A heavier hike up Mt. Hood
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!