Length: 39.8 mile loop
Elevation Change: High Point = 7300' Low Point = 3200'
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty: Very Difficult due to length and elevation changes
Permit: NW Forest Pass Required
First, be aware that the forest service has closed Trail 600 at Eliot Creek, due
to the dangers created by run off from the Eliot Glacier. Here is a
Link to a
map by Adam Schneider, who details the situation very well.
The Timberline Trail #600 is an excellent trail that circles Mt. Hood at or near
timberline, thus its name. The exact mileage of the trail varies a bit, but it
is very near to 39 miles. The trail is almost always very well maintained and in
safe condition to hike. The only significant challenge on this trail is the water
crossings. Depending on the time of year, the various run-off rivers and creeks
that flow across this trail vary greatly. Make no doubt about it, the crossing
of these streams can be very dangerous and caution is absolutely essential.
A hiker can choose his direction of walking the Timberline Trail. Most people
seem to favor beginning at the Timberline Lodge parking lot and hiking west, or
clock-wise. The hike is best done in three days, thus requiring two overnight
stays along the trail. This narrative is not meant to offer a complete detailed
report as to the best places to camp and other various nuances of the hike, but
is intended to simply illustrate the trail for the potential hiker.
You are strongly encouraged to obtain books that detail the hike and give you the
necessary tips to make the journey an enjoyable adventure. Contact the forest
service or a local book store to find this information.
Crossing the Muddy Fork drainage below Mt. Hood