Yocum Ridge Hike
From Oregon Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Ramona Falls Trailhead
- End point: Yocum Meadow
- Trail Log: Yocum Ridge Hike/Log
- Distance: 16 miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 3600 feet
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Seasons: July - November
- Family Friendly: No
- Backpackable: Yes
- Crowded to the Yocum Ridge Trail junction
- Quiet to Yocum Ridge
What's nice about Yocum Ridge is that it's so remote. There aren't any other alpine areas on Mount Hood as far away from a trailhead. The early sections of this hike are among the busiest around Mount Hood, but after three miles you'll start on the Yocum Ridge Trail you'll enjoy some of the best solitude the region can offer!
The Yocum Ridge Hike starts the same as the Ramona Falls Hike.
The bridge over the Sandy River washed out after a thunderstorm that dropped about 2 inches of rain up above on the mountain, drowning someone that was crossing on it. If they ever replace this, be careful and stay off it if waterflow is high, washing up onto any part of the bridge. (observed August 2014)
Start south passed the information board. The first mile goes along the south side of the Sandy River. Be careful because the Sandy River can undercut the trail causing it to collapse. You'll shortly come a junction with the Sandy River Trail. Go straight here.
At about mile 1 is a bridge across the Sandy river. The bridge is put in about May and removed about October each year. This bridge occasionally gets washed out during the hiking season. Contact the Mount Hood Info Center to see if it's in currently. In the picture at right, there isn't much water in the stream, and it would be easy to cross without the bridge, but it can become huge and has killed people in the past, so be careful.
At about mile 1.5 is the junction with the River Side Ramona Falls Trail (#797) which goes right and the Creek Side Ramona Falls Trail (also #797) which goes left. I assume you take the River Side Trail and come back on the Creek Side Trail, but you can take either. This is also the official PCT (northbound goes left, southbound goes right) but most PCT hikers take a route by Ramona Falls.
At mile 2.8 on the River Side Trail is the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, which goes right. You can take this a short distance down to the Sandy River or continue up a long steep grade to Paradise Park and then further around the mountain (see Paradise Park from Ramona Falls Hike).
Assuming you stay left on the Ramona Falls Trail, at mile 3.3 you reach Ramona Falls at 3450' elevation.
After a brief rest to enjoy the setting and snap some photos, cross the bridge at the base of the falls and turn right at the junction, continuing on the Timberline Trail (trail #600). (The trail heading left is the Creekside Ramona Falls Trail)
At mile 4.0 (3900',) you'll reach the top of Yocum Ridge and the junction with the Yocum Ridge Trail (#771). Take the Yocum Ridge Trail which heads right and starts immediately up the ridge.
At mile 5.0 (4480'), just before the first switchback that goes left, watch for a faint trail heading right. You'll discover a great viewpoint overlooking Mount Hood, the Sandy River, and the Zigzag Ridge. There is a small flat area here, just big enough for a tent.
Return back to the main trail, and start up the switchbacks - gaining elevation moderately for the next two miles. At mile 6.3 (5180') is a small pond. It's too dirty for drinking water or anything. You might see some wildlife.
At mile 6.7 (5370') keep your eyes open for a creek just to the right. This is your last reliable year-round water source. There are some campsite possibilities to the left of the trail at this point. There is another water source about a mile beyond this one, about 10 feet downhill from the trail -- but it tends to dry up by late summer.
Continue climbing another mile or so until you reach the 6000' mark (8.0 miles). The trail opens up to a nice meadow. Here you are treated to a fabulous viewpoint - with Mount Hood and the Zigzag Ridge in front of you. Turn around looking westward, and you can see as far out at Portland - and on a clear day - the mountains of the coast range. A good eye can spot Elk Mountain and Saddle Mountain.
Look for a possible spot for a campsite to the right of the trail.
This is where this "Yocum Ridge Hike" ends, but if you still have energy you can continue a little further. The trail reaches Yocum Ridge at mile 8.5 (6150'). The trail gets a little more primitive and continues up the ridgeline and gains elevation. At mile 8.7 (6290') the trail finally levels out and crosses another meadow. There is a nice campsite right near the trail, and you likely can find a good spot to make camp in the meadow itself further to the right. There's another possible campsite to the north, down the slope, about 0.1 mile and 300 feet lower.
There is a stream for drinking water about 1/4 mile to the East, in the direction of Mt Hood. You have to go down a slope, and then cross a boulder field. This stream may dry up late in the summer.
Above here the "trail" traverses a rocky slope. There's no obvious trail. The rocks are unstable at places. Continue up to the top of the ridge, where the trail can be found again. This spot melts out very late in the summer. There is a slope of steep snow with rocks and a clif below it. I think someone was on this snow and slid into the rocks, breaking their leg.
An alternate is to go down a little bit, and go up the gentler snow slope to the left. Go up this 0.1 or 0.2 mile until you can find a better place to get onto Yocum Ridge proper. The advantage here, is if you slide on the snow, it runs out to a gentle slope rather than into rocks and a cliff.
The highest I've gone is mile 9.7 and 7400 feet elevation. You have to go to the right of the ridge and up a snow slope.
Fees, Regulations, etc.
- Northwest Forest Pass required
- Search Trip Reports for Yocum
Related Discussions / Q&A
- Search Trail Q&A for Yocum
Guidebooks that cover this hike
- User:retiredjerry (creator)