A Cloudy Visit to Paradise Park


It was early summer and time to drive to the Paradise Park Trailhead at the base of Mt. Hood, several miles east of the small town of Rhododendron.

Paradise Park is a series of large alpine meadows on the west shoulder of Mt. Hood around 6,000 feet in elevation. It’s one of the Pacific Northwest’s most popular hiking destinations in late July and August when the alpine meadows are covered with wildflowers.

For the first five to six miles the Trail stayed under the canopy of an old-growth forest, but the trees (mainly mountain hemlocks) were smallish and well spaced.

After reaching the Pacific Crest Trail it was a steep one-half mile ascent to Paradise Park. Sad to say the view was not that of the famous wildflower display, but of deep snow covering much of the meadows.

Climbing another one-quarter mile brought me to a snow-free ridge with cloudy views of Mt. Hood and the ridge above Big Zigzag Canyon.

I ate a snack and reveled in the stark beauty of the wilderness area. In another month I’ll be back, doing a loop hike from Timberline Lodge over the top of Mississippi Head.

Mississippi Head in the clouds

Mississippi Head in the clouds

Avalanche Lilies

Avalanche Lilies

Snow on the upper trail

Snow on the upper trail

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

Hikers heading back to Timberline Lodge

Hikers heading back to Timberline Lodge

Sunshine breaking through briefly above Paradise Park

Sunshine breaking through briefly above Paradise Park

Rhododendrons lining the trail

Rhododendrons lining the trail

Trillium

Trillium

The joys of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the early summer

The joys of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the early summer

The beauty of an old-growth forest

The beauty of an old-growth forest

 

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , , , ,

4 comments

  1. Thanks & God Bless

    Ed Lyon
    Community Director, FCA Ventura County
    P.O. Box 6033, Ventura, CA 93006
    805-746-4725
    elyon@fca.org

    See our Vision
    http://www.venturacountyfca.org

    FCA UCLA Sports Camp
    http://www.vimeo.com/35350998

    FCA Ventura County Golf Tournament
    https://fca.webconnex.com/2014annualgolftournament

    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Mathew 6:21
    Please Donate: http://www.venturacountyfca.org/donate

    Like

  2. Haalleujlh! I needed this-you’re my savior.

    Like

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