Climbing & Hiking Trails - 16 min read

20 Best Hiking Trails on Mount Hood (Breathtaking Views!)

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown, Updated November 13, 2022

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Mount Hood is a great tourist destination with ski resorts, history, and summer recreation activities. Furthermore, it is the highest mountain in the state of Oregon, at 11,240 feet! While Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano, researchers still are not sure when or if it will erupt.

Mount Hood has many activities that you can do; one, in particular, is hiking. With over ten thousand people climbing it a year! Moreover, even if you are not looking to hike Mount Hood, there are some easier hikes nearby. Although, for those that enjoy the thrill, Mount Hood will be the best destination for you!

At Mount Hood, there are many hikes around the area with stunning panoramic views. Whether you want to view waterfalls and lakes or have a beautiful view of Mount Hood, there is a trail for you. This list will help you to find a great hiking path.

1. Paradise Park

Credit: Jonah Spaay / AllTrails

Paradise Park is beautiful any time of the year, but summer offers much more. From July through August, hiking this trail will allow you to see the stunning mountain vistas.

That is not all that you will see though; you have the chance to view wildflowers and waterfalls too. While this is one of the more challenging hikes, the beautiful scenic displays that it offers are worth the challenge.

Though, if you do plan on making this hike, you will want to make sure to bring enough water. There is only one area with a water fill-up station.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 9.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 2,408 feet

2. Muddy Fork

Credit: Rhian Wilkinson / AllTrails

The Muddy Fork is an exciting hike to see. You will be hiking along the ever-changing trail of the Muddy Fork Canyon, which is currently coming apart. This is because there have been intense storms causing mudflows to warp the landscape!

Moreover, while on your trail, you will have the opportunity to see Mount Hood above the whole route! While this trail is very muddy, it will be worth trudging through all dirt since the views are breathtaking!

This trail is also commonly done with the Bald Mountain Trail as they are very close, but you do not have to actually go to Bald Mountain. Keep in mind that you will want to download the offline map to keep track of your location.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.7 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,227 feet

Related Read: 20 Best Oregon Waterfalls

3. Owl Point via Old Vista Ridge

Credit: Henry Itkin / AllTrails

Owl Point via the Old Vista Ridge is an interesting trail. It takes you along a route that was actually forgotten and was only recently restored in 2007.

This trail was also actually supposed to be a motorcycle playground! Thankfully, in 2010 because of many hiking advocates, they gave up on that idea.

Furthermore, this trail is a lot lower than the adjacent trails to Mount Hood. They’re also prone to opening earlier in the summer and later in the fall. Try visiting in the afternoon as it will give you even better views!

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 715 feet

4. Burnt Lake South Trail to East Zigzag Mountain Trail

Credit: Laek

The Burnt Lake and Zigzag Mountain hike will give you amazing views of various Cascade volcanoes and Mount Hood! Furthermore, you will be able to stop at Burnt Lake.

Moreover, this trail starts on an old road track in a forest that was burned over. Though, it is a pretty easy and well-marked area.

Some reviewers have said that this part is not well maintained, though. Additionally, you will want to bring bug spray.

While this trail is more challenging compared to others, it is still worth it. You will follow up the Zigzag Ridge and East Zigzag Mountain to get to the rocky summit, where you will get most of your stunning views.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 7.7 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,669 feet

5. Elk Meadows

Credit: Candi Stuart / AllTrails

You will definitely want to visit the Elk Meadow Trail in July as it offers you many beautiful wildflowers. Though, that’s not all that you can see! You will also see glacial streams, vistas, and old-growth Douglas-firs.

This trail will take you to Polallie Trailhead, though there is not much to see there. This is because it was demolished by highway construction.

Dogs are allowed on this trail. However, you may want to be cautious as there may be some difficulties when you bring your dog.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,102 feet

Related Read: 15 Camping Spots On The Oregon Coast

6. Ramona Falls Trail

Credit: Duc Ly / Flickr

Ramona Falls will give you so many breathtaking views that you may never want to leave! There is so much to see at Ramona Falls that this hike will be worth every second. You will also want to bring your camera!

Some of the beautiful sights that you will see on this hike are the rivers and waterfalls. However, to do this, you will need to cross the river, which can be pretty difficult!

The Ramona Falls trail is very beautiful to follow, with many green trees and cliffs that you can view. This trail is even better than all of the photos you see online!

Those that are planning on visiting this trail may want to call the ranger station ahead of time. This is to help you determine if the river can be crossed safely or not.

Once you reach the waterfall, you will be met with the giant cascading waterfall that drops 120 feet down and splits into smaller parts. Furthermore, there is a bridge that you can watch the waterfall from.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.1 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,066 feet

7. Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain

Credit: Amy Meredith / Flickr

The Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain is a great hike for those that want multiple incredible mountain views. This hike gives you the chance to see Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Jefferson, and Mount Adams!

