Yokum Ridge is a lightly-used trail above one of the most popular destinations on the mountain. Hikers who ascend Yokum Ridge can review the write-up for the Ramona Falls Trail #797
as that is the access route to Yokum Ridge. From Ramona Falls
, hike northwest on the Timberline Trail #600
. 200 feet past the falls, you pass by the Ramona Falls Trail #797
which you can take on your return route. Continue on the Timberline Trail for another 0.6 miles to the junction with the Yokum Ridge Trail on your right (east).
The Yokum Ridge Trail is a 3.85-mile long steady climb of over 2,000 feet to the upper west flanks of Mt. Hood. After the first mile of mid-slope hiking, the trail breaks out into some openings and a large talus field with a user trail to a viewpoint off to your right, followed by the first of many large switchbacks.
From here, the trail climbs a 1/2 mile up to the Yokum ridgeline. The trail heads up the ridgeline a short distance before dropping back off the ridge but continuing to climb through high elevation forest towards the edge of a talus field and another switchback that takes you to a large bench with a small pond of dirty snowmelt. There is a creek about 200 feet beyond that on your right that is the last dependable water source.
From here, the trail meanders back and forth between openings and forest as it climbs back onto and off of the ridgeline. The trail approaches the bluff overlooking the Muddy Fork drainage with the Sandy Glacier above it to the north, and then passes the top of a large talus slope. From here, the trail heads southeast through open meadows and small patches of alpine forest towards the cliff overlooking the Sandy River drainage with a large rock at the edge. Views of the mercurial Sandy River, waterfalls, and the Reid Glacier below the peak of Mt. Hood are excellent. Be careful of the sandy cliff edge.
This is the end of the official trail. User trails continue past this point and back over to the Muddy Fork side of the ridgeline climbing up to snowfields where the ridge between the two drainages narrows and becomes much steeper.
The views and wildflowers in these upper sections of trail are spectacular. While you can climb higher beyond the end of the official trail, use caution! There are rotting snowbridges, loose talus, and steep unstable soils. Hikers can return to the trailhead via Ramona Falls Trail #797
, PCT and Sandy River Trail #770
. Overnighters should fill up water at the last creek mentioned.
The forest at the bottom is Douglas fir and mountain hemlock with silver and noble fir and the occasional lodgepole and western red cedar. As the trail climbs, subalpine fir appears. Rhododendron and huckleberries mix with bear grass and kinnickinnick. Wildflowers abound in the open meadows including Indian paint, aster, avalanche lilies, bistort, marsh marigold and lupine.