Hike 35
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Newton Creek Loop Hike
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Map of the Gnarl Ridge, Newton Creek Hike

Length: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 1400' gain
Season: Early Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:   Challenging
Permit:   NW Forest Pass Required


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

The Newton Creek Loop Hike is an enjoyable summer hike with outstanding views and floral displays. The hike begins near the Mt Hood Meadows Sno Park area and travels level for nearly the first mile. Like the Gnarl Ridge Hike, the most difficult part of the hike is crossing Newton Creek. However, on this hike you have to cross Newton Creek twice. The water is fast and depending on the time of year or current weather conditions, the water can vary greatly in depth. Use caution crossing. After reaching the north side of the creek, the trail climbs vigorously for about a half mile through a series of 9 switchbacks. At the top of the ridge, the trail intersects the trail to Bluegrass Ridge and Gnarl Ridge. If you continue straight ahead, you will come to Elk Meadows. However, follow Trail #652 on your left up Gnarl Ridge toward Mt Hood.

In a little over a half mile you will pass the intersection of Trail #652A which also leads to Elk Meadows. Continuing on you will come to the Timberline Trail #600. Follow this trail to the left downhill toward Newton Creek. This is the point where you have to cross Newton Creek again. This crossing always seems more difficult that the lower crossing. Carrying wading shows in your pack is a smart idea. Use Caution.

After crossing the creek, the trail climbs up Newton Ridge where it intersects Trail #646. Follow this trail downhill following Newton Creek. You will then complete the loop by joining Trail #645 which takes you back to the trail head where you started the hike.

Mt. Hood as seen from the Newton Creek crossing
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.d.

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