Hike 33
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Mt. Hood Meadows Loop Hike
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Map of the Umbrella Falls, Sahalie Falls, Mt Hood Meadows Hike

Length: 9.7 miles loop
Elevation Change: 1400' cumulative gain
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:   Challenging
Permit:   NW Forest Pass Required


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

This hike is actually several hikes in one. I've made a loop hike out of it to give the user a broad view of the wonders of the Mt Hood Meadow area. I choose to begin the hike near the Mt Hood Meadow nordic ski area on FR3545, and proceed north as if going to Elk Meadows. At about 1 mile of basically level hiking, you come to the junction of the Elk Meadows trail and the Newton Creek Trail #646. Follow the Newton Creek trail to your left.

The trail becomes narrower and less used, but almost immediately offers some new and exciting vistas. Soon the trail takes you to the very edge of Newton Creek where you can see up to Lamberton Butte and a short distance later you can see Mt Hood. You will then cross a small stream and a area filled with large boulders. Then you begin to climb.

As the narrow dusty trail climbs what I refer to as Newton Ridge, you begin to hike more in the open. After the only major switchback, you will see the ridge line just above you. At any time it is well worth your effort to leave the trail and scramble up to the ridge top for outstanding views. Be sure to have your camera on this one.

After about 2 miles of climbing you will come to the junction of the Timberline Trail. Bear left and follow the trail for next several miles. You will continue to gain a bit of altitude, but from now on you will climb and descend repeatedly as you cross several snow fed streams along the way. The first of these such crossings is the most challenging. However, it is not dangerous.

The next three miles repeats this format to a lesser degree. Each stream crossing is accompanied by fine floral displays and each climb out usually has short stretches of hemlock forest. Many of the fields you cross will be bright with lupine, paintbrush, and beargrass in season. You will pass beneath several chairlifts that are apart of the Mt Hood Meadows ski area. This shouldn't distract you from the magnificent beauty around you and the joy of the hike.

After a little over three miles of walking through this area you will cross a gravel service road and immediately come to the junction of Trail #667 which you need to follow back down to your vehicle. This rather steep descent takes you through fields and forests and across the paved road to Mt Hood Meadows ski area. At about 1.7 miles you will come to Umbrella Falls. Next you will come to the junction of Trail #667C. If you choose this route back, you will pass by Sahalie Falls. After another mile and a half or so you will cross a paved road which is the same road you are parked on. But don't follow the road, stay on the trail for a short distance and you will come out at the trail head where you began this fine hike.

Mt. Hood from the Meadows trail
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

Follow Oregon Hwy 35 south of Hood River or north from Hwy 26 near Government Camp until you come to Road 3545 just a mile or so north of the turnoff to the Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort. Turn on this short access road for about a half mile and the trailhead is on the north side along with the parking space.

Note: This is the same trailhead for the Mt. Hood Meadows Loop hike, the Elk Meadows hike, the Newton Creek Loop hike and the Lamberson Butte/Gnarl Ridge hike.

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A Virtual Hike of the Mount Hood National Forest

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