Pacific Crest Trail: Top Weekend - Mount Hood, OR

This moderate 14.4-mile trek meanders through meadows teeming with wildflowers and delivers epic vistas one of North America's largest volcanoes.
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This moderate 14.4-mile trek meanders through meadows teeming with wildflowers and delivers epic vistas one of North America's largest volcanoes.

High on everyone's list of the PCT's finest attributes are its incomparable views of the great Cascade peaks. This 14.4-mile trek around the port side of 11,235-foot Mt. Hood delivers those epic vistas--only on this hike, you're also exploring one of North America's largest volcanoes. You'll meander through meadows teeming with midsummer wildflowers--beargrass, lupine, Indian paintbrush--and across canyons of crumbling earth that dramatically illustrate the power of volcanic mudflows. You'll pass beneath glaciers whose roaring, chocolate-colored meltwater rivers churn downhill with dangerous power. A bonus: The PCT drops a net 2,520 feet from Timberline Lodge to Lolo Pass, making this a relatively easy walk. Aggressive hikers can do it in one long day, but then they'd have to skip the side hike up Yocum Ridge. About 10 miles from Timberline, an unofficial trail climbs 2,000-plus feet up Yocum to colorful meadows so close to the Reid and Sandy Glaciers you'll feel the frosty breath emanating from their crevasses. DON'T MISS A 2.3-mile detour onto the old Oregon Skyline Trail. From the PCT heading northbound, turn right onto the OST just after crossing the upper Zigzag River's two forks. The OST climbs higher on Hood than the PCT does, and it's more scenic, joining Paradise Park Trail 778 and crossing wildflower meadows that offer views of the glaciated upper mountain. Trail 778 rejoins the PCT about 2 miles beyond where you left it.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 23.2

Waypoints

PCT1305

Location: 45.3307113647461, -121.711242675781

Go N from Timberline Lodge to meet PCT

PCT1305

Location: 45.3307113647461, -121.711242675781

Go N from Timberline Lodge to meet PCT

PCT1306

Location: 45.3326225280762, -121.711051940918

Go L on PCT

PCT1307

Location: 45.3359336853027, -121.721969604492

Continue NW trek at the foot of Mt. Hood

PCT1308

Location: 45.3383674621582, -121.73380279541

Stay straight @ Hidden Lake Trail jct.

PCT1309

Location: 45.3426322937012, -121.751815795898

Continue switchback climb

PCT1310

Location: 45.3440170288086, -121.754203796387

Keep straight, heading N; pass camp with a hitching post

PCT1311

Location: 45.3521003723144, -121.750366210938

Cross Lost Creek

PCT1312

Location: 45.3610496520996, -121.752136230469

Stay straight @ jct. with Paradise Park Loop

PCT1313

Location: 45.3723678588867, -121.777702331543

Great camps on large flats

PCT1314

Location: 45.3754844665527, -121.779602050781

Cross Rushing Creek

PCT1315

Location: 45.3798675537109, -121.784065246582

Cross the Sandy River

PCT1316

Location: 45.3910675048828, -121.807952880859

Turn R @ jct. with Trail #797

PCT1317

Location: 45.3918838500977, -121.806434631348

Mt. Hood Wilderness boundary. Head NE

PCT1318

Location: 45.40478515625, -121.779418945312

Stay L @ jct. with Bald Mtn. Trail

PCT1319

Location: 45.4054832458496, -121.779113769531

Stay L, heading NW

PCT1320

Location: 45.4272003173828, -121.796684265137

Cross Lolo Pass Rd.

Road to Mount Hood

Location: 45.3330764770508, -121.712417602539

©Jack Haskel

Berry Time

Location: 45.3641357421875, -121.756118774414

©Jack Haskel

Berry Picking

Location: 45.3635559082031, -121.758445739746

PCT'ers stop and pick some berries. ©Jack Haskel

Hood through the clouds

Location: 45.3626823425293, -121.75553894043

©Jack Haskel