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Tumala Mountain from South Fork Saddle Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

A panorama from Tumala Mountain (Jamey Pyles)
Negotiating a snowbank, Tumala Mountain (bobcat)
Oregon boxwood (Paxistima myrsinites), Tumala Mountain (bobcat)
Mt. Hood from Tumala Mountain (bobcat)
The short hike to Tumala Mountain (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Old Baldy West TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Tumala Mountain
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 3.0 miles round-trip
  • Elevation gain: 1025 feet
  • High Point: 4,770 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

The South Fork Eagle Creek arises in a marshy bowl below a saddle on the Old Baldy Ridge between Githens and Tumala Mountains. There are three directions to go from the Old Baldy West Trailhead on the saddle: north and steeply down to Eagle Creek on the Eagle Creek Cutoff Trail; or west or east on the Old Baldy Trail. The latter option is the shortest route to the top of Tumala Mountain, formerly Squaw Mountain, the site of an old lookout with commanding views up and down the Cascades. This short hike can be combined with other options in the area: the Eagle Creek Cutoff Hike, the Old Baldy Hike, the White Iris-Bissell Trail Loop Hike, or as a hike and bike with the Fanton Trail to Tumala Mountain Hike: leave a bike at the Old Baldy West Trailhead and then hike to Tumala Mountain via the Fanton Trail, returning to the saddle to mount your bike for a downhill ride to your car.

Head in the from the trailhead and go right on the Old Baldy Trail. After 70 yards, where the trail begins to rise, reach the Old Baldy-Eagle Creek Cutoff Trail Junction. Keep straight (right) and pass a Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness sign and a new sign for the Old Baldy Trail #502. Wind up a steep slope in a carpet of oxalis, and then ascend more gradually in old growth forest along a ridge crest of silver and noble fir. Pass through a carpet of avalanche lilies that bloom here in the late spring and reach the top of a knoll. Drop steeply to a saddle, where you'll encounter the Old Baldy-Fanton Trail Junction.

Go right here to head gradually up the ridgecrest in a bear-grass carpet for 0.6 miles. In a thicket of rhododendrons, reach the Old Baldy-Tumala Mountain Trail Junction, still marked for "Squaw Mountain" (In 2007, the peak was officially renamed Tumala Mountain by the Board on Geographic Names during a campaign to eradicate the offensive word "squaw" from maps. Tumala is Chinook Jargon for "the afterlife" or "tomorrow."). Turn right and soon get the first views of Mount Hood at an open ridge. The trail comes to a gravel road near the summit. Turn left on the road and walk the short distance to the actual summit of Tumala Mountain. There's a set of stairs here that once formed the entry to a fire lookout. Wildflowers adorn the peak in the early summer. You'll have great views of Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson, as well as an expansive view to the west into the Willamette Valley. Be sure to explore around the summit for more views. This is the turn around point.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Old Baldy Trail #502 (USFS)
  • Green Trails Maps: Fish Creek Mtn, OR #492
  • Adventure Maps: Mt. Hood Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, Bull of the Woods Wilderness, Opal Creek Wilderness, Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Clackamas River Ranger District
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North: Trail Map & Hiking Guide
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Afoot and Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • 105 Virtual Hikes of the Mt. Hood National Forest by Northwest Hiker

More Links


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.