An Alpine Wildflower Show on the North side of Mt. Hood

After two days of over 100 degree temperatures in Portland it was time to head to the mountains and get a respite from the heat. I parked at the very rough 4,500-foot trailhead for the Vista Ridge Trail on the north side of Mt. Hood. It was already in the mid-70s and getting hotter.

After hiking through an area burnt by a 2011 wildfire, I met the Timberline Trail which circles Mt. Hood. A few more steps and I was at the open meadows of Wy’east Basin. The Ladd Glacier and the summit of Mt. Hood were seemingly close enough to touch.

I began hiking east to gain a wonderful overlook of Elk Cove and the Coe Glacier. Then, following an old climbers’ trail to the south, I soon reached Dollar Lake at 6,000 feet.

It should have been views of some of the prettiest alpine scenery in the Pacific Northwest. Sad to say, the heavy haze from wildfires in the north was not conducive to sightseeing.

On the positive side, the alpine wildflowers were at their peak.

Alpine wildflowers along the Timberline Trail

A hazy Mt. Hood reflected in Dollar Lake


Fireweed in bloom in the remains of a 2011 wildfire

Pine Squirrel

Dollar Lake


Mt. Hood rising above the Timberline Trail

Old Men of the Mountain

Entering the wilderness

Trail through upper alpine meadows







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