The Mt. Hood National Forest is currently closed to public access, including all campgrounds, day use areas, trails, boat ramps, and more. Forest Service roads are closed to the public across the Mt. Hood National Forest unless you are vacating the Forest


Mt Hood Detailed Climbing Information

Before starting out

  • Be knowledgeable and practiced in mountaineering skills. Know how to use your equipment.
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Check the weather and avalanche forecasts and assess climbing conditions.
  • Plan your route. All routes are TECHNICAL CLIMBS. There are no hiking trails to the summit.
  • Climb with a competent and experienced leader.
  • Carry adequate clothing, food, water and equipment.
  • Tell someone at home your destination, route, time due back and equipment you are taking. When you are overdue, that person should call 911.
  • Fill out a wilderness permit and registration - In day lodge if starting at Timberline.
  • Pick up a blue bag for human waste - These bags are free and available year round in the Climbers Registration in the Timberline Day Lodge.

On the climb

  • Camping -Most climbers who camp out do so 200-800 feet above the top of the Palmer lift (8600') along Triangle Moraine.
  • Be aware of snowpack, rockfall and route conditions - deteriorating weather can advance quickly.
  • Evaluate the snowpack for avalanche hazard.
  • Crevasse locations can change from year to year.  There are also crevasses below Crater Rock.  For example, crevasses are found when traversing Zigzag Glacier over to Illumination Rock and the crevasses on White River Glacier can extent westward to the east side of Triangle Moraine
  • Do not hesitate to turn back because of poor conditions.
  • Whenever reasonably possible, avoid wiping out the ascending bootpath when descending.
  • Poor visibility, particularly when descending, can pull you off route. Use your compass and/or GPS.  Following the fall line from Crater Rock will pull you down into Zigzag Canyon - not back to Timberline Lodge.
  • Leave No Trace within Mount Hood Wilderness.
  • Avoid climbing on the groomed ski runs of the Palmer Snowfield.  Snowboard terrain features created in late spring and summer can create blind spots. Climb to the east of the Palmer snowfield to avoid the groomed runs and terrain features.

After the climb

  • Sign back in.
  • Rest before driving.  There have been significant motor vehicle accidents from climbers falling asleep driving after the climb.  Be well rested before driving.


Portland Mountain Rescue's Safety Essentials Brochure Series

Cell phones may not work in many locations on the mountain. Personal Locator Beacons are advised for climbers, but these devices do not replace good judgment and basic climbing skills.

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) geographic coordinate system

UTM coordinates in NAD 27 CONUS datum for south side landmarks:

  • Start of climbers path at Timberline 10T 0601216  5020342.
  • Silcox Hut 10T 0601205  5020834.
  • Midway Terminal on Palmer Lift 10T 0601286  5022705.
  • Top of Palmer Lift 10T 0601490 5023387.
  • Triangle Moraine 10T 0601831 5024201.
  • Devils Kitchen area at the start of the traverse leading to the Hogsback 10T 0601941 5024562.
  • Hogsback 10T 0601970 5024771.

When to Climb

Time Of Year: Late spring and early summer are the most popular time of year to climb most routes. While hazards exist every month of the year, conditions during this window are typically better. During late summer and fall, rockfall is significant and nearly impossible to mitigate and the crevasses are more exposed. Winter months can have some outstanding climbing conditions, but storms are more common.

Time Of Day: Most climbers time their climb to reach the summit at sunrise. This afford a summit sunrise and helps mitigate rockfall that increases as the day warms. To achieve this climbers need to evaluate their climbing ability and speed to determine the time of night to start. Some climbers do their climb in one day starting between Midnight and 2:00 am. Others start the day before and make camp around 8500 feet to 9700 feet to shorten their summit day climb. The key is to be away from rock fall areas before the heat of the day warms them.

Portland Mountain Rescue Mt Hood virtual tour

What to wear / What to take

This is a beginning list. Route selection and conditions may require more gear.

  1. Waterproof, lug-soled climbing boots
  2. Synthetic or wool long underwear
  3. Synthetic or wool clothing layers
  4. Synthetic or wool socks, hat and mittens
  5. Glacier sunglasses with side shields
  6. Ski goggles
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Wind/rain overmitts
  9. Backpack
  10. Insulating ground pad
  11. *Extra food, water, and clothing.
  12. Headlamp
  13. Personal Locator Device
  14. Avalanche transceiver
  15. Helmet
  16. Ice Axe
  17. Crampons
  18. Climbing Harness
  19. Climbing rope
  20. Shovel
  21. Pickets and hardware
  22. First Aid Kit
  23. Emergency Kit (whistle, space blanket, knife, lighter
  24. Topographic map, compass and altimeter. GPS is nice but still bring your compass.
  25. Wilderness Permit (group leader)
  26. Blue Bags for human waste - These bags are free and available year round in the Climbers Registration in the Timberline Day Lodge.
  27. Insulating ground pad

What Organizations Teach Climbing / Guide Climbs On Mt. Hood?

The following is a list of outfitter/guide organizations currently authorized to conduct climbing services on Mt Hood.