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Green Point Mountain Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Rainy Lake and Green Point Mountain (bobcat)
Rainy Lake and Mt. Defiance from Green Point Mountain (bobcat)
Columbia wind flower (Anemone deltoidea), Green Point Mountain (bobcat)
Noble fir forest below North Lake (bobcat)
The loop hike that includes Green Point Mountain (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Rainy Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: North Lake
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 8.0 miles
  • High Point: 4737 feet
  • Elevation gain: 1275 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

Green Point Mountain, one of the high points on Waucoma Ridge, offers excellent views across to Mount Defiance and Mount Adams. This loop hike takes you to the summit and then down to loop up into the lush old growth bottomlands below North Lake before reaching Rainy Lake and the trailhead.

Past the A-frame outhouse at the Rainy Lake Campground, take the Rainy-Wahtum Trail #409, actually the road bed of the old Wahtum Lake Road. Cross a boggy area blooming with cut-leaf bugbane in summer and hike up to old wooden gate posts on either side of the road. Head up on a wet trail and pass below a cliff face before crossing a talus slope rimmed with vine maple. Reach the Gorton Creek-Herman Creek Cutoff-Rainy Wahtum Trail Junction, and note the old World War II signal hut at the beginning of the Herman Creek Cutoff Trail.

Make a sharp right onto the Gorton Creek Trail #408. Swish gradually up through huckleberry bushes in montane forest. Pass a rock outcropping and veer towards the eastern rim of Green Point Mountain. Heading up over the summit of the mountain, you will find a couple of viewpoints past the lodgepole pines to the right offering expansive vistas to Mount Defiance, Mount Adams and Goat Rocks. Look back also to Mount Hood. Steep andesite cliffs and scree lead down to Rainy Lake. Continue on down the ridge crest in a bear-grass understory to reach the four-way Gorton Creek-Green Point Ridge-North Lake Trail Junction.

Keep straight on the Green Point Ridge Trail (For a shorter loop, take the North Lake Trail and descend a scree slope to turn right at the North Lake-Rainy Lake Trail Junction: this option will skip North Lake, but it will take you back to Rainy Lake and the trailhead)). It’s an uphill grade and then you make a long descent. Reach the Green Point Ridge-Plateau Cutoff Trail Junction, and keep right. These are dry mountain hemlock, silver fir, noble fir woods. As you descend, more Douglas-firs appear. Enter a dense thicket of silver firs and come to the Wyeth-Green Point Ridge Trail Junction and go right.

The trail heads gently up, then drops. Cross a talus slope with a great view of Mount Defiance. Enter an impressive old growth forest of Douglas-fir, silver fir, noble fir, western hemlock and mountain hemlock. Keep descending, passing old growth giants, especially Douglas-firs. The forest is lush and cool with a groundcover of huckleberry, twisted stalk, vanilla leaf, arnica, devil’s club and solomon-plume. Pass through a vine maple thicket and head up. Note a large noble fir right next to the trail that has a lightning scar all the way to the ground. The trail heads steeply up before you cross a creek. At the Wyeth-North Lake Trail Junction, the first of three such junctions, go right up to North Lake.

Then keep heading along the eastern shore of the lake. Ignore the first junction left for the main trail and keep around to a second junction, where you go left. Pass a trail going left to hook up with the Mt. Defiance Trail and continue straight for Rainy Lake. This trail heads down in silver fir, noble fir, western hemlock, mountain hemlock and Douglas-fir forest. There is some western white pine and Alaska yellow-cedar here, too. Negotiate some wet spots bristling with devil’s club and head up in lush old growth forest. Then ascend into drier silver fir, noble fir and mountain hemlock forest. At the North Lake-Rainy Lake Trail Junction, keep left.

Look for a rock-studded meadow rimmed by Sitka alder on the left before walking through bear-grass carpeted woods. Cross a footbridge over a creek and reach the east shore of Rainy Lake. The trail uses the low earth dam that contains the lake. A screen of Sitka alder conceals views as you negotiate a buckled bridge that spans the outlet creek. You can get a glimpse of Green Point Mountain before you reach the small beach and access point at the lake's southeast corner. From here, Trail #623A descends in a forest of mountain hemlock, Douglas-fir, silver fir and Alaska yellow cedar with some lodgepole pines. Pass the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness sign and reach the Rainy Lake Campground and then the trailhead.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Bonneville Dam, OR #429
  • Green Trails Maps: Columbia River Gorge - West #428S
  • Geo-Graphics: Trails of the Columbia Gorge
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Hood River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest

Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • none

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • none

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.