Bucket List of Alpine Hikes in the Pacific Northwest #3: Cooper Spur


A steep climb well above treeline, alpine wildflowers with bright colors growing in the tundra-like environment and views extending seemingly forever – – – this is why I hike.

In mid-August on a hot, sunny day I drove to the 5,900-foot Cloud Cap Saddle Campground on the northeast side of Mt. Hood.

Cloud Cap is a nice camping area, and a very popular staging area for mountain climbers and hikers.

I began the hike by skirting the moraine below the Eliott Glacier, reaching Cooper Spur in a mile.

After a short ascent of the Spur, I spotted a shelter built of stones by the CCC’s in the 1930s. From there the trail began steeply ascending the Spur, providing many vistas of the Glacier and Mountain.

At 8,200 feet the Trail stopped at a deep snowfield. To reach the top of the Spur, I  hit the climbers’ trail ascending the steep nose of the rocky ridge.

At the top of the Spur I found several stone windbreaks used for over a century by climbers. Etched in a nearby boulder was a signature left by a Japanese climbing party in 1910.

After taking many photos, I returned to the Trailhead. It was a tough, but very enjoyable outing.

Stone shelter on Cooper Spur with Mt. Adams in background

Stone shelter on Cooper Spur with Mt. Adams in background

Golden-mantled squirrel

Golden-mantled squirrel

Summit of Mt. Hood

Summit of Mt. Hood and upper end of Eliot Glacier

Monkeyflower

Monkeyflower

Hikers below me taking a breather

Hikers below me taking a breather

Alpine Lupine with Cloud Cap in background

Alpine Lupine next to the trail with Cloud Cap in background

Blueish compacted snow and ground-up rocks in Eliot Glacier

Blueish compacted snow and ground-up rocks in Eliot Glacier

Alpine Aster

Alpine Aster

Cooper Spur

Cooper Spur

Buckwheat

Buckwheat in bloom around 8,000′

Inscribed Japanese Mountaineers' rock at 8,500'

Inscribed Japanese Mountaineers’ rock at 8,500′

Newton Clark Glacier with Mt. Jefferson in the distance

Newton Clark Glacier with Mt. Jefferson in the distance

 

 

 

Categories: Bucket List of Apine Hikes, Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , , ,

2 comments

  1. You are one dedicated hiker. Thanks for taking photos and sharing them.

    Liked by 1 person

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