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Mountaineer Loop Trail #798

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This mid to late summer trail keeps you mostly above timberline on the slopes of Mt. Hood where you'll see snow in July!


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Map Key

2.9

Miles

4.7

KM

Loop

6,941' 2,116 m

High

5,875' 1,791 m

Low

1,067' 325 m

Up

1,064' 324 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

This trail is obliterated by snow generally from late June/early July to early November. Higher sections may be covered in snow even in later summer.

Overview

The Mountaineer Loop Trail is less than a three mile loop, but with a 1,000+ foot gain in the first half of the trail, the views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Sisters, and mountains in the coast range are worth the climb!

Need to Know

The Mountaineer Loop Trail is covered with snow most of the year and has patches of snow throughout the year. The trail may be difficult to follow with fresh snow. Skiing occurs in most summer months until at least 1 p.m.

Description

The trail begins at Timberline Lodge. Find the outdoor pool and hike west. The first 1000 foot section of the Mountaineer Loop is shared with the upper part of the Timberline to Town Mountain Bike Trail, so mind the bikes. Stay to the right at the junction, and head uphill.

In the lower elevations, you cross through mountain hemlock, white bark pines, and western red cedar when you get into the draws, but just as you cross over the Pacific Crest Trail, you are soon above timberline with subalpine plants transitioning to alpine plants. Head north and gradually (and at times not so gradually!) uphill towards the top of the Magic Mile and bottom of the Palmer chairlifts. At this point, you may encounter skiers and snowboarders who can ski almost year round. You can take the trail between the two chairlift buildings, or skirt both on the downhill side and continue east. (Spoiler alert! - you can ride the chairlift to this point). At this point, you finally start the downhill part of the trail.

Continue east towards Silcox Hut. This place is rented out but you can take pictures at the site. Head downhill and as you approach timberline, you'll see the water tank to the right. Continue down to the trees and recross over the Pacific Crest Trail. After that point, you have some choices. If you want to return to your starting point at the pool, cross over the paved road and continue around the trails at the back of Timberline Lodge towards the amphitheater and then drop down to the pool where you started.

Flora & Fauna

The Mountaineer Loop Trail has alpine and subalpine wildflowers. Beargrass, lupine, alpine aster, partridge foot, Newberry fleece flower, alpine phlox, monkey flower, purple pussypaws, and more. They all have a very short growing season so be careful where you step. Chipmunks and ravens are common sightings.

History & Background

The historic site of an old cabin is located along the trail just below the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kathleen Walker

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes

#2261

Overall
  4.5 from 6 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#63

in Oregon

#2,261

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25 Views Last Month
1,433 Since Dec 31, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

A group of hikers heads to Mt. Hood on the Mountaineer Loop Trail.
Jan 3, 2017 near Governm…, OR
Crater Rock (foreground) and the Bergschrund Crevasse can be seen from the Mountaineer Loop Trail. Photo by John Sparks.
Jan 2, 2017 near Governm…, OR
A final grouping of trees marks the transition above timberline on Mount Hood.
Jan 3, 2017 near Governm…, OR
The view from the Timberline Trail towards Mt. Jefferson.  Photo by hproctor.
Aug 11, 2017 near Governm…, OR
Mount Hood
Mar 20, 2019 near Governm…, OR
Newberry's fleeceflower provides great color in the fall. Photo by John Sparks.
Jan 2, 2017 near Governm…, OR

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Check-Ins

Sep 5, 2019
An Th
2h 00m
Aug 20, 2019
Patrick S
Accidentally took the Gordon Mile up. Walked around and rested at the top for a bit. Took the correct trail down on the west side of the loop. Acci… — 2h 59m
Aug 20, 2018
Heather Baillie
Took the mountaineer trail to pct for a relaxing 1 mike hike 1mi
Aug 17, 2018
Eugene Alonzo
Aug 16, 2018
Christopher Tomaschow
2.9mi
Aug 14, 2018
Carolyn Bilo
Aug 13, 2018
Kalen Walkington