Climbing Mount Hood & Summiting


Mountaineer Trail

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 Mount Hood Wilderness and is covered with forested slopes and alpine meadows. Mount Hood attracts more than 10,000 climbers a year, making Mount Hood's summit the most visited snow covered peak in America.

Climbing Mt Hood is a technical climb. There are no trails to the summit. The "easier" southside climbing route from the historic Timberline Lodge is still a technical climb with crevasses to cross, falling rocks, and often inclement weather. Ropes, crampons and other technical gear are necessary. Climbing season is generally from April to mid-June due to melting snow and rockfall hazards later in the season. Fatalities on the mountain average at least one a year. Other routes on the mountain are much more difficult.

Consider climbing mid-week to enhance your opportunity for solitude.

Additional tips for climbing Mt. Hood

At a Glance

Rentals & Guides: Outfitter/guide organizations currently authorized to conduct climbing services on Mt Hood:
Permit Info:
  • A wilderness permit is required to enter  the Wilderness in the Mt. Hood National Forest from May 15 through October 15. You must have a copy of the completed permit in your possession durning your visit to the Wilderness. Permits are free and self issued at trailheads and Wilderness boundaries.
  • Climbers must have a Wilderness permit in their possession year-round when on the south side climbing route of Mt. Hood. Permits are available at the Wy'East Timberline Day Lodge.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Late spring and early summer
Busiest Season: Late spring and early summer
Closest Towns: Sandy, OR; Hood River, OR
Passes: Some trailheads require a day use fee. View a list of available Recreation Passes that may be used in lieu of day use fee payment.
Information Center:

General Information


The southside climbing route leaves from the historic Timberline Lodge.

General Notes:

Detailed Mount Hood Climbing Information


Before beginning a climb, obtain a current weather forecast. During your climb, turn back if weather conditions deteriorate. Severe winter-like storms on the mountain are not uncommon during the fall.

The Fall season is now in full swing trending to late Fall climbing conditions. Routes on Mount Hood are waiting for the winter time snow, with crevasses still opened up all around the mountain use caution when climbing. With weather that will be changing to winter like conditions, the main hazards on the mountain at this time are Ice Fall, Rock Fall other Climbers and Crevasses. Skiers and snowboarders have poor conditions due to very large sun cups and the lack of snow. Climbers should be versed in evaluating avalanche potential - be particularly observant for, wet slab, cornice fall and loose wet avalanche potential.  Avalanche Character or Type – One of 9 potential avalanche descriptions follow Link

Visibility above tree line can go from good to bad quickly making navigation difficult. Please check the NOAA weather service and the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center for snow and weather conditions. There are also web sites that contain anecdotal trip reports that may or may not prove helpful.  When you leave the parking area, please use the Climber’s Trail just east of the ski area to avoid resort operations. Use caution and be aware of the rapidly changing weather if you choose to climb. If you do choose to make a summit attempt, take great care and don’t be afraid to turn back. The mountain isn’t going anywhere.

Fall climbing conditions can be dangerous and unpredictable. Sudden storms, avalanche hazard and high winds can happen at any time and may make climbing conditions dangerous. Those planning to climb should take all necessary equipment for self-rescue and extended stays on the mountain due to weather or incident. Avalanche rescue gear such as a beacon, shovel and probe are also strongly recommended during fall climbing.

 Cell phones are a good idea, but be advised they 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.

All climbers are required to pack out everything they pack in, this includes human waste. Blue bags are available at the Climber's Registry located in the Timberline Wy’east Day Lodge. Please adhere to Leave No Trace ethics while on the mountain, so all climbers after you can enjoy their experience.


1. South side of Mt Hood from Timberline.

South side of Mt Hood from Timberline.

2. Landmarks on the south side of Mount Hood within Mount Hood Wilderness.

Landmarks on the south side of Mount Hood within Mount Hood Wilderness.

3. June 20th, 2005  From Hogsback looking at Bergchrund and Pearly Gates.

June 20th, 2005 Picture of Bergschrund and Pearly Gates


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Mountain Climbing

Permit required?: Y
Difficulty Level: Most Difficult
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