A Hot, but Pretty Day on the North side of Mt. Hood

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Dollar Lake

I parked at the very rough 4,500-foot trailhead for the Vista Ridge Trail on the north side of Mt. Hood in mid July. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

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.

Mt. Hood reflected in Dollar Lake

I began hiking east to enjoy the wonderful views and scattered wildflowers. It was fairly obvious that I was about two weeks too soon for the big alpine wildflower show. Then, following an old climbers’ trail to the south, I soon reached Dollar Lake at 6,000 feet, with a nice reflection of Mt. Hood.

I returned to the Timberline Trail and hiked to back to Wy’east Basin. There were quite a few backpackers on the Timberline Trail but everyone was good at providing six feet or more distance as they passed.

As I returned to the Jeep, it kept getting hotter and hotter. It was 81 degrees by the time I reached the trailhead. I told myself that was too hot for hiking – – – a temperature about 30 degrees lower would have been much nicer. But, I put up with rain, wind and snow at other times of the year. You take what you’re given.

Avalanche Lily

Backpackers taking a break in Wy’east Basin (Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams in background)

Sitka Mountain Ash, Mountain Spiraea and Western Pasque Flower

Trail passing over 10-foot snowdrift

Backpackers heading down Vista Ridge

White Rhododendron, Bear-grass, Paintbrush in a field of Heather and Jocob’s Ladder

Steep stretch on the Timberline Trail

Into the Wilderness






Categories: Oregon CascadesTags: , ,


  1. Truly delightful stretch of wilderness, John. I have been on the Timberline Trail, and your photos were a pleasant reminder. Even though you may have been a little early for the wildflower show, you gave us a wonderful look at some beauties here. Every photo here is spectacular, I studied and admired each one, but my favorite is the first one with Mount Hood and the Dollar Lake reflection. A great treat to see Rainier too. Thanks for braving the hot weather.

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