Pack extra layers and get an early start on this 18.4-mile cross-country ski and snowshoe route. The trip begins where the plowed road ends (usually near the Mount Hood National Forest boundary). The first 2.2 miles travel west for a gradual climb below treeline—keep an eye out for views to the south of Jordan Creek valley and the mountains that rise behind it. The route passes several intersecting roads, then becomes steeper at mile 4.7 before leveling out at an overlook with more views to the south. One mile later, turn left onto FR 200, a small forest road flanked by trees.
The last 1.5-mile stretch to the tower winds to the southeast, passing through a gated fence. (Get out your extra layers—as you approach the clearing around the tower, the wind will start to pick up). Take a break at Flag Point Lookout Tower, a 60-foot tower with a 14×14-foot room at the top. The tower offers dramatic views of Mount Hood to the west; Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Rainier to the north; and Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters to the south. Turn around and follow the same route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Trung Q. Le
TO TRAILHEAD: From The Dalles, take US-197 S to Dufur, OR. Continue 1 mile past Dufur and turn a sharp right onto Heimrich St. In 0.6 mile, turn left at Dufur Market Rd./Dufur Mill Rd./Dufur Valley Rd. In 5.2 miles, continue on Upper Fifteenmile Rd./S Valley Rd. In 3 miles, turn right at Upper Fifteenmile Rd. In 3.6 miles, turn left at N S Rd. In 0.7 mile, turn right to stay on N S Rd. In 0.5 mile, bear left toward Camp Friend Rd. In 0.1 mile, turn right at Camp Friend Rd. In 2.2 miles, turn right at Camp Friend Rd./Jordan Creek Rd. Continue until the road is no longer plowed.