Looking for a decent day hike

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
East Coast Hiker
Posts: 7
Joined: November 4th, 2019, 6:00 pm

Looking for a decent day hike

Post by East Coast Hiker » November 4th, 2019, 6:13 pm

Hi all,
New to forum and visiting the area. Was looking for a short day hike (4-6 miles) this upcoming weekend. Completely unfamiliar with the conditions this time of year. Are there any decent trails out of Timberline Lodge? How is Mirror Lake? I know this is very general, but happy for any suggestions - both in trails, and in gear. Thanks in advance.

squidvicious
Posts: 251
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by squidvicious » November 5th, 2019, 6:56 am

Do you mean specifically on the mountain? Personally Mirror Lake on a weekend sounds like a bit of a nightmare, unless you're getting there very early. Especially with the warm temps now.

If you're just visiting for a little while and haven't already been, it would be a shame to miss the Multnomah - Wahkeena loop. Yes, that sounds crazy after just saying Mirror Lake would be too crowded, as Multnomah's a tourist attraction on steroids, but as long as you get there by about 8:30 you're fine (and park in the I84 lot, near the exit). It's iconic for good reason.

Falls Creek Falls is another shame-to-miss short hike nearby, if you don't mind heading over to Washington.

Alltrails.com is a good source for current trail conditions. Popular trails usually have a couple people posting from within the last few days.

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by teachpdx » November 5th, 2019, 7:07 am

Welcome to November in the Pacific Northwest!

Timberline is already snowed in, currently showing 9" at the lodge.
Mirror Lake is mind-numbingly boring compared to many other local hikes.

Creek/river hikes are the go-to hikes this time of year. I would recommend Siouxon Creek or Salmon River.
https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... Creek_Hike (to Chinook Falls)
https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... River_Hike

You could probably also get away with some higher elevation stuff with views of Mt. Hood (it sounds like that's what you are looking for). You could still get up to Burnt Lake (in your mileage window), and maybe even up to East Zigzag (extra, but worth it). I would pick that one any day over Mirror Lake.
https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... Creek_Hike

This time of year, definitely take extra layers. You may have just a light jacket while hiking but you'll need to bundle up when you stop. And an extra pair of socks.

And an edible or two, if you're into that. It's Oregon, after all!

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Bosterson
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Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by Bosterson » November 5th, 2019, 9:31 am

Timberline is definitely not snowed in, check the webcams. We're having an inversion but it's nice and sunny up there. It would be fine for this weekend, and if you're visiting from out of town, getting up and close to a volcano is pretty cool. :)
teachpdx wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:07 am
Mirror Lake is mind-numbingly boring compared to many other local hikes.
:lol:
Will hike off trail for fun.

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by teachpdx » November 5th, 2019, 10:48 am

Bosterson wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 9:31 am
Timberline is definitely not snowed in, check the webcams.
Yeah, I just looked at the website and the current base depth (8")... it was still dark when I replied this morning, so nothing visible on webcams!
I guess that an out-and-back to the Zigzag Overlook could be possible!

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adamschneider
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Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by adamschneider » November 5th, 2019, 11:11 am

Bosterson wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 9:31 am
[Timberline] would be fine for this weekend, and if you're visiting from out of town, getting up and close to a volcano is pretty cool.
This. Timberline Lodge is a great destination for out-of-towners.

teachpdx wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:07 am
Mirror Lake is mind-numbingly boring compared to many other local hikes.
Not if you keep going to the top of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain; that's a great view of Hood (and Jefferson). From there you can make a loop by continuing east and descending through Ski Bowl.

(You'll lose 2/3 of the people once you leave the lake, and 90% of the remainder once you head east along the TD&H summit ridge.)

squidvicious
Posts: 251
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by squidvicious » November 5th, 2019, 11:22 am

I'm one who generally likes everyone else's "boring" hike, but I have to agree Mirror Lake by itself is a bit "meh," without going on to Tom Dick & Harry.

BUT...could use a little more info from OP here to ensure the suggestions aren't getting him in over his head. I'm reading the "visiting," "unfamiliar," and relatively short mileage requirements in the post as more "What's a nice walk in the woods someone who's not necessarily a "hiker" can do to soak up some Oregon flavor while here on other business?" In the sneakers and blue jeans I happen to have with me. Which actually is kind of Mirror Lake in a nutshell.

squidvicious
Posts: 251
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by squidvicious » November 5th, 2019, 12:52 pm

OK, so now I've noticed the username is "East Coast Hiker," so maybe you are up for more than an easy walk in the woods.