This trail is very popular because of the spectacular views; needless to say, it will be worth exploring. However, you will need an NW Forest Pass, American the Beautiful Pass, or you can pre-purchase a day pass.

As for those who would like to hike this trail without running into many people, it is best to walk in the early morning. Moreover, dogs are allowed on this trail, but they may have difficulty during the last mile as it can be rocky!

Moreover, many reviewers have stated that this trial has a lot of bugs. Therefore, you will want to make sure you bring bug spray!

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 9.0 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,709 feet

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8. Hunchback Trail

Credit: yunckette / Flickr

The Hunchback Trail takes you through the middle of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. Furthermore, it will traverse through the forested Hunchback Ridge. Along the way, you will have many different rocky viewpoints.

The Devil’s Peak Lookout is at the southern end of the Hunchback Trail. Though, it is not accessible to the public or well maintained.

While this trail is open year-round, there is a seasonal gate closure at the south end. Therefore, you will want to plan your trip around that and figure out how to best access this trail.

This will also be a great trail to bring your dog on, but they will need to be on a leash. Moreover, this trail can be challenging, so you may need to make sure your dog can handle the course.

On an important note, you will want to be cautious while on this trail. There have been people saying they’ve encountered a black bear or two. It would be a good idea to pack some bear spray, just in case!

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 18.3 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 5,603 feet

9. Cooper Spur Trail via Tilly Jane Trail

Credit: Joe Parks / Flickr

This trail has two different paths that you can hike. Both routes are very enjoyable, though one may be better than the other, depending on what you are looking for.

The Cooper Spur Trail will lead you to the historic Cooper Spur Shelter. This is one of the only surviving shelters that existed along the Timberline Trail.

This trail is also great for snowshoeing. However, you may want to bring some spikes or poles to make it a little easier! The hikers who like an additional challenge should opt for starting at the Spur Ski Area. On the same note, those that want something easier will start at Cloud Cap Inn.

You might want to travel along Cooper Spur to Tie-In Rock as well. This is where the climbing starts. Here, you will have a beautiful view of the north side of Mount Hood and the Elliot Glacier.

Furthermore, this trail is pretty long. Therefore, you may want to visit during the later summer months as there will not be much shade while on this trail. Thus, you will also want to pack some sunscreen!

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 12.2 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 5,055 feet

Related Read: 13 Best Beaches In Oregon For Families

10. McNeil Point

Credit: Grisha Levit / Flickr

Although McNeil Point is a challenging hike, it can also be a beautiful and relaxing trail. Furthermore, this trail is open year-round, but it is best to visit from May through November.

You will want to check the weather before making this hike. If you visit this trail on a clear day, you will be able to see Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood.

Since this trail can be long and strenuous, you will want to take a break and eat. Thankfully, there is a spot at the old rock shelter at McNeil Point where you can sit and eat.

The old rock shelter is also where you will have some great views of Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. Those that are hiking this trail in the winter will have to note that this rock shelter is not protective against strong winds.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 10.0 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 2,726 feet

11. Clear Lake Butte Fire Lookout

Credit: ebroskie1234 / Flickr

The Clear Lake Lookout Fire Tower is located on the side of Mount Hood, just northwest of Warm Springs Indian Reservation. It is an excellent remote spot where many hikers rest.

The fire tower is 40 feet tall and includes a cabin up top. The place is even furnished! Though, it does not include water. Therefore, you will want to bring enough water on this trip. The lookout was originally a 100-foot tower built in 1932 by the Forest Service. Though, in 1962 it was replaced with the current 40-foot one.

A cabin is available in the winter. You can rent it for up to four people for $50 a night. Though, you can only stay for a maximum of seven nights.

This is a dog-friendly trail for those who enjoy bringing their dog on hikes with them. There are even opportunities where you can let your dog off-leash in certain areas. This trail is also frequently used by snowmobilers. Therefore, you will want to be cautious of them.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.2 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,138 feet

12. Tamanawas Falls Trail

Credit: Bonnie Moreland / Flickr

The Tamanawas Falls is a great hike to go on during a summer afternoon. It will help you feel cooled off and refreshed because of the creek and waterfall.

Furthermore, the Tamanawas Falls are 40 feet wide and 100 feet tall! It is a truly remarkable waterfall that will be even better to see in person.

Throughout the trail, you will follow Cold Spring Creek. There you will find many Douglas fir and cedar trees. Though, there will also be a wide variety of other trees and shrubs that you can see.

You will first start at the Tamanawas Falls Trailhead and follow the East Fork Trail. Through this trail, you will see many douglas fir trees and cross the hood river. Eventually, you will reach a log bridge.

Tamanawas Falls Trail 650A begins at the log bridge. Here you will be able to view the waterfall and navigate yourself through boulder fields.

While the best times to visit this trail is May through October, it is open year-round. However, if you visit in the winter, you will want to wear micro spikes to ensure safety.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 580 feet

13. Trillium Lake Loop Trail

Credit: Bonnie Moreland / Flickr

The Trillium Lake Loop Trail is a beautiful trail that goes around Trillium Lake. It is the best trail for those hiking with their family while still getting lovely views.

