Explore the most popular camping trails near Mt Hood with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wonderful trip! Did this as a 4-day backpacking trip with my wife in August of 2017. Breathtaking views, wildflowers, historic shelters, and snow fields. This hike has a little bit of everything. If your itinerary allows, camp at Dollar Lake on the north side of the mountain. It’s a short climb from the main trail, but has excellent campsites, a beautiful view of the mountain, and a nice place for a swim or washing clothes. Water crossings vary significantly with temperature and rainfall. Sandy, Coe, and Elliott were the most challenging for us. It’s a fantastic and challenging hike.

Great hike!! Did this hike in 2 days.

Starting off just south of the timberline lodge and finishing at the locks is a really fun trip! We definitely had plenty of water sources along the way. The only stream crossings to worry about are the Sandy River and Muddy Creek, both are easy to pass even with a full pack. Since we only did this section we were still able to meet other Thur Hikers for the PCT both going north and south.

I recommend this section for anyone who has some experience, even the novice sort can make this a doable trip.

Would love to do it again right away, but I will definitely pack lighter and move faster!

**Found**
found a sleeping bag on the northwestern side of the mountain, in a glacial valley. Packed it out. Describe it to me and I can mail it to you. send me a message on Instagram, @sam_joe_carl

Beautiful wilderness! Spent two nights and three days. My GPS showed the final milage to be more like 43.5

Make sure to bring some type of insect repellent but overall very beautiful and gracious. I did bring my dog and should’ve had dog booties for her because of certain terrain. Enjoy!

Once you get past 2,000ish feet elevation change in the first 2 miles, the trail has amazing views of Mt. Hood & Mt. Adams and it levels off for a bit. I did not make it down to the lake, as I did not have another 1,000+ feet elevation change in me, but my husband did and he said it was lovely!

Did this over 2 days (Timberline Lodge—>elk cove, elk cove—>Timberline lodge). Would absolutely recommend this trail, but not this pace— it’s worth it to enjoy 2 nights outside. Beautiful scenery.

Bring trekking poles for the river crossings— they weren’t terrible, but they were more significant than anything I’d ever done before, and they get worse in the afternoons, when there’s more snowmelt.

Overall, this is an excellent hike— can’t wait to go back!

Did the loop on Jun 30 - July 2. The trail was awesome and was completed in 2.5 days. Start and end at the Timberline Lodge going clockwise. No parking permit needed but you need to park by the edge wall while leaving the main parking area to lodge guest. 1st day (18 miles) camp at McGee Creek; 2nd day (17 miles) camp at Heather Creek; 3rd day (6 miles) out to the car. Make sure to fill out wilderness permit at trailhead.

Just completed the trail. Amazing views of Mt Hood, and gorgeous scenery. So happy to have hiked it. Long first day (30 miles), and super windy just after Cloud Cap.

All river crossings were reasonable. Many had convenient logs across them, some had a few jumps between rocks, but never had to get my boots wet. Crossed White at 9am, so possibly was lower than it would have been in the afternoon.

Still some snow on sections, but nothing to worry about.

hiking
3 months ago

Such a beautiful lake! Deserted on the Summer Solstice, clear water, bright white fluffy clouds. We were happy to discover the road that goes to within half a mile, thought we’d never get there because previously we had accessed the lake from Bonney Meadows above. The road to Bonney Meadows is now only 4-wheel drive accessible. Anyway, we hiked up to the Meadows. We saw an osprey at the lake diving for fish. All in all a perfect day and lovely lake.

backpacking
3 months ago

Easy short stroll from trailhead to boulder lake. Some car campers at little boulder lake because a forest service road reaches there, but only hike-in at the main boulder lake. Fishing at boulder lake was really good. Biting spinners for me. Mostly the invasive, but beautiful, brook trout. A fairly steep hike from the lake up to bonney meadows is worth it. Beautiful views of Mt Hood over a natural meadow full of wildflowers. A decent amount of snow patches on the ground as of late may, but still pretty easy to spot the trail.

Epic journey. Started at the lodge and went clockwise. We did it in two and a half days, with some little side hikes up and down other trails. Elliott Branch was very scary, but this was in 2012 and it might be better by now. Will never forget it, one of my favorite hikes ever.

Fantastic loop. I did this over 5 days/4 nights with side trips up Yocum Ridge, McNiel Point, and Elk Meadow. I started from the Timberline Lodge and went clockwise. There are a few streams you have to ford, though I only got me feet wet on the Sandy river crossing. The Elliot crossing seems more daunting that it is. I used the ropes crossing and it wasn't bad. This guide is pretty helpful http://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=19999. If I did it again, I would take high route up by the glacier as that seems like the shortest, least painful way.

Hiked on 3/16...beautiful day with fresh powder, some sun and light snow. Trail is well marked, both lakes absolutely gorgeous. Did not see one person the entire hike. Clocked 10 Miles and took us 5 hours, 15 minutes with a small lunch break at Upper Lake.

a must do. I love this hike. It's a great weekend hike. 2 19 mile days aren't that bad if you go ultralight. so many waterfalls. paint brush and other wildflowers are plentiful. trail is in great shape.

More like 42 miles around the entire trail.

My girlfriend and I completed this in 3 days from 8/19-8/21. Beautiful hike but difficult at many points. Try to plan major river/stream crossings for the morning. They get harder as the snow melts in the afternoon.

Here is my trip report https://adventurecontinues.org/2017/08/19/timberline-trail/

Spectacular!

Friday night- Saturday afternoon heat hike, recommend mosquito repellent, some section there were a lot of flies and in the morning lots of mosquitos.

Friday to Sunday (clockwise start and end at the Lodge). A truly spectacular hike! Absolutely perfect weather right now. The trail is in great shape overall. All river and glacial crossings are manageable day or night with some caution. Wildflowers are all on impressive display. Happy I brought the DSLR along. Fellow hikers on the trail were friendly and in high spirits. This was a weekend I'll never forget!

Trail ran the loop on Saturday. Weather was outstanding and the trail in great shape. All the crossings were good (Coe and Elliott were a little more challenging but fine). Wild flowers are in bloom which made the scenery that much more spectacular. We started/ended at Timberline lodge instead of Cloud Cap Campground. If I were to run this course again, I would start at Cloud Cap Campground and run clockwise (like we did). This would get the 'dry zone' out of the way while cool as well as the significant drop down to Zig Zag out of the way relatively early. Great day!

Did the whole loop last week. Most of the creek and river crossings were smooth and we were able to rock hop across. Coe and Elliott were a little sketchy, but doable. There was one section on the north side where the trail was under snow and we got off route, but were able to find it using this app. It could be melted off by now. GORGEOUS wildflowers everywhere! I want to do this trail every year!

Bring bug spray the mosquitos and biting flys are bad!

Completed a short portion at timberline lodge. Would like to do more. Beautiful views and snow in July.

Started at the Timberline Lodge and when counter-clockwise towards Cloud-Cap. Hiked starting 2-July-2017 and encountered some unsafe snow and ice conditions near Clark and Newton Creek. Hopefully trails have melted now with all the warm weather that will allow full access all the way around.

Cloud Cap and Tilly Jane campground were closed.

camping
Monday, July 10, 2017

Beautiful area. Primitive but nice campsites on the lake. A nice hike to Echo Point (I'll try to upload) with views of Boulder Lake and Mt Hood. Quite crowded camping on the weekend. Next time we'll go on the weekdays.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

There are 8 to 10 campsites at this lake. The half mile hike in keeps most car campers away. All campsites are on the lake. Beautiful lake, clear water.

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