Gnarl Ridge and Elk Meadows Trail Loop

HARD 16 reviews
#39 of 145 trails in

Gnarl Ridge and Elk Meadows Trail Loop is a 9.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mt Hood, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,938 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Epic views of Mount Hood

11 days ago

great hike. trail was a bit dusty right now. weather was magnificent. the Hemlocks at the top are amazing and ancient. The meadow was done with its heavy bloom period. the gnarl ridge lupine are just finishing. The trail was easy to read. There are lots if shady spots to take breaks. Take plenty of water because its dry as you ascend.

backpacking
19 days ago

The trail was easy to follow. We stayed at Elk Meadows (lots of mosquitos, and not many camping spots) and did a day hike to Gnarl Ridge. My 14 and 9 yr old sons and our dog did the hike. The hike felt moderate rather than hard. Hiking sticks are very helpful. The wildflowers were amazing! We went up there Weds-Fri and the traffic was minimal. We had a great time!

hiking
9 months ago

there's great views of the mountain when you go up the second trail to the left off the elk meadows trail after leaving the parking lot. Its after the Newton creek trail which isn't marked. there are lots of signs but not enough for Gnarl ridge. We walked the Elk meadows trail loop before we realized we should have turned off sooner. When you reach Cloud cap trail you could go straight on up to walk on Gnarl ridge which wad snowed in after a ways or turn left and walk down Timberline trail to the river and get a great view of Mt Hood and the ridge and have lunch on the boulders. Then if you want a different route back cross the river and come back by way of Newton creek trail. This was a bit rocky and steep at times but aside from crossing the fast small cold rivers it was not a hard trail if you're in shape. We loved it!

11 months ago

Beautiful views with a gradual elevation gain; bring a walking stick for the stream crossing. The stream was higher on the return trip.

hiking
Friday, October 23, 2015

Gnarl Ridge is amazing, and can be heck of a lot more than the short loops shown here. If you'd like 16miles of mountain hiking/mountaineering, why not walk from Timberline to Cloud Clap? If you're doing it in the winter, be prepared though: you're playing on mountain, not a hillside.

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

hiking
Friday, August 12, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

hiking
Sunday, October 26, 2014

hiking
Friday, August 22, 2014