With rain and then snow forecast for the mountains this week, I took the opportunity to spend a warm fall evening exploring up around Lookout Mountain on the east side of Mt. Hood. From the High Prairie Trailhead it’s only about a mile and a half to the 6532 feet summit of Lookout Mountain, but the highlights, and more exciting views are found along the western edge of the mountain. There pumice sidehills dotted with pines and exposed lava formations have the backdrop of the entire expanse of Hood’s eastern side.
Impressively warm gusts of wind intensified as the sun quickly sunk towards the horizon. To the north, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Saint Helens were cast in a warm alpine glow. Before long the sun dipped away beyond the southern flanks of Mt. Hood and the forest quieted. I returned to the now empty (the main lot had been full when I arrived) trailhead parking as the sky took on its deep navy hue.