Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
- Distance: 4.4 miles (out and back)
- Time: 3 hours
- Difficulty: 3 out of 5
While Mt. Hood is still shrouded in snow, head into the Tillamook State Forest for a leg-burning ascent up 3,205-foot Kings Mountain. (The trail should be snow-free by mid-April.) Begin just an hour west of Portland at the Kings Mountain trailhead (45.5969, -123.5063). Follow the steep, twisting trail past Douglas firs and sword ferns, covering more than 2,500 feet of elevation gain in 2.2 miles.
The view from the top is worth the punishing climb—with commanding vistas across the Lester Creek valley to the southwest. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Mts. Hood and Adams.Tip: Be sure to bring trekking poles to save your knees on the rocky descent.
Tag us @backpackermag and #hikeoftheweek on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook if you do this Hike of the Week.