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

2 days ago

Not going to agree at all with the last review. I completed the loop, walked to the right at the trail split (following the Ramona falls trail), which was probably a mile in to the trail. I finished the loop, meeting back at the sign (from the left side). The return trip was way better than the way up.

Crossing the river was pretty easy if you have good balance. Stick won’t help u much unless you intend to walk in the river to cross it. We crossed across a downed tree.

Amazing hike. It was a great work out for my family of 5 and I. My 12 years old son did great even thought this hike was tuff for all of us.

Things you must know. We had a hard time finding this trail. The dirrections took us at the begening of TOP SPUR trail ( witch is an other trail) with no indications for Mc Neil point trail.
You just need to start on that trail Top Spur trail and wen you come up to a big white sign after a mile or so. You take the TIMBERLINE trail on the left going down for a bit then up the all way to Mc neil point. . We went in mid june and we still had the walk on top of many snow patches. The day was splendid and once you get past the forest and the clearing open up on a spectacular view of the Mt hood, it only gets better from there all the way up to Mc Neil point where you will find a shelter made of stone. The view is breath takeing. If it is a clear day, you will see Mt st Adam, Mt st Helene, Mt rainier and Mt Hood very clearly.
We did not find many signs to help us, mostly we followed trails and foot prints. The all hike took about 7 h maybe more? So worth it!!
Marjolaine (from France)

Took my first trip here on 6/15/18. The trail is fairly easy to navigate, however there are some downed trees that require a little bit of ducking and climbing over.

trail running
7 days ago

I would highly recommend taking the Ramona Trail #797 as an out and back, skipping the PCT part of the loop. The Ramona Trail is much more scenic as compared to the part of the PCT that follows the Sandy River. So, out and back, don’t loop. (Carry walking sticks to help you cross the Sandy River or find a long stick. The logs that are acting as bridges are tad bit unstable. And as always, be careful when fording larger streams.)

This trail is NOT dog appropriate right now. Even if your dog can do the logs, if they were to fall they would be swept away by the snow melt current that’s happening right now. Do Burnt Lake with your dog until the water is better.

10 days ago

Perfect day & hike. Rhododendrons in bloom. Magnificent falls. Lovely creek.

13 days ago

Got chased down this one by a hornet once. A different time I dropped my phone 30 feet down a cliff. 5/5

14 days ago

Trailhead was easy to find. Huge gravel parking lot was mostly empty on a Thursday morning at 11am. Port-a-potties. Trail was well marked and easy to follow. Pretty sandy underfoot most of way. Nice mix of magical shady, mossy forest and sunny exposed terrain. The log crossing about a mile in was trickier than I thought it would be. I’m short at 5’3”...a few more inches would have made it a bit easier to span some of the logs. Not suitable for kids or dogs, though we did see some coaxing pups across logs. Falls were gorgeous. Had them to ourselves for the 20 mins we stopped for lunch. Beautiful mountain view from river crossing. Overall fun (except the log crossing)!

Great trail. Love the falls at the end. So pretty.

18 days ago

As of 6/2/2018 no snow on the road or at trailhead. Some snow on trail about 1/2 mile in but other than that completely dry. Very easy to navigate. I love this hike! Bald Mountain is my favorite hike on Hood because it’s moderately challenging with an intense uphill push at the end. View is breathtaking!

The falls were even more gorgeous than I expected. Great hike throughout.

19 days ago

This was a nice hike and the falls at the end were really pretty - they were wide and compact versus tall and skinny. The area was like a hidden grotto - the sun filtered in but the trees formed a canopy. Even though you climb a thousand feet, it was really gradual so not too noticeable. Lots of shade and even though it is getting late for wildflowers, there were tons of what I think were wild rhododendron still in bloom. This is a busy trail but it's a loop - not in and out so even thought the lot was full, the trail didn't seem all that crowded. Also - go early, we saw reams of people coming in on our way out around noonish. And finally - don't forget the forest pass.... they don't sell them at the trail head but I believe you can pick one up in government camp. We picked ours up at a gas station between hood river and the trailhead. I'd give it 5 stars but was spoiled by the Tom McCall trail the day before....

19 days ago

This trail kicked my ass. I hiked from the zig zag ranger station to kinzel lake before camping and hiking out in the morning. There are about 3.5 miles of constant blow downs two thirds of the way through and a fair amount of bugs. As an experienced but out of shape hiker, I found it grueling

20 days ago

The trail elevation was very gradual, trail was well maintained, crossing the river added some extra excitement and the falls were breathtaking! Will definitely do it again.

