Pacific Crest Trail at Timberline Lodge

Location: Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon

Level: easy to Zig Zag Canyon / Beginner Level: doable
Round trip/Gain: 4.4 miles/500 ft
Type: round trip
Permit: n/a

True story: this was my first time at the Timberline Lodge in my fourteen years of living in Portland. I’d driven up there a few times for the view, but never actually entered the lodge or hiked on the trails. I’m really not trying to be a kill joy, it was cool, but I think the best part was all of the stinky PCT hikers, stuffed from the brunch buffet, stretched out in every possible direction looking so happy.

There were tons of little trails spurring off from the lodge, so I couldn’t really tell which way to the PCT, but then I realized they all essentially braided together after a hundred yards or so.

timberlinelodgepct1
Timberline Lodge from the PCT. Mt. Jefferson in the distance.

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Dry Creek Falls

Option 1

  • Level: Easy to Dry Creek Falls (Beginner Level: Challenging)
  • Length: 4.8 miles
  • Elevation: 740+ ft. gain
  • Type: out and back
  • Open: all year

Option 2

  • Level: Difficult
  • Length: 11.2 miles
  • Elevation: 1,600+ ft. gain
  • Type: out and back
  • Open: all year

Further Details

  • Permit: Northwest Forest Pass or, $5-$10 (I keep forgetting to check!)
  • Drive time from Portland: 45min
  • Google map: “Bridge of the Gods trailhead”
  • Features: Columbia River Gorge, waterfalls, Pacific Crest Trail

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Herman Creek to Three Spires

  • Level: Moderate
  • Length: 4.8 miles
  • Elevation: 1,020 ft. gain
  • Type: out and back
  • Open: all year

Further Details

  • Permit: Northwest Forest Pass or $5
  • Drive time from Portland: 53 min.
  • Google map: “herman creek campground” (“Herman Creek trail” takes you somewhere much further away, be cautious.)
  • Features: Columbia River Gorge, camping, Herman Creek, Pacific Crest Falls, Pacific Crest Trail, Three Spires, Three Pinnacles

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