Timberline Trail '18

Quick Adventure Facts:

Who  - Matt (see gear list), Buzz, & Will

What  - Timberline Trail

When  - August 15th to August 16th 2018 | 2 Days

Where  - Mt. Hood, Oregon | map, .gpx, .kml  *

Trail Overview


The Timberline Trail alternates above and below tree line as it circumnavigates Mt. Hood in Oregon.


The trail is approximately 40 miles in lengths and is prone to reroutes due to wash outs and avoiding sensitive alpine meadows.


The Timberline Trail offers make different varieties of hiking from solid packed trail, rocky sections and well as portions with soft sand that will make you feel like you’re hiking on the beach.

The trail also crosses multiple canyons which will require significant vertical ascents and descents.  Numerous hazardous stream crossings also add to the excitement.


Summer weather on the Timberline Trail can be anywhere from pleasant to down right hot.  The high altitude can also expose you to afternoon thunderstorms but, generally, weather doesn't pose to much of an obstacle. 

Mid to late Summer is a great time to hike the Timberline Trail.  The wild flowers are in full bloom and the weather is fairly nice.


Most hikers begin their hike at the Timberline Lodge or Cloud Cap Inn.  Both locations will require at least an hour drive from Portland.  Hikers can stay an any number of the unofficial campsites which require no registration.  A permit is not needed to hike the trail.


As The Timberline Trail is a very short trail, there is no opportunity, or need, to resupply. There is a restaurant in the Timberline Lodge if you're really craving some food at the end.


Typically, a standard 3 season set up like Matt, Will and Buzz used will work well on the the Uinta Highline Trail.  You can check out Matt's gear list here and Buzz's here.

Trip Report

By: Will Wood 

On August 15th, 2018 we began our hike on the short but truly incredible Timberline Trail just outside of Portland, Oregon. We were in town for PCT Days at Cascade Locks but wanted to squeeze in a hike before the work event. The Timberline Trail was the perfect hike. Around 39 miles in length, the Timberline Trail travels around Mt Hood providing breathtaking views of the volcano and the surrounding area.

Our hike on the Timberline Trail began at the Timberline Lodge where we left our vehicle and started hiking in the morning hours on Wednesday, August 15th.  We planned to hike clockwise around Mt Hood about twenty miles on day one leaving us eighteen to nineteen miles back to our car on day two.

As soon as the hike started we arrived to some incredible vistas with views of canyons and rivers. The scenery around this incredible volcano actually blew us away. When we weren’t hiking with stunning views of the canyons and Mt Hood, we were hiking in dense, beautiful forests. The trail was in great condition and very easy to hike. For much of the hike we were easily able to average three miles per hour. However there were countless stream crossings on this thirty-nine mile hike and each one would slow us down. The stream crossings can be especially dangerous after lots of rain or during snow melt, luckily for us they were mostly tame but still required caution as the streams were flowing fast.

We made it just under twenty miles on day one and camped in the Elk Cove area. This left us with about twenty miles for day two but it would be a much tougher day of hiking as we would be climbing to the trail high point of 7,350’.

We started day two with some incredible views of Mt Hood as we walked through beautiful meadows with flowers blooming everywhere. We would have some of our more dangerous stream crossings on day two as we traversed Newton Creek, Coe Creek and Eliot Stream just to name a few.

Just under ten miles into our hike on day two we reached the high point of 7,350.  It was a long climb to reach this point, beginning in the forest and slowly winding up above tree line. Day two was turning out to be even more amazing than day one and day one was great! From here until our return to Timberline Lodge we would be constantly climbing and descending to stream crossings while passing through beautiful forests and next to some really cool waterfalls.

As the sun began to drop in the sky we arrived back to our vehicle at Timberline Lodge. It might have been a quick one night, thirty-nine mile hike but it was one that we will never forget. Its tough to beat the views on this trail, we only wish we could have taken two or three nights to do this hike instead so we could have taken our time! What a trail, we cant recommend it enough. 

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