20 days ago

Crossing the river took a bit of creativity on choosing a path. The elevation gain was subtle and I honestly didn’t notice till the way back where it was just a breeze to get back. The falls it’s self was just gorgeous.

Just got back yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed this hike for backpacking in and camping out overnight. I did this with my boyfriend and my brother who was visiting from Philly. It was my brothers first backpacking trip and he killed it! It was definitely a solid hike up to the lake, challenging with packs but not overly difficult. The views from the top were SO rewarding. On our hike up it was overcast the whole way, with a slight glimpse of Hood before hitting Cast Lake. On our way out the next morning it was clear skies and we were able to see all four mountains from one viewpoint. Absolutely stunning and the wild flowers were blooming during our trip. I would highly recommend going sooner than later. The snow was almost all melted and there were no bugs. We saw one person throughout the whole trip. Definitely a nice getaway for a couple days off the grid. I will definitely do this one again.

Beautiful hike. Fast moving current so we had to turn back because it was not safe for our labs. For sure will go back with no dogs

Absolutely beautiful views once you get towards the top- not just Mt Hood, but also Mt St. Helens, Mt Adams, and even Mt Rainier (we had a clear day) However, we just went this past weekend- May 27-and there is still way too much snow to see the trail once you are a few miles in, we got lost from the trail multiple times. Would definitely do this trail again, but wait until at least July or you'll be hiking in feet deep snow

Road is clear to the trailhead as of 5/27. Made it about 2.4 miles in before relinquishing to the snow. You can hike off trail along the ridge to get a bit further but we just kept encountering snow so we turned back and followed the trail back near owl point where we continued again, until we lost the trail to snow. Excited to do it again!

25 days ago

The falls are gorgeous. The logs going across the sandy river were sketchy but overall really great hike with amazing views.

Great moderate trail.

25 days ago

Beautiful hike. We went over Memorial Day weekend and were a little worried about the river crossing, but the water level was low so we were able to just cross over logs. Had lunch at the falls before heading back. There was a good amount of traffic on the trail but it wasn’t too crowded, even at the falls.

Nice quiet trail. “Nothing special” sounds like a jaded tourist response to this kind of beauty.

I was inspired to head out to Cast Lake over the long weekend, and it was a great trip. The bulk of the trail is in a tunnel of green, absolutely beautiful but nothing much in the way of a view till you reach what can only be described as the top.

As other reviewers have said, there really is not a water source on the way up, so make sure you are carrying enough water to get you to the top.

As of 5/27 there is still a fair amount of snow on the way to the lake, gaiters are needed if you don’t have waterproof shoes. Not too buggy when I was there, but it was cold, cold, cold, which is probably why they weren’t out to bite me. Based on the number of small pools of water I saw, I can see this place getting very buggy in the summer.

Terrific hike with the river and scenic view at the top. Very worthwhile and nice hike worth doing again. All Trails directions for the. trail head suck. You need to go all the way to the bridge for the trail head. All trails directions have you stopping 2 miles before the trail head - so our 8 mile hike turned into 12.

I give this trail a 3/5 because the trail is poorly marked and I was only able to make it about a mile in before the trail was no longer accessible due to snow. I went as far as I could through the snow but the snow made the trail hard to find so I decided to turn back. The area was beautiful and the views are amazing. Definitely looking forward to revisiting this hike later in the year and hopefully giving it a better review. Until next time, have fun and be safe on your journeys;)

The view at the loop is so rewarding!! The trail is really easy until just past the permit box at the edge of Salmon-huckleberry Wilderness, where it really heads uphill. PERFECT on a sunny day.

This hike was a super beautiful hike. The views are amazing and the waterfall is definitely a sight to see. Just a heads up, know the skill level of the hikers in your group because there is a part where you have to cross a glacial run off and the bridge is not up yet. There are down logs that you can cross the run off but like I said know your skill level in your group. Other than that this hike was simply amazing and I highly recommend it to others.

1 month ago

This is a neat hike. I don't know if it was me, the day, or what but it just didn't leave me filling as accomplished. I did take my 4 year old on this, so I wasn't able to complete the entire loop. But we did get to see both the falls, and had some pretty cool adventures. It didn't help that it was extremely hot that day, and a lot of dust was up in the air. The heat, the dust, and a 4 year old, definitely impact the overall trip. In the end we had a lot of fun.!

1 month ago

Fun trail with several views on the way and at the end that were definitely worth it! The incline was not terribly noticeable most of the way. You do have to cross a river via logs. Also be aware you have to have the NW pass to park and the nearest place is miles from the start of the hike (you can buy online https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r6/passes-permits/recreation or at certain locations). Found this site helpful with trail tips: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mthood/recarea/?recid=53460

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