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Scouters Mountain Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mt. Hood from Lava Dome Trail, Scouters Mountain (bobcat)
Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana), Scouters Mountain (bobcat)
Steps at a switchback on the Boomer Trail, Scouters Mountain (bobcat)
Blacktail doe at the summit meadow, Scouters Mountain (bobcat)
The loop on Scouters Mountain (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Scouters Mountain TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Scouters Mountain
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 210 feet
  • High Point: 932 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



A cluster of Boring volcanoes defines the terrain in northwestern Clackamas County. Scouters Mountain in Happy Valley is one of them and is aptly named: the Boy Scouts owned much of the crest of the mountain and had a lodge here, but eventually found maintenance costs burdensome. In 2011, a public consortium of Metro, the City of Happy Valley, and the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District purchased the property. The Scouters Mountain Nature Park was officially opened to visitors in August, 2014. As in all Metro parks, pets are not permitted.

Walk to the kiosk at the parking area and read a description of this recently developed Metro property. There is also a trail map here. Cross back over the entrance road and take the Boomer Trail (Boomer is vernacular for the mountain beaver or aplodontia). Switchback and then traverse under alders and maples before entering Douglas-fir forest. Mouse netting protects recent plantings. Candy flower, trailing blackberry, and fringe-cup bloom here in the spring. Notice that the trail benches in the park, salvaged from old growth Douglas-fir beams from the Boy Scout Lodge, each display a small work of nature art by sculptor John Christensen. Keep your eyes open for the friendly local deer family. Rise past a nice-sized rooty hemlock, and then gradually descend in a sword fern understory. Cross the park entrance road just above the entrance gate and stop at another kiosk which describes the elusive boomer.

Continue on the Boomer Trail as it makes a gentle ascent on an old road bed in coniferous woodland. You'll see some larger Douglas-firs here. The Boomer Trail then switchbacks off the road bed at some stone steps (Going straight takes you to the gated restoration area of the park). Switchback again and reach the junction with the Lava Dome Trail, a short path that circles the summit of this Boring volcano. Go left, and then turn off the trail to walk through the large covered picnic shelter at the summit of Scouters Mountain, which was built using some materials from the Boy Scouts’ Chief Obie Lodge which stood here from 1957 to 2004. From the picnic shelter and points down the slope, there is a magnificent view of Mount Hood. Below runs the Lava Dome Trail past a water tank.

When you are done admiring the vista, you can hike the short Shelter Trail down the slope to the parking area, passing the junction with the Lava Dome Trail.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No pets


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • Take a Walk: Portland by Brian Barker

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Page 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.