1. Cooper Spur
Length: 7.8 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 2600′ gain
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty: Leg Burner, plus the elevation will get your cardio going in a hurry.
This hike made me ask myself why I even liked hiking as well as answering my questions about how in shape I am (not very!). It’s not easy but will reward you with some of the best views you can find in the NW if you decide to venture up there. This is because it is above the timberline and is one of the most accessible non-mountaineering hikes that is in a high alpine setting.
Trailhead at the Cloud Cap Campground (take Cloud Cap Rd. 9 miles past Cooper Spur ski resort)
Length: Variable (out and back)
Elevation Change: Variable
Season: Year round
Difficulty: Depends on how far you wanna go.
This s a varied hike that meanders along Eagle Creek. The trail ascends the initial grade of Mt. Hood up from the Columbia. There are some great waterfalls along the way; Metlako falls, Punchbowl Falls and the Lowit Falls are all within the first 4 miles. About 7 miles up you will hit Tunnel Falls. The trail is fun because it winds up and down through numerous gullies and bluffs. At one point it hugs the edge of a cliff blown out by engineers in the early 20th century. A steel cable is attached to the cliff for hikers to use as a guide along this section. The exciting part of this section is when someone else is coming down as you go up! This all probably sounds much more dangerous than it actually it, don’t let it detour you from checking out the natural beauty of Eagle Creek.
Note: The trail is very popular and gets slammed on weekend days in the summer, go early.
Length: 4.6 miles (out and back)
Elevation Change: 1880 ft.
Season: Year round (possible snow in winter, be cautious)
Difficulty: Moderate, if you’re in decent shape it will be no problem, very steep though.
The view is amazing, it’s close to PDX and it’s relatively short considering the reward at the top – spectacular view of the Columbia! If you have never been to Angel’s rest go at least once, it’s awesome – did I mention the view?
From Portland, I84 E to exit 28 Bridal Veil.