Hiking in the Mt Hood area

Mount Hood offers some of the most majestic, peaceful, and challenging hiking trails in Oregon. There are short easy day hikes with beautiful scenery and multi day wilderness expeditions where you may not see another soul. Many climbers all year round attempt to reach the 11239 foot summit of Mt. Hood, but this is a task that should be left to experienced mountaineers. If you are interested in climbing Mt Hood, but lack the required mountaineering experience, Timberline Mountain Guides offers professionally guided trips.

The 47,000 acre Mt Hood Wilderness begins less than a half mile from the cabin across the Zig Zag River and encompasses the peak and surrounding hills. The 1964 Wilderness act prevents development, logging, mining, and roadbuilding in this huge swath of land. No motorized vehicles of any kind are allowed which allows for serene day-hikes and remote multi-day backpacking trips. The NWHiker website has an excellent section on this area with descriptions, maps and pictures of nearly every trail in the Wilderness.

The Zig Zag Ranger Station is less than a mile from the cabin on Highway 26. This is the ultimate resource for hiking in the area. They have free information sheets on all the area hikes, numerous maps and book, and also sell the northwest forest pass you need at some of the trailheads. Even if the ranger station is closed, the is an outdoor covered map area where you can get lots of information 24/7.

Zigzag Ranger Station
70220 E. Highway 26
Zigzag, Oregon 97049
(503) 622-3191
Hours: Open 7-days-a-week: 7:45am - 4:30pm,
CLOSED for Lunch 12:00 - 1:00pm

Here are a few of my personal favorite day hikes in the area:

Mirror Lake - This is a 1.4 mile hike to a small peaceful lake near Government Camp. You can also extend the hike another 1.8 miles to the summit of "Tom, Dick, and Harry" Mountain which has a spectacular view of Mt. Hood from the south.

Lower Salmon River - This hike follows the Salmon river from Welches into the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness. The hike can be as short or long as you like because there are many places to park along the road.

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