Mountaineer Trail #798


Mountaineer Trail

This is the highest elevation trail on the south side of Mt Hood and most of it is above tree line with outstanding views. Visitors can head west one mile to the old Timberline Cabin site and return on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail for an easier 2 mile hike. Or for a more challenging 2.7 mile hike, continue up to the 7000’ elevation Silcox Hut and the top of the Mile Ski lift. The northwestern corner of the trail is the least visited and has wonderful alpine terrain.

The clockwise loop trail starts 700 feet west of the lodge. The trail grade is easy until its junction with the Pacific Crest #2000/Timberline Trail #600 at 0.7 mile. After the junction, the trail climbs steeply through scenic open glades and wind battered timber. Continue 1 mile to the ski lift buildings and cross under the lower building to get to the Silcox Hut. From here, descend 1 mile to the road or one of the single tracks further east. If traveling on the road, turn right at the old water tower and follow the trail to the parking lot. If traveling on the single track, turn right once you gain a contouring trail or the Pacific Crest Trail and follow it west until you can descend to the parking lot. If following the trail counterclockwise, the trail starts at Timberline Lodge.

Trail Description and Map (PDF File)

At a Glance

Permit Info: State of Oregon Sno-Park permit required November 1 through April 30.
Open Season: undefined - undefined
Restrictions: The Mountaineer Trail passes through areas with naturally sparse vegetation. Please stay on the trail to protect the vegetation
Closest Towns: Government Camp, OR
Passes: A valid recreation pass is NOT required during summer months. Nov. 1 through April 30 a valid Oregon Sno-Park permit is required.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Zig Zag Ranger District, Zig Zag Ranger Station

General Information


From Portland, OR - travel east of Sandy on US Hwy 26 29.2 miles to Timberline Road. Turn left on Timberline Road and travel 5.3 miles to the Timberline Lodge. Park in the main parking lot and walk up to the entrance of the historic Timberline Lodge. From this grand entrance, walk 700’ west going under the Magic Mile ski lift. The trail starts at a small parking lot just past the lift



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

There are 3 distinct sections of trail. 1. The section below the Pacific Crest Trail is gentler with grades 7-15%. 2. Once above the Pacific Crest Trail going up the west side the trail is steeper averaging 24%. 3. The eastern section descends from Silcox Hut following the access road at grades between 14-20% till it leaves the road near the old water tower and heads back over to the historic lodge. Where the trail is at its highest elevation at approximately 7000’ the trail surface dissolves amongst the ski runs, 2 ski lift buildings and Silcox Hut. To find the trail on the east side at this elevation, simply go to Silcox Hut and the road to the hut is the trail. On the west side at this elevation, there are 2 ski lift buildings. If you walk just below the lowest building and go approximately 150’ past it to the west, you will find the trail heading down the hill. When crossing the ski run, cross where the skiers can see you.

Areas & Activities

Related Links



  Area/Length : 
2.7 miles

  Elevation : 
5880' - 6960'


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Drone use on Mt. Hood NF