Mississippi Head

Mississippi Head is a prominent feature on Mt Hoods southwest face. It is the large, dark blocky band of sheer cliffs above Zig Zag Canyon, especially visible as you are approaching the mountain from Portland on Route 26. No trails access the area, but the tops of the cliffs can be explored as a hike.Continue reading “Mississippi Head”

Exploring Mountain Lakes among the Zigzag Mountains

If you’re looking to explore some of the highlights of the Zigzag Mountain Range just west of Mt Hood, this trail gets a lot out of the mileage. In 16.6 miles and 3160 feet of elevation gain you’ll visit two lakes and get great views of the mountain from the scenic ridge off East ZigzagContinue reading “Exploring Mountain Lakes among the Zigzag Mountains”

Yocum Ridge: Many Miles, Many Views

The hike up Yocum Ridge on Mt Hood’s western flank is a long one but ends with some of the most stunning and expansive alpine views available on the mountain. It ends staring up toward the summit rising above Sandy Glacier and the wide valley at its terminus. On the other side of the valleyContinue reading “Yocum Ridge: Many Miles, Many Views”

Polallie Ridge to Cooper Spur returning via Tilly Jane Trail

I love loop like hikes. I’ll often add extra distance, or hike along roads to turn an out and back trip into a circuit. Usually it works great and the pay off in extra scenery and new trail is worth it. Sometimes it doesn’t, and this was one of those. On the map the PolallieContinue reading “Polallie Ridge to Cooper Spur returning via Tilly Jane Trail”

Little Belknap Crater via the PCT

The landscape around McKenzie Pass is surreal. Not only is it an other-worldly expanse of black and crumbled lava flowing down from the horizon, but the forests around its edges are blistered and destroyed by the recent devastating fire. Covering an area 65 square miles around the passes summit, parts of the flow emanating fromContinue reading “Little Belknap Crater via the PCT”

Coffin Mountain Beargrass Extravaganza

This year, the summer of 2019, a magnificent spectacle occurred on the slopes of Coffin Mountain, a formerly obscure area west of Mt. Jefferson in the Cascade Mountains. All across the open slope of the mountain, beargrass exploded into bloom. The fluffy, large white flower heads form on the end of tall stalks emitting outContinue reading “Coffin Mountain Beargrass Extravaganza”

Exploring Southeast Mt. Hood – Elk Meadows – Newton Creek Loop

If you’re looking for a hike with a grand diversity of scenery that really highlights some of the amazing scenery the Mt. Hood National Forest has to offer, and feeling like having a good workout, this 13-mile loop with about 2200 feet of elevation gain is a great option. It hits some classic spots includingContinue reading “Exploring Southeast Mt. Hood – Elk Meadows – Newton Creek Loop”