The Timberline Trail circling Mount Hood is probably the most famous footpath in the state. Guidebooks describing the finest hiking trails in the nation often include this spectacular route, so Oregonians must share the trail with people from all over the country (and even international travelers). Even before the official trail was built by CCC workers in the 1930s, this round-the-mountain tour had many admirers—and justifiably so.
The mountain views are stunning, wildflowers choke the meadows, and exceptional side trips abound. The enormous trail population is dominated by dayhikers, who have access to every corner of the mountain. The Forest Service is currently proposing to restrict the numbers of hikers and campsites—an unfortunate but probably necessary step. Because horses are banned from most of the route, the trails and meadows are still in good shape, despite the number of hikers.
© 2007 Douglas Lorain/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.