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Mount Hood Wilderness

More than 10,000 climbers a year set their sights on Oregon’s highest summit, Mount Hood. Sitting at an impressive 11, 237 feet, Mount Hood is the most-visited snow-covered peak in America and an icon of the Pacific Northwest. This snow-covered volcano is considered dormant, but not dead. Mount Hood contains 11 active glaciers and still vents sulfurous steam near the summit.

Mount Hood Wilderness

Mount Hood sits within its namesake wilderness area – the Mount Hood Wilderness. Located in the Mount Hood National Forest, the Wilderness encompasses 67,320 acres and wraps around the mountain from east to northeast.

Although Mount Hood is understandably the star of this region, there are several other named summits nearby, including Crater Rock, Illumination Rock, Pulpit Rock, Barrett Spur, Elk Mountain, and Lamberson Butte. Several hiking trails in the Mount Hood Wilderness weave through forests of Douglas fir and climb to alpine meadows decorated with vibrant wildflowers.

More than a dozen waterfalls can be found tucked within the river valleys of the Wilderness. Pikas and marmots can be found on the rocky slopes at tree line, as well as black bear, black-tailed deer, and mountain goats.

Mount hood view from Trillium lake

Major Hikes and Attractions

Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls is a gem of the Mount Hood Wilderness. From the trailhead, hikers will trek a total of 7 miles (round trip) and gently climb over 1,000 feet. Along the way hikers can experience the power and force of the glacial-fed Sandy River, a 56-mile designated Wild and Scenic River that contains physical signs of volcanic debris that flowed downstream over 200 years ago.

Ramona Falls. Mount Hood Wilderness

Ramona Falls

McNeil Point

If you don’t have time to tackle the entire Timberland Trail, the McNeil trail is an excellent alternative. This trek is one of the best in the Mt. Baker area and features stunning mountain views, lush meadows, and plenty of babbling brooks. The hike is approximately 10.5 miles roundtrip and gains 2,200 feet of elevation. The trail begins at Top Spur Trailhead and follows part of the Pacific Crest and Timberline Trail.

A summer time view of Mt. Hood and the Sandy glacier from the Timberline Trail. Mount Hood Wilderness

Timberline National Historic Trail

The Timberline trail is a classic Pacific Northwest trail that circumnavigates Mt. Hood. This footpath features incredible alpine vistas, scenic waterfalls, stunning alpine meadows, and of course, plenty of majestic views of Mt. Hood. The trail is a 38-mile loop and gains roughly 9,000 feet in elevation. Though the hike isn’t technically challenging, there are a few big climbs and most hikers will allocate 4 days to complete the trip.

A scenic section of the Timberline Trail on Mount Hood

Major Cities and Resorts

Mt. Hood Resorts

Mt. Hood has six ski areas - Cooper Spur, Mount Hood Meadows, Ski Bowl, Snow Bunny, Summit, and Timberline Ski Area. Timberline offers the only year-round ski resort operation in America and the most vertical feet of skiing in the Pacific Northwest.

The Timberline Lodge, which was built in 1937, is a particularly popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. In addition to offering premium access to the mountain, the lodge features high-end accommodations and dining.

Ski lifts at Timberline in Mt. Hood

Whispering Woods Resort

Whispering Woods is located just a mile off Highway 26 and sits adjacent to Mt. Hood National Forest. Since 1981, Whispering Woods has evolved into a premium Mt. Hood vacation destination. The resort offers a variety of accommodations ranging from private rentals to luxurious condominiums. While staying at the resort, visitors can take advantage of hiking trails, fishing, winter sports, and scenic destinations nearby.

Portland

Portland is the largest city in Oregon and lies on top of an extinct volcanic field.The city is characteristically quirky and is best-known for its offbeat culture. In the city, you’ll find a variety of bike paths, coffee shops, and a laid-back environment. Portland is a popular city for tourists that are looking to visit the Columbia River Gorge, the largest national scenic area in the United States with the greatest concentration of waterfalls in North America. Most travelers start their Oregon adventure by flying into Portland and driving a few hours to their final destination.

Portland, Oregon

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