Hike 26
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Barrett Spur via Vista Ridge Hike
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Map of the Barrett Spur, Vista Ridge, Wyest Basin, Dollar Lake Hike

Length: 9 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 3250' gain
Season: Late Spring thru Fall
Difficulty:   Difficult - Dangerous
Permit:   NW Forest Pass Required
GPS:   N45 26.574,W121 43.752
Latitude:   45.4429
Longitude:   -121.7292


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

This hike begins at the Vista Ridge trail head. The first 2.5 miles of the hike are mostly in dense forested areas. The trail is in excellent condition and follows Vista Ridge to the beautiful Wy'east Basin. You will intersect Trail #600H which leads to Eden Park.

Continue straight ahead where you leave the forested areas and are treated to incredible vistas and seasonal floral displays. When you intersect Trail #600, make the sharp right turn and follow this trail to the top of the exposed ridge. From there the hiker must scramble up Vista Ridge by following the path left by other hikers. The last mile and a half of this hike is very steep and can be dangerous during certain times of the year, so extreme caution is urged. The rewards of this hike are incredible.

During the summer months, Wy'east Basin is a gorgeous flower garden and the climb up Barrett Spur is lined with all manner of floral displays. The inclusion of this hike in my website is not an attempt to get hikers to climb Barrett Spur, but instead an attempt to provide the hiker with the necessary information to make the climb successful and without danger. The last half mile as one ascends Barrett Spur the rocks are very unstable and the cliffs can be dangerous.

When you descend Barrett Spur and begin the hike back down keep to the right and follow the user trail to Dollar Lake. After the lake you will quickly connect with Trail #600. Follow the Timberline Trail (#600) back to Trail #626 which you used to reach Wy'east Basin. Turn right onto Trail #626 and follow it back to the Vista Ridge Trail head.

Mt. Hood looms above Barrett Spur
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

To reach this trailhead from Hood River, follow the sign for old US Hwy 30 into town. From the west turn right on 13th Street and follow it up the hill until it merges with 12th. If you are approaching from the east, on US 30, turn left on 9th and follow it up the hill until it merges with 12th. Either way, follow 12th south out of town on what is called Tucker Road or Hwy 281. About 6 miles out of town you will cross the Hood River. Immediately after the bridge, bear right and pass Tucker Park. In about another six miles you need to bear to the right again following signs to Lost Lake. This community is referred to as Dee. As soon as you cross the railroad tracks, bear left and follow the signs to Lost Lake. This paved road becomes Forest Road 18, and you need to follow it about another 8.5 miles. At this junction, turn left and continue on Road 18 for about 4 miles. You will come to Road 16 on your left. Turn left and follow this road for about another 4 miles as you climb out of the canyon. You will then come to Road 1650 and a sign indicating Vista Ridge. Make a hard right turn onto this road and follow this road for about 3 miles to its end.

To approach this trailhead from Zig Zag, follow Hwy 26 to Zig Zag and turn north on the Lolo Pass Road (Road 18). Follow the road over the pass. Turn right onto the gravel part of this road which is not well labled. This intersection (N45 25.644, W121 47.787)is critical because if you go straight on Lolo Pass Road you will encounter the McGee Creek Crossing which requires a high ground clearance vehicle. So turn right past a trail-head with the PCT on NF-1811 (McGee Crrek Road) and continue on for several miles until it returns to pavement. Drive about another 5 miles and you will come to a labled Road 16 on your acute right (N45 30.082,W121 44.528). Make a hard right turn (N45 28.462,W121 44.416) and follow this road uphill to Road 1650. Make another hard right turn onto this road and follow it to the trailhead on left.

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