Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
Webfoot
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by Webfoot » June 10th, 2019, 1:37 pm

Yes, Top Spur Trailhead is the short access to Bald Mountain. It's quite an easy hike to the view and you'll be shaded most of the way. I enjoy the view from the trail at (45.4017, -121.7773) just as much as from the summit and it's a little less climbing, though if you prefer solitude the summit gets less traffic. They feel different enough that I like to visit both when I hike it.

(TL;DR: what teachpdx said)

squidvicious
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by squidvicious » June 10th, 2019, 2:20 pm

Most of these suggestions sound more than a little ambitious if you are only going to be in the area for "a day or so" and also want to fit in Cannon Beach.

With that schedule, it sounds like you're looking for quick stops and side trips to do en route, rather than day trips out from a hotel base camp. Meaning you'll have all your stuff from a week long trip in your car with you. If that's the case, you really DON'T want to leave your car at a trailhead and head off on a hike. Even if it seems like the trailhead is way too remote for thieves, and even if it's only a couple miles of hiking.

Some other things to bear in mind: Mirror Lake / Tom Dick & Harry definitely do offer great views, but good luck getting near there in the summer. If you do manage to snag a parking space and get to the lake, your pictures are likely to be not so much pictures of the mountains as pictures of dozens of other people taking pictures of the mountain.

And while the hike to Top Spur from the trailhead is relatively short and easy, the road to the trailhead itself is not. Either way you go it's a long, slow trip with plenty of winding single lane road, blinding sun glare, and the chance for car-swallowing potholes. It's definitely not a quick stop.

A drive round the mountain with a stop at Timberline Lodge for lunch and a look around and a stop off to Trillium Lake (decent road all the way down to the lake) would be a very doable day trip and good photo op, though.

Webfoot
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by Webfoot » June 10th, 2019, 3:27 pm

squidvicious, this is why I wrote:
I would at least drive out Lolo Pass Road from highway 26 to see the mountain from that side, even if you don't have time for driving bumpy roads to the Top Spur Trailhead;

tbritt2112
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by tbritt2112 » June 11th, 2019, 4:48 am

Trillium Lake looks nice. Reminds me of Takhlakh Lake at Mount Adams. I was there last Summer. Is the road up to Top Spur Trailhead worse than the road to Takhlakh Lake? If my memory is correct, I took forest road 23 from Randle down to TL. I recall a good portion of that road being gravel, but not a bad drive. My black rental car was completely covered with dust from the trip to and from TL. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

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teachpdx
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by teachpdx » June 11th, 2019, 7:33 am

tbritt2112 wrote:
June 11th, 2019, 4:48 am
Is the road up to Top Spur Trailhead worse than the road to Takhlakh Lake?
The drives to Takhlakh and Top Spur are apples and oranges.

I drive my GTI to Top Spur routinely without issue. The road is mostly paved and only the last couple of miles are gravel. It's actually the last few miles of paved portion that is the worst... many large potholes that hide in the shade around corners. And oncoming traffic on the narrow road. You just need to take it easy and keep your eyes open. There are many other roads in the area that are magnitudes worse than the road to Top Spur.

It's a rental car, after all. Pay the extra few bucks for better coverage and treat it like a rally car.

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drm
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by drm » June 11th, 2019, 8:54 am

Some rental cars are prohibited from taking off pavement, and they sometimes have GPS units built in so that they know.

tbritt2112
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by tbritt2112 » June 11th, 2019, 9:11 am

If anyone drives that road before August, let me know how it is. We usually get a Camry or Impala. Not a tiny car but not an off road car by any means. We really appreciate all the input from everyone.

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aiwetir
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by aiwetir » June 11th, 2019, 9:30 am

drm wrote:
June 11th, 2019, 8:54 am
Some rental cars are prohibited from taking off pavement, and they sometimes have GPS units built in so that they know.
My understanding from the last 2 places I rented (one was Enterprise, the other was IDK more than a few years ago) was that the supplemental insurance didn't cover you off pavement, but you could go off pavement. I wonder what would happen if you had a fender bender on one of those unimproved roads in SE Portland? :lol:
- Michael

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adamschneider
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Re: Best place to view and get pics of Mt Hood

Post by adamschneider » June 11th, 2019, 9:57 pm

teachpdx wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 9:54 am
If you want a similar view with the same distance and a couple hundred feet less gain, there are great views from the Timberline trail on the south flanks of Bald Mountain as well.
I think the Timberline Trail is a BETTER option than the summit of Bald Mountain, because of all the wildflowers on the slopes. (Of course, by the end of July those flowers will be mostly cooked, but there'll still be a few.) And the view of Hood from BM's summit isn't all that different than from the trail.

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