Illumination Saddle

Government Camp, Oregon

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There’s nothing like telling your friends you’re off to go snowshoeing in the middle of July. On this route that’s entirely possible, and in fact isn’t a bad time to go. You’re virtually guaranteed good weather and, if you get up early enough, good snow. Despite the ever-present challenges of Mount Hood’s upper reaches, this is nonetheless a great shorter hike that gets you into some amazing terrain. It’s just enough off the beaten path of the climber’s trail to the summit of Mount Hood that you’ll get a little peace and quiet, and Illumination Saddle is every bit as dramatic as any other part of the mountain. More than a few picture calendars boast photographs of this scenic spot, and when you get there you’ll see why. It’s a stunning alpine perch.

Illumination Saddle Professional Review and Guide

"There’s nothing like telling your friends you’re off to go snowshoeing in the middle of July. On this route that’s entirely possible, and in fact isn’t a bad time to go. You’re virtually guaranteed good weather and, if you get up early enough, good snow. Despite the ever-present challenges of Mount Hood’s upper reaches, this is nonetheless a great shorter hike that gets you into some amazing terrain.

It’s just enough off the beaten path of the climber’s trail to the summit of Mount Hood that you’ll get a little peace and quiet, and Illumination Saddle is every bit as dramatic as any other part of the mountain. More than a few picture calendars boast photographs of this scenic spot, and when you get there you’ll see why. It’s a stunning alpine perch."

Activity Type: Snowshoeing
Nearby City: Government Camp
Distance: 5
Elevation Gain: 3,700 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: December through August
Trailhead Elevation: 5,800 feet
Top Elevation: 9,500 feet
Local Contacts: Mount Hood National Forest, Zigzag Ranger Station
Local Maps: USFS Mount Hood Wilderness; Green Trails 462, Mount Hood; USGS Mount Hood South
Driving Directions: Directions to Illumination Saddle

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May 2018