Near the end of October two of my fellow Trustees and I joined members of the MAC Walking & Hiking Committee and drove to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood at roughly 5,900 feet of elevation. It was a gorgeous day, with lots of sunshine and not much wind.
The Pacific Crest Trail was our first destination, about one-fourth mile above the Lodge. We soon took a right at the Silcox Hut Trail and began a 700-foot climb up the side of the mountain. At 6,000 feet elevation, Mountain Hemlock had been the dominant tree with a few Alpine Firs tossed in. At 6,700 feet, only some scattered White-bark Pine remained. Taking off to the west, we hit the loop trail returning from the Silcox Hut and hiked back to the PCT.
We then circled the mountain to the northwest, crossing the Little Zigzag Canyon along the way. The summit of the mountain and its glaciers were easily visible from the Trail. Once reaching the overlook of Big Zigzag Canyon, we took a break and enjoyed the surroundings. The entire stretch of Mississippi Head, a large basalt rock formation, towered over the Canyon.
After hiking back to Timberline Lodge we topped off the excellent adventure with a fine lunch buffet in the dining room. All in all, the hike was 6.1 miles in length with 1,200 feet of elevation gain. Great company, beautiful weather and a very enjoyable hike indeed.