Explorer | 21 pts
Overall this is a great hike. We planned on using the gravel road #777 which is mentioned in the directions on how to get to the trailhead. Unfortunately, the road was closed. I understand that it is sometimes open to traffic. This created a parking issue, but leaving the car on the side of the road ended up working just fine. If this happens to you, the best place to start is a small storage tower on the right just after you crest the hill after getting off at exit 40 making a right and heading up the hill to the left. This will add 1.5 miles each way to your trip of fairly steep, not very enjoyable gravel road hiking. The first 2.2 miles of the Tanner Butte Trail are steep with switchbacks and then it is a gradual climb until the final quarter mile or so to the top. About 4.3 miles into the hike is a side trail that heads down to Dublin Lake, a great place to camp, which we did, turning our hike into a 2 day backpacking trip. We had nearly perfect weather - mid 70's and very clear. Once up top, the views are amazing. Mt. Hood breathes down your neck and we were able to see Jefferson, Adams, Ranier, and St. Helens as well. Oh, I would recommend long pants for the last mile and a half or so, as the trail is very overgrown unless you don't mind scratching up your legs a bit. We did it as an out and back hike, but if you take a look at the TOPO maps, this can be turned into a loop bringing you back to your car if you have some extra time. All in all, this was a great 2-day hike.