Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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poppacouch
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Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Post by poppacouch » July 27th, 2019, 6:55 am

Excited to be tackling the timberline trail loop in a few days. Will be hammock camping, so need camping in the trees is necessary.

A few questions:

1. Is it required to only camp in existing, designated sites? On the entire trail, or only some areas?
2. Are campfires allowed? I know fires are somewhat controversial. This is small fire, in existing fire ring. Every time I prepare to head out, I find it excessively difficult to identify accurate fire info for the area I'm heading into. Any pointers appreciated.
3. Proposed trip plan below. Any suggestions or comments? Any recommended side-trips? Great views, waterfalls, etc to see? Any particular camp sites that are great or should be avoided?

CCW Proposal:
Day1: Lodge -> Tilly Jane (27.5) / CloudCap (27.5). ~11 miles, crosses high point of the trail (lamberson butte). A good 2,500 ft gain.
Day2: Tilly Jane -> McNeil Point ~9 miles. Camp at Eden Park (20) or Cathedral Ridge (19)?
Day3: McNeil Point -> Lost Creek (5) / (alternate trail Paradise Park (5) - No TREES) ~13-14 miles
Day4: Lost Creek -> Lodge ~5-6 miles.
Finish by noon, go directly to the Lodge for a delicious celebratory meal!!!

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drm
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Re: Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Post by drm » July 27th, 2019, 7:27 am

Day 3, your longest day, also has a large uphill climb at the end of the day. I don't like big uphills at the end of the day, particularly on the longest day. You might consider camping at Laughing Water Ck instead, so you do that hill first thing the next morning when you are fresh. And the bonus is that the canyon that Laughing Water (which has lots of trees) is in always seems to be 5-10 degrees cooler than everywhere else. Of course you can decide when you get there and see how you feel.

There isn't much regulation of camping areas outside of Ramona Falls I think, and I don't know the rules for campfires on Hood.

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retired jerry
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Re: Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Post by retired jerry » July 27th, 2019, 7:44 am

yeah

designated sites only at Ramona Falls area, there are signs

fires restricted only in Paradise park area, there are signs, yeah, good idea to camp at Rushing Water Creek

ethically, building a fire in alpine areas is a bad idea. No wood anyway. Don't burn the few weathered snags even if they're down. If there's a forested area with lots of down wood probably okay although some people would disagree :)

hammocks would work most places. Not so much in Paradise Park, although if you went downhill a ways you could probably find something. The high point above Cooper Spur has few trees.

Maybe camp at Cairn Basin rather than Eden Park which is a ways off the trail. Trees there.

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poppacouch
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Re: Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Post by poppacouch » July 27th, 2019, 9:43 am

drm - I'm not able to identify Laughing Water creek on any map. Any pointers?

Jerry - you referred to Rushing Water Creek, but that's not far from Lost Creek.

Really, just looking to break it up into manageable sections for a 4 day trip, where stopping points have some trees for the hammocks.

Anywhere to camp near Sandy river? and between Sandy river and Paradise Loop jct?

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retired jerry
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Re: Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Post by retired jerry » July 27th, 2019, 11:01 am

Rushingwater creek dumps into the Sandy right where the trail crosses the Sandy

That, I believe, is the Creek drm was referring to. There is no laughingwater creek on Mt Hood :)

To restate more clearly, if you're on the Timberline trail going counter clockwise, after you pass Ramona Falls, the trail crosses the Sandy River. Just after that is where Rushingwater Creek empties into the Sandy. Right there is a good campsite with trees and fire ring. If you continue on the Timberline Trail up towards Paradise Park, within 1/4 mile, there are a couple other campsites. Better I think.

Yeah, like Dean said, much cooler there.

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drm
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Re: Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Post by drm » July 28th, 2019, 6:21 am

Well, I like the name Laughing Water Ck more. :o (which is actually on the SE corner of Mt Rainier NP)

Anyway, the Sandy is in a large rocky debris basin, and then the trail enters a wall of trees, that's Rushing Water Ck. There are a few good campsites in the first quarter mile and then that's it till after the big climb, which has some spectacular views of the huge gorge the Sandy River is in. And sometimes some good huckleberries near the top, though it's probably too early for that now.

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teachpdx
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Re: Mt. Hood Timberline Trail loop plan and questions

Post by teachpdx » July 30th, 2019, 8:56 am

On the Paradise Park loop trail there is a nice group of trees at Lost Creek and a few campsites. The only negative is that these spots are pretty popular! If your night in PP is not on a weekend, they should be available.

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