Blog

3 Short & Sweet Early-Season Hikes at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Friday, March 1, 2019


Shake out the winter cobwebs with these low-distance Mt Hood area hikes

As you think about putting away your skis and snowboards and start pulling out your hiking shoes and hydration packs for spring hikes, here are three trails that will get you excited, get your heart pumping and get your legs in shape for longer hikes this summer (2 of these hikes are short versions of longer hikes). Lower elevation trails (2500 feet and below) are free of snow and uncrowded this time of year.

Castle Canyon Trailhead

Castle Canyon Trail - #765

Castle Canyon Trail offers a good season-starter for a 2-hour hike through lush forest. The steady uphill climb leads to a craggy viewpoint looking out across the Zigzag River Valley.

Elev. Gain 840 feet, 2435 ft elev at the top
Distance  8/10 mile to the top, out and back trail for a total of 1.6 miles
Hiking Time about 1 hour to the top
Trailhead From the store in Rhododendron, OR – drive west out of the parking lot onto E Arlie Mitchel Road (parallels highway). This road curves to the right /north in 1/10 mile and becomes Henry Creek Road. In 2/10 mile, Henry Creek Road curves to the right; turn left here onto Road 19 (Historic Barlow Road Route) and drive ¼ mile to the end. Trail is on the right ½ mile down Road 19.
Highlights  Interesting rock formations at the top; rhododendron in bloom May and June; wild mushrooms in the fall
Vacation Rentals Nearby River Rock Lodge - 3+ bedroom, 2 bathroom on the river, fireplace, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 9
Zigzag Mountain Lodge - 3+ bedroom, 2 bathroom, fireplace, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 10
More Info http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Pinnacles_Viewpoint
http://www.nwhiker.com/MHNFHike13.html

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mthood/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=52864&actid=50
   

Welches Valley view from Hunchback Mountain

Hunchback Mountain Trail - #793

Hunchback Mountain Trail is a 9-mile strenuous trail with over 3000 feet of elevation gain, however, a steep, switchback 1.9 mile hike from the trailhead leads you to a rocky opening with sweeping views of the Welches Valley, the Salmon River and the Cascade Foothills. Turn around and head back to your car for one of your first spring hikes. 

Elev. Gain      2000 feet to the viewpoint; 3270 feet for the 9-mile hike
Distance 1.9 miles to the viewpoint, out and back trail for a total of 3.8 miles
Hiking Time 1 – 2 hours to the viewpoint
Trailhead The trailhead starts in the parking lot at the Zigzag Ranger Station a few hundred feet east of the visitor center
Highlights Thick forest of fir, cedar and hemlock; rhododendron in bloom May and June; panoramic views
Vacation Rentals Nearby Rapid River Retreat - 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom on the river, fireplace, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 8
Moondance Cabin - 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom on a creek, fireplace, hot tub, sleeps 6
More Info http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mthood/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=53396&actid=50
http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Hunchback_Mountain_Hike
   

Mt Hood view from Salmon Butte

Salmon Butte Trail - #791

Salmon Butte Trail is a long view hike perfect for long summer days, however the first 2 1/2 miles gradually meander along an old road bed, making this a moderate and easy early season hike. Build up to the full 12-mile round-trip hike to the summit of Salmon Butte for breathtaking views of the Mt Hood National Forest.

Elev. Gain 430 feet in the first 2 ½ miles; 3170 feet for the 12-mile hike
Distance 2.5 miles to the spring turn-around, out and back trail for a total of 5 miles
Hiking Time 1 – 2 hours to the turn-around
Trailhead Salmon Butte Trail starts when Salmon River Road ends just past the bridge crossing the river.
Highlights Thick forest of fir, cedar and hemlock; rhododendron in bloom May and June; panoramic views
Vacation Rentals Nearby Cozy Bear Cabin - 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, secluded, woodstove, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 6
Forest View Lodge - 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, secluded, woodstove, hot tub, pet-friendly, sleeps 10
More Info http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Salmon_Butte_Hike
http://nwhiker.com/MHNFHike61.html
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mthood/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=53468&actid=50
   
Search all Mt Hood Vacation Rentals and start planning your sping hiking vacation now.

 

 

 



 




 







 

 

 

 

 

 




Browse the Archive

×
Back to Top