Rising like a green wall east of Mt. Hood, Surveyors Ridge is the last major outpost in the Cascade Range before those mountains slope down to the arid grasslands of north-central Oregon. The highest point along that ridge is Lookout Mountain, and, not surprisingly, it provides one of the best views anywhere of Oregon’s highest mountain, just 6 miles to the west. A short trail reaches this fine viewpoint, but backpackers can turn this into a longer and more satisfying hike by going east on the Divide Trail, a scenic route that passes a string of impressive cliff-edge viewpoints, wildflower meadows, and dramatic rock outcroppings. The overnight destination is Oval Lake, a tiny but attractive pool that is almost never crowded.
© 2009 Doug Lorain/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.