Mount Hood National Forest

Hiking - Easy Trails

COLUMBIA GORGE RANGER DISTRICT

Eagle Creek Trail
Trail Beginning: Eagle Creek Trailhead and Picnic Ground, 32m (110 ft.) elev.
Trail Ending: Wahtum Lake, Pacific Crest Tr. Junction, 1,008 m (3,360 ft.) elev.
Length: 21 km (13.2 mi)
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Difficulty: Easy
Use: Heavy
Access: On I-84 Eastbound, 3 km (2 mi.) east of Bonneville Dam, take exit #41, "Eagle Creek-Park." Arriving from the west, there is no westbound exit or entrance; exit at Bonneville Dam, loop back on I-84 eastbound; take Eagle Creek exit #41.
Description: Eagle Creek Trail, completed in 1915, leaves the Columbia River and follows the beautiful Eagle Creek canyon along high cliffs, the creek side, and through the forest for 21 km (13.2 mi.). At 3 km (2.1 mi.), Punchbowl Falls trail offers an excellent opportunity to drop down to the creek side to view well-known Punchbowl falls. High Bridge at 5 km (3.3 ml.) crosses a 37 m (125 ft.) deep and less that 25' wide gorge. At 9 km (6.0 mi.), hikers pass through a 30 foot tunnel blasted out of solid rock behind the 30 m (100 ft.) Tunnel Falls. This trail is not for those afraid of heights! Hand rails are available on some portions of the trail.

Attractions: This popular and impressive trail, carved into basaltic cliffs, features a variety of waterfalls, spectacular scenery, and a rich display of wildflowers. It follows Eagle Creek along both high cliffs and the stream side. Because of its heavy use, Eagle Creek Trail has special regulations that must be considered. Camping and campfires must be in designated spots only. The first campsite is at Tenas Camp, 5.9 km (3.7 ml.) from the trailhead. This trail offers good loop trip possibilities in conjunction with Tanner Butte Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, or Herman Creek Trail. Eagle Creek Campground (built in 1915 as the first Forest Service campground) and picnic ground are located in the trailhead area. Several CCC era structures are still standing. Cascade fish hatchery is also next to the picnic ground. Parking for overnight backpacking trips is recommended near the fish hatchery, rather than the trailhead for security reasons. Nearby Bonneville Dam has a visitor center and dam tours.

Camping is permitted beyond High Bridge; major camps are at Tenas Camp 6 km (3.7 mi.), Wyeast 7 km (4.7 mi.), Blue Grouse 8 km (5.3 mi.), and 7 1/2 mile camp. After 7 1/2 mile camp, the trail leaves the West Fork of Eagle Creek and begins a gradual climb through the forest, crossing the East Fork of Eagle Creek three times. The trail receives a high level of use with 7 1/2 mile camp being the most popular backpacking destination. Because of high use, special regulations are in effect on this trail with camping and fires restricted to designated camp spots. Some spots are "stove use only." Pets on leashes only please.

Water is easily available on Eagle Creek trail. It muse be boiled for five minutes or treated before drinking. Good sanitation habits are encouraged in this narrow canyon.

Geologically, examples of the Troutdale formation and some petrified wood are visible from the trail within the first 0.4 km (l/4 mi.). An excellent example of columnar basalt is evident just prior to reaching Tunnel Falls at 10 km (6 miles), where hikers walk over the columns like uneven stepping stones.

Springtime is the time to enjoy the day-by-day diversity of wild flowers that grow along the cliffs and walls of Eagle Creek drainage. Seep-spring monkey flower, balsam root, columbine, wild strawberry, coastal manroot, blue headed gila, lupine, trillium, and Indian paintbrush name but a few. The upper trail passes through rhododendron and heavy timber with some fine old growth Douglas-fir that escaped a 1910 forest fire.

HOOD RIVER RANGE DISTRICT

East Fork Trail
Length: 6 miles one way - 6 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: April-November
Description: Drive Highway 35 to Robinhood Campground. The trail (#650) begins at the North end of the campground. Arrange for one member to drive down Polallie Trailhead to pick up your group. This makes a pleasant one-way hike along the East Fork of the Hood River.

ZIGZAG RANGER DISTRICT

Mountaineer Trail
Length: 2 miles - 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: Aug-Oct
Description: Drive to Timberline Lodge. The trail is found on the east side of the lodge and climbs through gnarled timber to Silcox Hut for majestic views of Mt. Jefferson, Three Sisters, Broken Top, eastern Oregon, and on a clear day, the Coast Range. If the Magic Mile is operating for foot passengers, you may ride the lift to the upper trail terminus for a fee.

