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Top Spur Trailhead

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mount Hood from Bald Mountain (Tom Kloster)
  • Elevation: 3920 feet
  • Driving time from Portland: 100 minutes


Hikes starting here

The Top Spur trailhead provides very quick access to the Timberline Trail via the "top" logging "spur" on the flanks of Bald Mountain. As a result, the trailhead is heavily used on weekends, so be prepared to park along the shoulder of the road if the main turnout is full. There is portable toilet at the trailhead in summer, and a picnic table just a few feet up the trail. There is no water at the trailhead. A small, unreliable water source trickles under the trail at 0.25 mile.

If this is a busy summer weekend and you're going to Cairn Basin or McNeil Point, consider using the McGee Creek Trailhead instead: it's much less busy, and only 0.2 miles further and 400' more elevation gain than Top Spur.

Driving Directions

From Lolo Pass:

Drive to the community of Zigzag on U.S. 26 which is 18 miles east of Sandy and 10 miles west of Government Camp.

From Zigzag, go north for 10.6 miles on the Lolo Pass Road (Forest Service Road 18) to Lolo Pass. This is paved one lane each direction.

Turn right onto Road 1825 at the pass, which shortly becomes Road 1828 (paved single lane road with turnouts). Go 3.0 miles to the junction with gravel Road 118, which turns sharply to the left.

Follow this route for 1.6 miles to the well-marked Top Spur Trailhead. Watch for potholes, sinks, and washboards on this deteriorating route -- and oncoming cars around blind corners.

Alternate route:

This route is actually shorter, but there's more road that's one lane with turnouts:

From Zigzag drive up Lolo Pass Road 4.2 miles from highway 26.

Turn right. There's a sign that says "Campgrounds and Trailheads". This is the same turn as if you're going to Ramona Falls, McNeil Campground, etc.

Go 0.7 miles to the bridge across the Sandy River. Up to here, the road is two lane paved.

Stay straight on road 1825, rather than crossing the bridge. Go 6.2 miles. This is one lane paved with turnouts. The road is generally wide enough that two cars can pass.

Turn right onto the gravel road. There should be a "Top Spur" sign. Go 1.5 miles on this gravel road to the trailhead.

Fees and Regulations

  • Northwest Forest Pass required. Pass must be acquired beforehand as they are not sold at the trailhead.
  • Self-issued wilderness permit

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.