Timberline Trail tips?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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retired jerry
Posts: 12485
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by retired jerry » February 18th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Flashfloods are the biggest risk. Mt Hood is elevated so it gets more rain. Rain easily runs off soil. If there's more than an inch of rain is when there's a problem.

Camping in the rain is a lessor risk. I would shift my schedule to better weather. More fun in nice weather.

There are crowds doing Timberline Trail all August and September. Yeah, worse on the weekends. I usually try to avoid crowds, but sometimes it's fun to see a bunch of people appreciating the wilderness. You just need to adjust your expectations a little.

Crushedplush
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Joined: February 15th, 2019, 8:58 pm

Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by Crushedplush » February 18th, 2019, 2:21 pm

Definitely not hijacking the thread, this is a great forum for all questions regarding the trail!

Luckily I have week days off, so hopefully way less people. I think with any luck I’m going to err on hiking it mid to late August vs early September. Hoping for more summer-y weather (but hopefully not too hot or wildfire smoky) and some leftover wildflowers. But we’ll see, perhaps that’s too optimistic, ha! Whereas my schedule is flexible, the person I’m going with perhaps not as much. I definitely want to do it in optimal conditions if possible.

Squirrel Therapy
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Joined: February 18th, 2019, 8:51 am
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by Squirrel Therapy » February 20th, 2019, 7:41 am

I appreciate the feedback. I camp in rain often enough that it doesn't bother me as much... which isn't to say I wouldn't prefer nicer weather, given the option. I walked up St. Helens in 2016, and it was raining at the bottom, snowing at the top -- I still loved it. I'm coming back this year in the hopes for nicer weather/views, and wanted to do something extra while on your side of the world... thus, the Timberline Trail was decided. I have September 1st to September 9th slated to do the Timberline. I was hoping to dodge the holiday/weekend crowd, so was likely hoping to do it during the work-week. I wanted the option to alter which day I started based on weather, but these are the days I have allotted for it, so I'll take what I can get. We'll fly in on the 31st, and I figured would have the next day for whatever, so I feasibly wouldn't start until Memorial day at the earliest. I think I'll go CCW just in case.

leiavoia
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Joined: April 24th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by leiavoia » February 20th, 2019, 10:28 am

I would do a 4-day plan unless you are in very good shape and have a reason to get it over with fast. Why not enjoy the experience?

River crossings are simple rock-hops in mid-September.

Go earlier if you place a premium on wild-flowers (and bugs). Go later if you want thinner crowds and cooler weather (but risk rain).

There really are no truly dangerous spots on the trail. It's a well-traveled, well-maintained trail beaten down by thousands of people from all angles every year.

If you go CCW, there are very few camping spots until you get well past the Mt Hood Meadows area and on towards Newton Creek.

The stretch between Cloud Cap and Newton Creek is a long haul if you started your day back at Cairn Basin like i did. Plan to get started early if going CW. This is a windy, desolate place and not somewhere you want to be camping.

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm

Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by teachpdx » February 20th, 2019, 2:39 pm

I'd recommend a 4 day that's CCW from Top Spur TH... to Paradise Park the first night, Newton Creek the second, and the Elk Cove/Dollar Lake areas the third.
The people finishing their CW Labor Day weekend loop will all be on the opposite side of the mountain when you set off.
It's also great timing to stop by the lodge for lunch on the second day. Then on the last day you can add-on McNeil Point if you're feeling up to it, and then it's all downhill back to the TH.

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