Mirror Lake
Length: 4 miles - 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: June-Oct
Description: On weekends, this is one of the most popular and crowded day hike destinations around Mt. Hood. The trailhead is located on Highway 26 one mile west of Government Camp on a curve where a large parking area is certain to have at least one car in it. Cross the bridge over Camp Creek and climb gradually to Mirror Lake and views of Zigzag Valley and Mt. Hood. Continuing up Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain will reward you with views of Mt. Hood and the Mt. Hood Corridor (Note: The trail to Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain is closed to hikers between approximately July 30 and September 10 due to Peregrine Falcon release.)

Hidden Lake
Length: 4 miles - 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: June-Oct
Description: Drive Highway 26 six miles east of Zigzag Ranger Station and turn left onto Road 2639 (Kiwanis Club Road), a paved road at the bottom of Laurel Hill. The trail begins just past Kiwanis Camp entrance in a wide parking area on the left. The trail climbs to the wooded lake through rhododendron bushes, which bloom in profusion in June.

Flag Mountain
Length: 4 miles - 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: Most of the year
Description: Drive Highway 26 to road 32 (2632), turn and continue 1 1/2 miles to the trail head, which is on the right hand side. The trail climbs steadily for 1/4 of a mile, then gains elevation to the ridge top through the forest. After one mile a series of viewpoints offer beautiful views of Mt. Hood and the valley. The trail is two miles one way and exits on Road 20E off of Still Creek Road (2612).

Still Creek
Length: 4 miles - 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: Most of the Year
Description: Drive Highway 26 to road 32(2632) and continue about 1/2 mile to the trailhead. The trail goes south across a broad ridge in deep timber and gently descends to Still Creek Road 2612.

Jackpot Meadows
Length: 2 miles - 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: June-Oct
Description: Follow the instructions to the Upper Salmon River trailhead. This trail drops gently to the Salmon River, leading to a nice picnic spot and bridge over the river. There are several views of the Upper Salmon River Valley on this trail.

Little Zigzag Falls
Length: 1/2 mile/hour
Difficulty: Easy
Season: Most of the Year
Description: Drive Highway 26 six miles east of the Zigzag Ranger Station. Turn left onto Road 2639 (Kiwanis Camp Road) and continue to the end of the road and a large parking area. This cool trail follows Little Zigzag Creek to Little Zigzag falls.

"Ole" Salmon River Trail
Length: 5 miles - 5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: Most of the year
Description: Drive Salmon River Road (2618) 2.6 miles. The trail follows Salmon River in lush old-growth forest. The trail is generally flat and comes back to the road in two places. You will find the trail a short way down the road in each case.

Lost Creek Trail
Length: 1/2 mile - 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Season: April-Nov
Description: Drive Lolo Pass Road (18) to Road 1825. Continue past McNeil Campground to Road 1825-109, then 1/8 mile further to Lost Creek picnic area. The paved trail and picnic area are designed for physically challenged persons. The trail passes an old beaver pond with a view of Mt. Hood. This is an enjoyable wilderness-like trip for physically challenged individuals.

Ramona Falls Loop
Length: 7.5 miles - 6 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: May-November
Description: Drive Lolo Pass road and turn right on Road 1825. Then turn right again and cross the Sandy River, driving about 3.5 miles. You can turn left and enter a large parking area or continue on an unmaintained rock road for 1 1/4 miles to the upper trailhead. From the lower parking lot, the trail follows the Sandy River for 1 1/2 miles, with views of Mt. Hood. At the upper parking lot, the trail crosses the river on a high bridge and connects to the loop trail. By taking the right fork you climb through a pine forest, join the Pacific Crest National Scenic trail (veer left at this junction) and reach the falls after 2 miles. Most of this section is closed to horses. If you take the left fork, you turn right at the Bald Mt. Trail junction and follow Ramona Creek to the falls (about 2 1/4 miles). Because of heavy use, camping is not permitted within 500 feet of the falls. If you choose to camp in the area, your campsite should not be visible from the falls or the trail. (Gravel road at end of Road 1825-100 is not maintained.)

BARLOW RANGE DISTRICT

Gumjuwac-Badger Loop
Length: 6.5 miles-6 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Season: Jul-Nov
Description: Drive Highway 35 to Bennett Pass. Take Road 3550 to Gumjuwac Saddle. The trail begins at the saddle. Follow Trail #480 east for two miles, turn right on Trail #479 and go upstream for two miles to Badger Lake. Turn right on Trail #458. This climbs gently back to Gumjuwac Saddle for 2.5 miles.

Bonney Meadows
Length: 7.5 miles - 5.5 hours
Difficulty: Family Appropriate
Season: July-November
Description: Drive Highway 35 to Bennett Pass. Take Road 3550 for 4 miles. Take a right on Road 4891 to Bonney Meadows Campground. Follow Trail #473 east out of the campground along the ridge for 3.5 miles. There is a beautiful view of Boulder and Little Boulder Lakes. Take a right on Trail #472 for 3.75 miles to return to Bonney Meadows Campground.



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