As you ascend Mt Hood, you enter the Mt. Hood Wilderness and restrictions apply. Mt Hood Wilderness is heavily visited, so please do your part to Leave No Trace when visiting the area.
Climbing Mt Hood is a technical climb. There are no trails to the summit. Mt Hood was first known to the Northwest Indians as Wy'East. Geologists agree that Wy'East , like all the Cascade volcanoes, may only be "resting" from more active volcanic activity.
Mount Hood, Oregon's highest summit at 11,240 feet, is a dormant volcano covered with 11 active glaciers. This snow covered peak lies at the heart of the Wilderness and is covered with forested slopes and alpine meadows. More than 10,000 climbers a year come seeking the top of the state, making Mount Hood's summit the most visited snow covered peak in America. All climbing routes on Mt Hood are technical, including the "easier" southside climbing route, with crevasses to cross, falling rocks, and often inclement weather. Ropes, crampons and other technical gear are necessary. Review Mount Hood Summit for information about climbing Mount Hood.
Dormant but not dead, Mount Hood still vents sulfurous steam near the summit. Much of the area's annual precipitation of 150 inches falls as snow between October and April. A forest of Douglas fir covers much of the lower elevations, supported by an understory of Oregon grape, salal, rhododendron, and huckleberries. More than a dozen waterfalls are within the river valleys that lie in the shaded forest. Listen for the chirps and whistles of pikas and marmots on the rocky slopes at the tree line.
The very popular Timberline Trail #600 encircles the mountain for 38 miles. It crosses multiple alpine meadows and travels through the many glacial creeks and rivers that flow from the mountain flanks. Crossing the glacial creeks and rivers that do not have bridges during snowmelt in early to mid-summer, or when heavy or sustained rains fall, can be dangerous. Hikers should use caution and have a backup plan if rivers are too high to cross. Multiple trails wind their way through the Wilderness to join the Timberline Trail. Most visitors are day hikers who visit on the weekends. Hikers visiting mid-week or camping overnight generally see few other visitors.