Bull of the Woods Trail 550

Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon 97388

Distance3.2mi
Elevation Gain2,398ft
Trailhead Elevation4,924ft
Top5,491ft
Elevation Min/Max4596/5491ft
Elevation Start/End4924/4931ft

Bull of the Woods Trail 550

Bull of the Woods Trail #550 is a hiking trail in Marion County and Clackamas County, Oregon. It is within Bull of the Woods Wilderness Area and Mount Hood National Forest. It is 3.2 miles long and begins at 4,924 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,398 feet. Bull of the Woods (elevation 4,364 feet) can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Dickey Lake Trail #549.

Bull of the Woods Trail #550 Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is like two great hikes in one. Choose an easy stroll through old-growth forest past rhododendrons to two beautiful lakes, or a more challenging climb to a fire lookout tower with a panoramic view. Either way it will introduce you to a magnificent wilderness area."

"A three-day, loop backpack in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. Although this hike is perfect for several days, it’s a wonderful day hike as well—day hike, that is, if you limit yourself to the first 5 miles of the loop. So, if time is limited, try hiking the easiest 5 miles of them all. Special attractions: A waterfall; scenic Elk Lake Creek; old-growth forest; wildlife; grand views.

Although this hike is perfect for several days, it’s a wonderful day hike as well—day hike, that is, if you limit yourself to the first 5 miles of the loop. So, if time is limited, try hiking the easiest 5 miles of them all. Hike Elk Lake Trail 559, passing a waterfall and entering the wilderness in less than 1 mile."

"Bull of the woods wilderness lies on the western slope of the Cascades, receiving the brunt of winter storms that drop more than 100 inches of precipitation here annually. Despite the heavy winter rains, summers are usually dry and delightfully cool. The abundant rain and snow support some of the finest forests left in the Old Cascades and provide a glimpse of what the entire western slope of the Cascades was like before industrial forestry scalped most of it.

This is one of the lovelier wildlands in Oregon, yet it receives few visitors beyond the popular hikes to Bagby Hot Springs and Bull of the Woods Mountain. If you like forests, this is the place to be. “Bull of the woods” is a reference to the top woodman in a logging outfit. This trail guide contains three trails ranging from 1.6 miles to 25 miles in length."

"A day hike to the second highest point in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. A fire lookout, more or less intact but no longer in use, stands on its short tower on the summit. The view is open in all directions, from the graceful summit of Mount Hood to the north to Mount Jefferson to the southeast and the Three Sisters to the south. Closer at hand lie the rugged, rocky ridges of the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. Permit required for day and overnight hikes; self-issue at trailhead.

The Bull of the Woods Trail starts by climbing gently around a
hillside through a clearcut, but within about 0.5 mile it enters undisturbed fir forest and passes the self-issue permit bulletin board. In another 0.4 mile it starts to contour along the steep west slope of North Dickey Peak. After passing through a saddle, it continues along the steep west side of South Dickey Peak."

"Backpackers who want a taste of what the Old Cascades used to be like will enjoy this loop through the Opal Creek and Bull of the Woods wilderness areas. The massive trees along Opal Creek drew national attention for many years as conservationists and timber interests debated their future.

The battle was eventually decided when Congress officially designated Opal Creek as a wilderness and scenic area in 1996. In addition to cathedral forests, this loop hike features an excellent sampling of the Old Cascades’ other charms, including lots of blooming rhododendrons, view-packed ridges, small but scenic mountain lakes, cascading streams, and surprisingly uncrowded trails."

Bull of the Woods Trail #550 Reviews

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7/17/2007
great place... only problem is the guide fails to mention that one of the forest roads to get there is high clearance vehicles only, which cost us and extra hour and a half finding another way.
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7/1/2007
Great scenery, long stretches without water however. Do NOT believe the book about Silver King mountain trail...it is deserted, unmaintained, and downright scary. The "campground" is a flat area near a lake with no actual lake access unless you have a machete. Plenty of cougar feces there too. But over all, the lBull of the Woodsoop was fantastic. Old forest, mining ruins, scenery.
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7/27/2006
Looking for a nice moderate, overnight hike? Take the Opal creek trail off of the Bull of the woods loop, heading towards Beachie Creek about 6 mi. you will find Cedar Flats. Ancient old growth cedars tower above a small grove of trees almost at the confluence of Beachie creek and opal creek. If the site is already occupied, there are 4-5 little places to camp along the way leading up to Cedar Flats. This is a perfect quick overnighter because it is only 12 miles round trip. It was nice to get away from the city lights for a night, as the stars lit the canopy of this beautiful old growth forests...some of the biggest trees I have seen in Oregon. We got to camp late around 6pm so If you leave earlier you will probably get a spot at cedar flats, a far more superior campsite than most of the smaller ones along the way.
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6/5/2006
Please see my posting under Bull of the Woods Loop (Backpacking) -- especially if you plan to go in June.
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8/15/2005
The scenery is beautiful, lava rock was not friendly on the dogs, signs are a bit tricky (well marked, but you should get a local map) and we got lost, not a lot of shade, gets cold at night, the trail is deep and very noticable, day hikers on weekend.
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9/4/2001
Bull of the Woods offers many miles of trails that a dayhiker or backpacker can use to create anything from an easy stroll to a fairly rigorous multi-day trip. There are so many trails and cutoffs, that a hiker could easily get mixed up and even lost if not careful. So, make sure that you bring your topo and have a plan going into Bull of the Woods. It's also a popular hiking spot in the area, so be prepared to stumble upon a fair amount of fellow hikers. There are, however, areas and trails that are less traveled than others -- so, if you like your solitude, like I do, then finding those spots is worth the effort. Most recently, I spent a short weekend trip in Bull of the Woods and found a wonderful spot that wasn't populated at all save myself and my hiking partner. The bottom line: Enough space and trails to spend days or simply hours alone or in the company of fellow hikers.
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1/1/2001
Bull of the Woods is an area, not a destination. It ranges from Elk Lake to Pansy Lake, and includes numerous lakes, one stream, an authentic lookout and several abandoned gold mines. Many of the lakes were stocked in the '30s, by air. The fish are persistent, and manage to survive from year to year, but do not get large. Elke Lake Creek, which looks like a beautiful fishing area, and is. However, the lakes and creeks are so cold there isn't a lot of food, and the fish are rarely if ever larger than the equivalent of one hot dog. The trails tend to be uphill or downhill, and take their toll of knees. For people with patience, this is an absolutely wonderful area. There are traces still of the "slack line", and early telegraph line for communication with fire crews. It used a heavy aluminum wire and doughnut-shaped insulators, so that when a tree fell across it the line wouldn't break. An early book about it, which I haven't been able to find, is entitled "Oregon's Hidden Wilderness". It has some of the most beautiful camping sites in the entire world. Corky Corcoran
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Trail Information

Mount Hood National Forest
Nearby City
Bull of the Woods Wilderness Area
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Mt. Hood National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Bull of the Woods; Mount Hood National Forest
Local Maps

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Jul 2018