"Larch Mountain provides easy access to birds of the coniferous forest. The birder can choose to drive all the way to the summit, walk short distances into several clear-cuts, or hike for several miles through forest and meadow habitats. Birding is easiest in late May and June, when breeding species are in full song. Larch Mountain Road is closed past milepost 10 from late autumn until the snow melts sometime in May. Birders can walk past the gate if they wish to explore the mountain in early spring. On your way up Larch Mountain Road, there are two good places within the Mount Hood National Forest where you can walk down logging roads to explore clear-cuts. These brushy areas attract Willow Flycatchers, House Wrens, MacGillivray’s Warblers, Band-tailed Pigeons, woodpeckers, Swainson’s Thrushes, and Northern Pygmy-Owls. You can scan the clear-cuts from their edges or walk into them. Thick brush and stumps make walking difficult, but birding can be more productive farther off the path. Specialty birds in these areas include: Sooty Grouse; Northern Pygmy-Owl; Pileated Woodpecker; Olive-sided and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Gray Jay; Bandtailed Pigeon; Varied Thrush; Hermit and MacGillivray’s Warblers; Chipping Sparrow and Red Crossbill." Read more
"Though the full length of the trail is 7 miles, it is recommended that you turn around at mile 6 during the high-volume summer months. If you must make this a through-hike from Larch Mountain all the way to Multnomah Falls, your dog will be a lot happier if you hike it in the spring or on a weekday when the trail is less crowded—otherwise, the last mile of trail can be a lot like waiting in line for concert tickets while taking a shower in the falls overspray." Read more
"Pick a clear day to get the best view, or think about timing your hike so that you arrive at the top at sunset—you’ll get to see Mount Hood bathed in pink light, and the lights of Portland are spectacular from the summit.
Consider doing this one in late August, when the upper parts of the hill are awash in huckleberries. You can actually see Larch Mountain as you drive out I-84; it’s just to the left of Mount Hood and has a notch in the top. The top of that notch is where you’re headed." Read more
"If Larch’s summit is too much to tackle from Multnomah Falls, or you just don’t want to weave through a flood of waterfall admirers getting to it, but you still want to get a little hiking in on this Columbia gorge landmark, consider starting from the top of this ancient volcano. Take in the views and then head out on a surprisingly quiet loop through some of the finest remaining forests in the region." Read more