I've been working my way up to hiking on the mountain, so I picked an easy one to start with. Beginners, please note that this is an easy hike for Mt. Hood, and may or may not meet your standards for "easy."
That said, this is a favorite tourist hike - the people at the lodge had recommended it to some of the people I talked to, and there were lots of families with children, etc. Although some of those families were backpacking, too!
I didn't get an early start like I wanted to, but I made it before noon.
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The hardest parts for me were actually getting to and from the Timberline/PCT trail junction. I did not enjoy the steepness in either direction. Had to stop at this landing area just before the trail.
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Said hello to Mt. Jefferson and whatever lake you can see here (Timothy? Clear? Trillium?).
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Reached the wilderness area.
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Little Zig Zag was flowing, although you can't really tell from these photos. Easy crossing on the rocks. Some people were turning around here.
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Little ZigZag 2.jpg [ 220.06 KiB | Viewed 1224 times ]
Lots of FLIES from this point on, but they didn't bite me (either the bug spray worked or they weren't interested).
Stopped for lunch a little before the overlook, because I found a nice shady spot to sit.
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And then onward to the overlook, which has NO shade, so it was good that I had stopped already.
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Down ZigZag Canyon.jpg [ 240.37 KiB | Viewed 1224 times ]
I saw LOTS of people on the trail, including both backpackers and day hikers (some of the unprepared variety, and the picking flowers variety). Most of the backpackers were headed to or from Paradise Park, and I talked to some people who had backpacked up from Eagle Creek and were headed for Timberline Lodge.
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My body is DONE now. I think I am getting stronger, though - a couple of miles would have done me in at the beginning of the summer. Many thanks to all who maintain the field guide - I have been using that information to plan a slow progression from easier to more difficult hikes.