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Timberline Lodge Professional Review and Guide
"If you spend just one day in Oregon, you should spend it at Timberline Lodge. If you go on only one hike, you should go to Paradise Park in August or early September. But fear not—if you aren’t up to a 13-mile loop, options abound at this spectacular mountain palace."
--Paul Gerald, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland (Menasha Ridge Press).
Can be a very strenuous hike on a hot day as some of the trail is exposed. In general the trail is in great shape and the views are amazing from the top!! Take extra care on your final summit push as the wood ladder and slick steep surfaces can be tricky. Saw a couple of people fall at this point. You can see the pacific ocean and Astoria from the top!
The trail is in pretty good condition this year. Some of the steep slippery gravel sections have been tamed by putting steel wire fencing material on the trail surface. At first it looks like you might snag your Vibram soles in it and trip, but it works great. Hope they put the wire on more sections of this rather tricky trail.
The only two things you need to worry about are your own fitness and the weather. Fortunately, if you don't have the stamina to make it to the top, there are plenty of nice viewpoints to sit down and eat lunch before you turn back.
Hot weather can heat up the South and East slopes - make sure you have plenty of water on a warm day. Cloudy weather can obscure the fantastic view that you get from the top.
This remains one of my favorite Pacific NW day hikes.
This was a fun experience. I definitely recommend an early start if you plan to hike on a weekend as it got pretty crowded around noon. There were some great viewpoints along the trail and beautiful wildflowers. It rained a little as we came down off the top and become quite slippery with the loose rock. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great day hike close to Portland.
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