McNeil Point Trail

MODERATE 106 reviews
#7 of 138 trails in

McNeil Point Trail is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rhododendron, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2355 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

scramble

snow

The beginning of hike is through a beautiful forest setting and is quite relaxing. In some areas you are walking through close-in brush. At higher elevations you are above the treeline and it is quite steep/strenuous. Lunch stop at old rock shelter (McNeil Point) where one can see Mt. Ranier and Mt. Adams on a clear day. Quite worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Tried to go up today. Unfortunately our vehicle could not make it up due to snow getting too thick on the roads. We still had about 2 miles left until the trailhead.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked up to McNeil 11/1. Fun day, have always loved that hike.

Saw some snow, mostly high up. Did the steep climbers trail, gps track didn’t record the whole time for some reason or would have posted it. Was windy with maybe 50ft of visibility at the shelter. Be safe out there folks.

2 months ago

Went a couple days ago and it was my second time hiking the trail. There was some snow but the trail was even more beautiful than when I hiked it in mid summer! It's one of my favorite Mt. Hood trails and I never get tired of it. The viewpoint of Hood at the first major clearing out of the forest is my absolute favorite.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked up to around 5800 feet. Too much snow on the first boulder field to cross safely (my opinion), short of McNeil Point by about .25 mi. Beautiful day. Trail was incredibly quiet and beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

A must do hike in the Mt Hood area. Not only do you get a feel for the Oregon forests which you are in for a duration of the hike but you also spend a majority wandering above the tree line where you'll find streams, wildflowers, a wondrous vista of Hood but also of Rainier, St. Helens and Baker?. It is long, but it is very doable for all ages. Pack lots of water!

4 months ago

A few things that I wish I had known:
At the first trail split go right, and the second multi-trail split go left for the direct route to the shelter (Cairn Basin) or right for the Bald Mountain viewpoint, which connects somewhere that I never found and ended up all the way to the Muddy Fork River on the wrong trail.
Here's the second part to this story:
The trail on the left, the more direct route, is lovely and varied in landscape, and takes you to the shelter and trail to the ridge. That final mile blast up to the summit is a total ass kicker. Following the GPS map from previous hikers I continued on the loop trail which picked up just south of the shelter through the shrubs to a boulder/rock/gravel/sand scramble, which straight up sucked. I guess if you were going up that way it would be easier, but I never saw where that trail started when going via the long way. Had I realized what a bummer it would've been, especially alone I would've gone the long way back. I'm thankful I had poles, but I would certainly not opt to take it again.
But all in all it's a great hike!

hiking
4 months ago

Smokey with low visibility, still beautiful though and made for an awesome sunrise. Planning to return earlier in the season when it's not as dry.

hiking
4 months ago

I made it to the top in time to watch the sunrise this morning. Although there was low visibility on the horizon, the trail was beautiful and the surrounding landscape showed its massive scale quite brilliantly.

hiking
5 months ago

I would not consider this a loop. It is defiantly an out and back. It was a rear kicker. Make sure to bring lots of water, we ran out on the way back.

hiking
6 months ago

It was long but definitely worth it. So many beautiful views! I went yesterday and loved going through the snow.

6 months ago

great hike! beautiful wildflower displays right now and only a couple of small snowfields to cross. if you go the bald mountain side, be sure to go up across the cutoff trail, not downslope or you will add a couple miles to your trip like I did!

6 months ago

Fantastic hike! Note that after you pass by the sign marked for the "cutoff", it's about .25 miles before you reach a junction with McGee Creek Trail. If you want to go to McNeil point, you need to veer right as opposed to left. There is no sign, and the thru trail to McNeil is visibly obstructed by about 3 large downed trees. You can easily climb over them, but the trail beyond is easily missed if you aren't looking Worst case, know that if you find yourself going downhill for a while, you went the wrong way at the junction! Enjoy!

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

The hike was epic: 360 degree view with several peaks in addition to the looming Mt Hood, also abundant wildflowers, many runoff streams. There were several teaser views along the way with a big payoff at the end. There was a lot of snow for July: the upper 3rd of the trail was dominated by snowfields with interspersed bare trail (we took the short, steep way up because it was snow-free, then looped back). There were also a lot of downed trees. Overall it made for a fun hike: my dog (an athletic German Shorthair Pointer) and I enjoyed the obstacles and it made the payoff that much better. However, several people turned back early including backpackers that had planned more extended trips on the Timberline trail.

Note: you have to take Lolo pass to reach the trailhead after the muddy fork turnoff. Muddy fork is impassable by car or truck.

hiking
7 months ago

We attempted this hike three days ago. finding the trailhead was relatively easy though the road you take there is a bit worse for wear--be careful of potholes! We had to walk 1.4 km or so to the trailhead as there was too much snow to drive all the way there. The trail seems to have a lot if potential and it's a beautiful area but we couldn't finish it because the snow was too deep and we lost the trail after a while. Since the snow is melting it's also a little dangerous because the snow banks are soft and you can sink through unexpectedly to the ground. At the moment you definitely need a GPS to complete it. So my 3 stars is just based on our experience in the current conditions not really a complete/fair assessment.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Could not drive all the way to the trailhead by car as this year's snow still covers the road. Also note that you have to take Lolo Pass road to Lolo Pass trailhead before turning onto 1828 as the Muddy Fork road side is marked as closed to vehicles.

We parked about 1.5 miles from the trailhead and walked on the closed road over the snow. The trail itself is almost impossible to stay on where the snow is. This year any south/west-facing side is in snow. Once the trail shifts to the north/east side of Bald Mountain it's easy (but was hot). For the snowy sections you will need a waypoint or GPS device to stay on track. Lots of down trees on the trail but there are obvious ways around them.

The view is amazing. If it's not a clear day - this hike won't be worth the effort though.

hiking
10 months ago

Difficult HIke but worth the view. Take a map as some of the signs are not marked well. I have done this twice and the first time I did take a wrong turn at the lakes. Use GPS if you have it. Wear proper hiking gear as it is not a good trail in some areas. You will be crossing lava beds and walking through brush.

hiking
Saturday, October 29, 2016

Beautiful hike, with lots of different terrain and segments of the PCT and Timberline Trail. Woods, rocks, valleys. Half-way, there's an incredible place to stop for lunch, with an amazing view of Hood. I hit plenty of snow, which made for a beautiful final few miles of this hike. Incredible views looking North to Ranier and Adams (and Jefferson).

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Very nice day hike!
I would rate it as moderate (rather than difficult), but still very enjoyable for experienced hikers. The trail doesn't go steep except for the very last ascend to McNeil Point, which is pretty short. I was also lucky with the weather - not too hot, not too cold (in the 60's), which made it a great day to enjoy. View from McNeil Point and along the way was quite nice as well. Overall time: 4:40h, including ~40mins dedicated to eating blueberries.

One correction: the map from AllTrails app was very useful to track progress along, but it only shows the trail up to and around the loop, without the leg to the McNeil Point. There is about one mile more from the far end of the loop to reach the McNeil Point, which is a nice small peak under Mt. Hood (well worth the extra mile, so do budget for it).

Load More