Wednesday and Thursday, April 6 and 7, we traveled down to northern Oregon to the area of Mount Hood. We spent all day Wednesday there and Thursday morning and were able to do some hiking and watch both the sunset and the sunrise on the mountain.
Mount Hood is a "potentially active" volcano in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. It is 11,249 feet (3,429 m) in elevation and lies just south of the Washington State border and the Columbia River. It is also the second most climbed mountain in the world.
In Mount Hood National Forest we hiked two trails, the Boulder Ridge and Mirror Lake trails, a total of about eight miles with about 2000 feet of elevation gain and followed Highways 26 and 35 around the west, south and east sides of Mount Hood.
There was still snow on the Mirror Lake trail and very few wildflowers were open, but we did find a few Western Fairy Slippers, lots of Western Trillium and a few others, both familiar and unfamiliar species. The lack of wildflowers was compensated by beautiful weather.
We hiked only part of the Boulder Ridge trail, a hike suggested by a forest ranger. The first part of the hike was beautiful but most of it was uphill through the trees with little to see or photograph. We had lunch at a viewpoint from which we could see Mount Hood.
Pacific Bleeding Heart
trail and trees
Western Fairy Slipper
liverwort and lichens
wetlands near beginning of trail
Mirror Lake is heavily used trail with great views of Mount Hood at the end and we found plenty of people on the trail in spite of the fact that the trail still had snow on it and the lake was mostly frozen over with a lot of snow. The hike was worth-while for the views, however.
White River area
Towards evening we headed further east to the White River area where we made our evening meal, prepared the van for sleeping and then watched the sunset on Mount Hood which was spectacular. The next morning we watched the sunrise from the same area.
From the White River area we traveled east and north to the town of Hood River stopping along the road and at Panorama Point State Park for more views of the mountain, before crossing the Columbia River back into Washington at Hood River for further hiking.