Great hike but couldn’t go the distance without skis or snow shoes due to accumulated snow and ice. Pictures nonetheless. Great views at 2 miles through the Vista Ridge trail gaining an elevation of 1600 ft in a little over 2 hrs. Camping in Waxing Gibbous Moon light. Burnt forest at less than a mile through the trail head.2016 Update: On Vista Ridge
An amazing hike awaits you in the Three Sisters wilderness. The Tam McArthur Rim Trail hike starts at Three Creek Lake and continues for around 4 miles onto the Broken Top trail. You have a clear view of Three Sisters and Broken Top at 3.5 miles. It gains an elevation of roughly 1700-1800 ft at the tallest point on the trail. It takes around 90-120 mins (times may vary) for an average hiker. The views (above) further up from the summit of an unmaintained trail are simply stunning. At an elevation of 8000 odd feet, be ready for snowfields as late as July.
You get clear views of the Three Creek Lake (above) and Mt Bachelor (below) along the trail. The trail climbs quickly, then relaxes a bit with a very gradual gradient and then steps up again.
You reach a cliff (below, visible from the lake) at 1250 feet and around 2.5 miles into the trail beyond which the trail is not maintained. I camped 0.5 mile further up from this point for a night and came across fresh cougar paw marks in the snow fields on the route ahead. Beware this is bear country.
Panorama at clarity of a 50mm fixed lens for amateurs interested in orology.
One of the best sites for overnight tent camping lies probably half way (at 0.9 miles) through the roughly 1.9 miles to the summit. You gain an elevation of 1100 ft to the summit of Bachelor mountain and may take around 45-60 mins (times may vary). You witness Mt Jefferson upclose.
The trail offers views to the South Cascades, esp peaks to Mt Washington North & South Sisters, Broken Top, Three Fingered Jack, Mt Bachelor, as well as Mt Adams to the North.
There are two ways to get to the trailhead in the Santiam wilderness and one of the ways (FR 1168/430) is simply not meant for passenger cars, or you may just be relying on your luck. The other one is gravel with potholes and uneven patches in some sections. Please do your research. I may be an exceptionally good driver to have managed to escape without a broken axle. 😉 Moonlight camping offered a pretty sight.
2014 Update: Night camping in a cloudy setting
2016 Update: Enroute to Coffin Mountain
A decently rewarding workout awaits in the name of the East Zigzag hike with around 2300 ft to gain in elevation in rougly 4.7 miles. Add another 0.5 mile should you need to park further down from the North Burnt Lake trailhead due to dicey road conditions. It took me around 120 mins to reach the summit (times may vary).
Looking eastwards towards the west face of Mt Hood.
Portland loves you :))).
Google “Silcox Hut” to know more.
Gorgeous views atop the mountain but you have to traverse through some of the most demanding patches at the start and midway through the hike. It offers an elevation gain of around 2100 feet in 3 miles and takes around 120-150 minutes for the average hiker (times may vary). The trail gets nasty in places (very rocky) and gravel and is partly responsible for the longer duration during ascend and descend.
Mt Hood at a distance…
Mt Adams is one of the mountains visible from the summit on a clear day…
A long hike along the west face ridge of Mt Hood gaining around 3100 feet in 6 miles, McNeil Peak (I hope that is what it is called) is around 3/4’s of a mile further up from McNeil Point Shelter. The views along Timberline trail #600 are astounding to say the least and this may be an ideal summer hike for the initiated. An average hiker may take as long as 180-210 mins for the long and strenuous hike all the way to the peak (times may vary). Make sure you are carrying enough water for the 120-150 mins on your way down the mountain.
The stretch between the shelter and the peak is steep in places and has no cover for shade. But is gorgeous nonetheless…
Mt Hood from McNeil Peak…
If you aren’t so much of a hiking enthusiast but don’t mind a good work out on an odd day (or an odd work out on a good day – whichever), here’s my suggestion for you – Pittock Mansion. Nestled in the forest park only a few mins (drive) from downtown Portland, this hike offers what may well be few of the most exciting views of the city for common public. Alternately you can also drive all the way up to the mansion (use Burnside).
The hike reaches an elevation gain of around 900 feet in 2.5 miles and takes around 45-60 mins in summer when the trail is clear of puddles. I recommend visiting the mansion in different seasons (and varied times of the day) to enjoy a beauty called Portland, however my personal favorite is fall. A must see…
Another personal favorite, great for a second or third hike at the start of the season. It not only offers generous views of the SW face of Mt Hood, but also extends its greatness 🙂 to include St Helens, Mt Adams, Mt Jefferson and Mirror Lake. You cover an elevation gain of roughly 1700 feet in 2.9 miles and takes around 90 minutes for the average hiker (times may vary). I shall definitely recommend summer (July) as the trail may carry a fair amount of snow as late as June.
Mt Hood close-up
Mt Jefferson at a distance