Monthly Archives: August 2017

Another Mt. Hood Hike – McNeil Point

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Another Mt. Hood Hike – McNeil Point

A heavier hike up Mt. Hood

Thursday, 27-July-2017

 

I’ve been getting a lot stronger recently.  Running in the city, climbing at the gym, lifting weights again, and generally being more active has been boosting me up pretty well.  Sarah’s always been a much stronger hiker, so she’d been itching to head up something heavier…

 

Something heavier happened.  We hiked McNeil Point – a hike that Sarah had been telling me about since we first met.  It’s a gorgeous hike, but in the middle of summer it becomes exceptionally amazing, thanks to the huge alpine meadows full of wildflowers.  Sort of like Dog Mountain… If you look closely, you’ll notice that “alpine meadows full of wildflowers” is a theme to hikes that Sarah recommends.  A theme that I’m behind 100%.

 

The vital statistics of the hike are:

Distance: 10.5 miles

Elevation gain: 2200 ft, starting at 3900ft

Terrain: Pretty normal for this type of hiking

 

We packed up the car in Portland, and headed toward the mountain bright and early.  Our plan was to dodge the morning traffic, but also to make sure that we’d have enough time to be able to take it easy and enjoy a slow and steady hiking pace.  Which we did.

The hike itself was beautiful – the weather really cooperated with gorgeous skies and excellent views the whole way up.  We even got the chance to see some glacial tarns; small alpine ponds with tons of frogs and other interesting wildlife in them.

We took our lunch, as well as a nap, at McNeil Point itself.  We rested in the small stone hut there, enjoying the mountain air and letting Ollie run and play for a bit before heading back down.  There’s another trail that leads up a bit higher, but we held off on ascending any further… we were already pretty tired, and still had the whole descent to do.

 

What else…? Not much, honestly.  The nap was invigorating, and the descent was just as beautiful as the ascent.  Tiring, but beautiful.  And afterward, we got to have chili cheese dogs at the house in Hood River!

Hiking out to ZigZag canyon

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Hiking out to ZigZag canyon

A pre-moving hike… because before you move, you should get moving!  Haha I’m so funny.

Tuesday, 17-July-2017

 

Sarah and I spent most of July either cleaning the house in Portland, or packing up the house in Hood River.  With my contract complete, there wasn’t any reason to renew out lease, which meant dealing with the whole lovely task of moving an entire house worth of stuff 60-something miles.

But that’s part of the game.  Another part of the game is taking some time off from that first part of the game.  And to do that, we hiked up the side of Mt. Hood.

Specifically, we hiked out to Zig Zag canyon – a hike that my Dad and I had done most of earlier last year… but hadn’t been able finish up at the time.  I was looking forward to heading out to see the full Zig Zag Canyon, and even more looking forward to the flowers and the pure enjoyment of hiking at elevation.

 

We started in at the Timberline Lodge… significantly different than when my Dad and I hiked it.  I’ll admit, He and I should have asked Sarah for more specific directions, because Sarah took us right to the trailhead instead of the circuitous route that my Dad and I took that time last fall.

It’s all good though, because this was a beautiful chance to explore the mountain and get some elevation under our boots.

Ramona Falls hike

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Ramona Falls hike

Exploring a popular hike on Mt. Hood.

Thursday, 06-July-2017

 

There are nearly infinite hikes on Mt. Hood – and they’re all gorgeous.  To keep pushing my endurance and hiking, we picked one of the simpler ones this time… While doing Dog Mountain was awesome, it was definitely too strenuous.  moving a bit slower was the name of the game.

We picked Ramona Falls – an extremely popular trail on the side of Hood that ends in a beautiful waterfall cascading down the side of a basalt rock face.  It’s not short, but doesn’t have a huge elevation gain.  Perfect for recovery and endurance.

 

Basic details

Distance: ~ 7.5 miles

Elevation change: ~1000 ft

Views:  See pictures!