DISTANCE
11.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,409 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

hiking
1 month ago

My friends and I did this hike on 7/16 (via dog mountain) and honestly there are some things worth mentioning/knowing before you head up this trail.

1) this is definitely a harder hike. I think it was listed as a Hard hike under a different title and I'd say this is an accurate read of the hike.
2) when people say overgrowth, they mean WAY OVERGROWN. This trail, while well marked, is immensely overgrown in spots. At several spots (all past the turn off from dog mountain) you are completely unable to see your feet and only manage to get short glimses of trail a foot ahead in between trying to fight off trees and bushes to clear your path. this would make unexperienced hikers very uneasy as you often have to trust you're going the right way and follow your gut until you find the next clearing with a tree marker.
3) you really want to be wearing protective gear (i.e. pants and maybe a long sleeve). we packed light because it was mid 90s the day we went but we paid the price. All of our legs looked like a small animal attacked every inch of exposed skin. These scratches were painful and made us question whether or not the hike was really worth the battle.
4) having said all of that. this is a really beautiful hike. you get a great view of mt. hood about half way up and we followed the advice to go down a small north side trail off the summit to find stunning views of the gorge, Mt. St. Helen and Mt. Rainer. On a clear day, this view is magnificent and definitely worth the sweat..... worth the thorn bush scars... that might be another story...