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.
Set along US 101 coastal highway is the Neahkanie Mountain loop hike (North & South Neahkanie trailheads). The North trail is longer than the South with a total one-way length of 2.7 miles and an elevation gain of around 1450 feet to the highest trail-able point on the mountain. Alternatively the South trail gains around 850 feet in some 1.6 miles. It is an easy hike which may take anywhere between 60 mins to 120 mins (times may vary) to reach the so-called high point. Note the high point is easy to miss and before you know you will be on your way down the other side.
The views are great subject to fog, clouds or simply the time of the day. These pictures were taken in January 2013.
Timberline Lodge alpine hike offers a 1000 feet elevation gain over 2 miles in 45-60 mins (times may vary). I wouldn’t recommend this hike unless you are planning to escape a hot day in summer (temperature and humidity at this elevation is generally lower). But the Timberline lodge itself is worth a visit and also offers some exciting Ski runs in winter. Also research “magic mile”…
At around 1.6 miles into the hike (past Wahkeena and Lemmon’s viewpoint), you encounter a thick tree cover and also pass a couple of scenic streams flowing down along the trail. The trail goes all the way upto Devil’s rest (at around 2500 feet in 3.7 miles). Although not a strong recommendation to go any further beyond the 1.6-2 miles mark on this trail, it offers an exciting green cover in spring/early summer and probably year round.
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
Saddle Mountain is the perfect second or third hike for the serious hiker at the start of a determined season (that should ideally end with a 4000+ feet elevation gain hike). It offers some of the most spectacular views including all snow clapped peaks (in a radius of 200 miles) on a clear day. And offers around 1600 feet of elevation gain in 2.6 miles and takes no more than 90 mins for an average hiker (times may vary). My favorite time of the year is April-May, however March offers more wildflowers.
Notice where Columbia meets the Pacific ocean…
What a view!
The higher of the two summits on the mountain…