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 14x14-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.
- Distance: 28.2
Location: 45.360809, -121.361076
The trail starts where the plowed road ends, which is usually up to the Mount Hood National Forest boundary. Head west for a gradual climb below treeline.
Location: 45.358765, -121.38224
Go straight on FR 2730. (The road on the right is FR 130). Continue heading west.
Location: 45.358166, -121.407921
Continue straight on FR 2730. (FR 160 enters on the right). Look to the south (left) for views of Jordan Creek valley and the mountains that rise behind it.
Location: 45.353931, -121.418068
Continue straight @ the junction to continue toward Flag Point Lookout Tower. The road on the right (FR 457) leads to Cedar Creek.
Location: 45.352833, -121.417511
Bear right @ junction to continue on FR 2730. The road on the left leads down to the valley below.
Location: 45.349201, -121.43869
Continue straight @ 3-way junction toward Flag Point Lookout Tower. (To the right is FR 180). Ahead, the trail becomes steeper before leveling out at an overlook with views to the south of the surrounding mountains and the valley below.
Location: 45.346475, -121.453986
Bear left (south) @ 3-way junction onto FR 200. This path will take you on a small forest road flanked by trees.
Location: 45.323875, -121.476288
Continue straight @ the intersection on FR 200. To the right is Trail 456; to the left is Trail 460. Make sure you pack extra layers; as you approach the clearing around the lookout tower, the wind will start to pick up. On clear days, the views will start to open up as you near the tower.
Location: 45.319347, -121.471054
Pass through the gated fence, which keeps out all motorized vehicles and pack animals. Head southeast to the lookout tower.
Location: 45.317848, -121.466621
Flag Point Lookout Tower: A 14x14-foot room sits atop this 60-foot tower (built in the 1960's). 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.
Flag Point Lookout Tower
Location: 45.317844, -121.466303
©Trung Q. Le
Path to Flag Point Lookout Tower
Location: 45.323849, -121.475573
©Trung Q. Le