Those that enjoy fishing and watching wildlife will also love this trail. There are many opportunities to see wildlife. Some of the wildlife that has been spotted are ducklings and salamanders.

Moreover, this trail is very accessible. Visitors that use wheelchairs, mobility equipment, or strollers may access this trail. The trail surface is packed with gravel and wooden boardwalk in some areas.

However, part of this trail shares a road with the Forest Service road. Therefore, you will want to use reflective materials to ensure safety as there may be many vehicles along the route.

In addition to hiking, this trail is also used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. However, if you want to do either of these, you will need to take an alternate route. Furthermore, the main trailhead is closed during the winter.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.9 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 26 feet

14. Bald Mountain from Lolo Pass Trail

Credit: David Anderson / Flickr

The Bald Mountain trail is an excellent trail for all hikers. It offers many beautiful and vast views that will be beautiful no matter where you look.

To begin this trail, you will follow the Pacific Crest Trail from Lolo Pass to the Timberline Trail. After you reach the Timberline Trail, you will be taken to the summit of Bald Mountain.

Once you arrive at Bald Mountain, you will have a beautiful view of Mount Hood. Furthermore, there will be an old fire lookout from the 1940s!

This is an excellent trail for bird-watching and hiking, also, there are not that many people on this trail. Therefore, it will be perfect for those that want a quiet and relaxing path to go on!

This trail is open year-round. Though, if you want some beautiful wildflower views, it will be best to explore in June or July. Moreover, those that visit in the winter may experience downed trees.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.7 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,489 feet

15. Mirror Lake Loop Trail

Credit: Joshua Bowley / AllTrails

The Mirror Lake Loop Trail is a magical hike that will make your whole family happy. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced hiker, you will want to visit this trail.

Those that are visiting with their family or with children will want to travel in the spring. In the springtime, you will come across many breathtaking meadows and travel along bridged streams. It will be perfect for any kid’s imagination!

Furthermore, if you plan to visit in the winter, it gets harder to hike. This is a result of the trail getting icy and snowy. Therefore, you will want to bring microspikes, crampons, and poles.

Although this trail does not start directly at Mirror Lake, it is a short walk there. You will hike 2 miles from the trailhead and parking area until you arrive.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.2 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 672 feet

16. Umbrella and Sahalie Falls Loop

Credit: Gwendolyn Allsop / Flickr

The Umbrella and Sahalie Falls Loop is a fantastic trail for those that want a quick and easy afternoon hike. With the additional opportunity to view two gorgeous waterfalls!

Furthermore, throughout this hike, you will see many flowers and have the chance to view Hood Meadow. Therefore, this hike will be exceptionally pretty to walk around in the early summer.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.0 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 944 feet

17. Lost Lake Butte Trail

Credit: Bonnie Moreland / Flickr

The Lost Lake Butte Trail is a spectacular hike through the woods. It is especially great for a sunny day as it offers plenty of shade. Plus, it is kid and dog-friendly!

On an important note, you may want to download the map before starting this trail. This is because snow may cover the route, which will make it much harder to navigate.

Furthermore, there are occasional patches of ice and snow which will make this trail more difficult. Therefore, you may want to bring poles.

Many hikers have also stated how many bugs there are on this trail. Be sure to bring bug spray! That way, you won’t have to deal with all the itchy bites later on.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.7 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,292 feet

18. White River Trail

Credit: Jessie Yu / AllTrails

The White River Trail will give you a fantastic opportunity to view Mounts Hood, Jefferson, and the Sisters. However, it will be best to visit on a clear day so that they will be easily visible.

Once this trail ends, you can turn left to add more miles to your hike. This will lead you to a boy scout ridge, where you will have the best views of Mount Hood.

Though, you might want to be careful if you choose to take that path. This area is prone to avalanches. Therefore, make sure to check the weather and any climate changes.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.2 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 692 feet

19. Old Salmon River Trail

Credit: John Behrends / Flickr

The Old Salmon River Trail is perfect for those going on this trail with children. It is relatively easy and flat along the Salmon River. Moreover, it will give you a secluded feeling even though it is close to the road.

This is also an excellent trail for bird-watching. You can stop at many resting spots to watch birds or have a picnic with your family. Furthermore, there are some old-growth trees along the way that you can enjoy the view of!

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.7 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 187 feet

20. Timberline Trail Around Mount Hood

Credit: Eddie Black / Flickr 

The Timberline Trail is strenuous and will be perfect for those that want something more difficult. It is best-done backpacking and typically takes four days and three nights to complete.

Throughout this trail, you will be rewarded with many spectacular and beautiful views. With the chance to see Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and the Three Sisters!

There is also the chance for you to view Portland, the Columbia River, and the Coastal Range! There is so much to discover on this trail, and it will make your long journey worth it.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 41.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 10,341 feet

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