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.