you reach the top, be sure to make your way to the small shelter next to the meadow...the view is absolutely worth it! Please note that at the time we went, FS Rd 3545 was closed due to construction on Hwy 35. Without a gps signal, we didn't realize you could use FS Rd 3555 to access the trailhead so we ended up parking near the Teacup Lake trail and hiking up the highway before reaching FS Rd 3545.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful views and the trail is in great shape. The river crossing was a hard to spot but easy.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trails and views. I added Umbrella falls. When you get to the creek look right and you will seen cairn and there is a large piece of wood down. Made the mistake of going left and was really tough crossing higher up and bad rocks brush to get back to trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike with spectacular views of Mt Hood. The one creek crossing on a log and rocks is tricky but with walking sticks it is easily doable. I can imagine in the spring and early summer it’s particularly difficult due to snow melt. The real problem was that someone had an off leash dog while crossing and the dog threatened to get underfoot with the owner refusing to leash.

hiking
6 months ago

did on 7/13 with my corgi and stayed overnight. not sure which view I liked the most! The section before Newton Creek is the easiest. Mostly flat and shaded. Crossing Newton Creek can be tough but be careful and maybe take your socks off, put boots back on and cross to keep socks dry. Waterproof boots recommended and no problem crossing assuming at least 1 log is down. I was carrying a corgi. I saw some larger dogs cross it fine. after creek crossing, the switchbacks start and it's steep and narrow in parts. The bluegrass trail threw me for a loop honestly but I entered the near the loop entry. this section warrants pants or leggings bc of the overgrowth. takes you elk mountain and the sunrise views are amazing! there's an old disassembled bear trap

hiking
blowdown
muddy
6 months ago

Easy walking with clear directions with the following exceptions. At 1.5 or so there is a River crossing. The water is close and fast moving with lots of rocks. Follow way-finder points to find crossing or turn down the bank at the stacked rocks nearly immediately upon the opening. The trail is clearer on the way back, but there are stacked rock indicators as well. There were a number of small creak crossing with similar log crossing but easy in comparison. Multiple trees to scramble under. A small meadow halfway around the main meadow, on the left at the start of the dead end path into the main meadow, had the most beautiful full display of flowers. Look for log to use for lunch stop without damaging meadow. Follow this off shoot to the end for speculation views of east Mt Hood. Continuing counterclockwise around loop there is a long thin and high log crossing we didn’t attempt.

hiking
11 months ago

It was a beautiful day for snowshoeing. Mostly sunny and no wind. We couldn't make it up the Elk Meadow trail after crossing the second river. Trail wasn't passable in the switchback. We went back and headed up the Newton Creek trail instead for about 2 miles. There was some icy spots under the 4 - 6" fresh powder but for the most part easy to walk on. I forgot to stop the map tracking so I got a bit of the road on there.

Tue Nov 06 2018

Hiked to the meadow on Nov 3 and encountered several pairs of Elk hunters carrying rifles and wearing orange. Apparently it was opening day of elk hunting. Freaked us out a bit.

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

Sitting in the meadow by yourself makes this hike worth it however I wouldn't say this is a "lightly trafficked" trail. When we go to the trail head there were about 8 other vehicles there and we passed about 10 groups of people on the trail. I also think the elevation gain on the switch backs is wrong.

hiking
Mon Sep 03 2018

Great hike! Lots of huckleberries. Arrived at the trailhead at 830 am. Tons of people on the way back but still a good time. Newton Creek was easy to cross with some downed logs.

Sun Sep 02 2018

We really enjoyed this hike. The information about elevation gain is wrong. Another app said we climbed over a thousand feet which is more accurate. Crossing Newton Creek was no problem. Get there early on the weekend as the trailhead parking fills quickly. Signage is good for staying on your desired route.

hiking
Thu Aug 09 2018

Great Hike. Second attempt to cross the creek and we did it! This time we crossed the creek over the small log and made the rest of the way via the rocks. I don’t think I would attempt it through the water. It was fast and I couldn’t tell how deep it was. The meadow was beautiful when we arrived!

hiking
Sun Jul 22 2018

A nice hike. Newton creek crossing was not difficult. There is a low log crossing near where the trail comes to the creek and I used this. There is also a larger fallen tree crossing upstream a ways but that is elevated above the creek quite a bit and will be more difficult for most and not suitable for families. I saw some cross by wading in the water without any issue but be cautious especially with youngsters as the current is swift. We added to the hike by going up to Elk mountain where there is a very nice view of Mt Jefferson and even the 3 Sisters. The trail up to Elk mountain is not as well warn but it was not difficult to follow. Many great views of Mt Hood along the way.

hiking
Tue Jul 17 2018

We couldn’t make it to Elk Meadows. The Newton Creek is huge and fast. (It’s more like a river). We were too scared to cross by foot through the water or over the log. We ended up going up the Newton Creek Trail and hitting the Timberland Trail. That was a pretty strenuous hike but what beautiful views of Mt. Hood. Worth it!

hiking
Sun Jun 10 2018

Beautiful beginning, stopped by heavily glacial runoff at the stream crossing right before the uphill switchbacks. Go early to get a better chance at a calmer stream or be prepared to scale across fallen logs or barefoot stream crossing.

hiking
Sun Jun 03 2018

Beautiful views of Mt. hood along the way. Would not recommend for inexperienced hikers... there is a creek crossing at Newton Creek, one of the mountains most unruly glacial streams so be prepared. Right now there is a sturdy downed log to walk across but use caution. The trail does pick up further down stream from the log crossing. The shack and meadows at elk meadows is quite beautiful. Flowers are out, lots of huckleberry, strawberry, and some raspberry. Only small amounts of snow on the trail and no spikes or snow shoes are required for it.

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2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Elk Meadows South Trail

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