I'd still say the Wahkeena loop and Falls Creek Falls are good options in that mileage window, especially if you're into waterfalls. But if the mountain was your particular interest, then after having a think on it I would point you to Bald Mountain from Lolo Pass. Except following the trail around Bald Mtn, counterclockwise, rather than taking the old spur up to the top (which doesn't have any better view). That takes you a bit outside your mileage window, about 7 miles total, but the added bit is pretty flat easy walking.

Good road all the way to the trailhead, less crowded choice for a weekend (along the PCT part at least, and people will probably be pretty stretched out along the rest), great views, a decent workout but nothing too hard. Lots of pics on alltrails if you want to see what it's about.

One disclaimer is the actual parking area on the 1810 road is tiny, but iirc there's room to park along the side of the road.

East Coast Hiker
Posts: 7
Joined: November 4th, 2019, 6:00 pm

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by East Coast Hiker » November 6th, 2019, 5:34 am

squidvicious wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 6:56 am
Do you mean specifically on the mountain? Personally Mirror Lake on a weekend sounds like a bit of a nightmare, unless you're getting there very early. Especially with the warm temps now.

If you're just visiting for a little while and haven't already been, it would be a shame to miss the Multnomah - Wahkeena loop. Yes, that sounds crazy after just saying Mirror Lake would be too crowded, as Multnomah's a tourist attraction on steroids, but as long as you get there by about 8:30 you're fine (and park in the I84 lot, near the exit). It's iconic for good reason.

Falls Creek Falls is another shame-to-miss short hike nearby, if you don't mind heading over to Washington.

Alltrails.com is a good source for current trail conditions. Popular trails usually have a couple people posting from within the last few days.
Thank you, thank you! Multnomah Falls was on my list, but I didn’t have a chance to scan the trails. I’ll definitely be doing that this week. And Falls Creek I hadn’t heard of. I appreciate the tips!
squidvicious wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 11:22 am
I'm one who generally likes everyone else's "boring" hike, but I have to agree Mirror Lake by itself is a bit "meh," without going on to Tom Dick & Harry.

BUT...could use a little more info from OP here to ensure the suggestions aren't getting him in over his head. I'm reading the "visiting," "unfamiliar," and relatively short mileage requirements in the post as more "What's a nice walk in the woods someone who's not necessarily a "hiker" can do to soak up some Oregon flavor while here on other business?" In the sneakers and blue jeans I happen to have with me. Which actually is kind of Mirror Lake in a nutshell.
Definitely not interested in Mirror Lake with the recent consensus. I’m an avid hiker, but have never hiked West Coast. Had a last minute opportunity to visit the area and not a lot of time to plan, so I appreciate the help from this forum! Will check out info on Bald Mountain, too, as soon as time allows. Thanks again!

East Coast Hiker
Posts: 7
Joined: November 4th, 2019, 6:00 pm

Re: Looking for a decent day hike

Post by East Coast Hiker » November 6th, 2019, 5:37 am

teachpdx wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:07 am
Welcome to November in the Pacific Northwest!

Timberline is already snowed in, currently showing 9" at the lodge.
Mirror Lake is mind-numbingly boring compared to many other local hikes.

Creek/river hikes are the go-to hikes this time of year. I would recommend Siouxon Creek or Salmon River.
https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... Creek_Hike (to Chinook Falls)
https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... River_Hike

You could probably also get away with some higher elevation stuff with views of Mt. Hood (it sounds like that's what you are looking for). You could still get up to Burnt Lake (in your mileage window), and maybe even up to East Zigzag (extra, but worth it). I would pick that one any day over Mirror Lake.
https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... Creek_Hike

This time of year, definitely take extra layers. You may have just a light jacket while hiking but you'll need to bundle up when you stop. And an extra pair of socks.

And an edible or two, if you're into that. It's Oregon, after all!
Thanks teachpdx! Do you think Burnt Lake is a good hike, even if I can’t fit in East Zigzag? Though I’d like to of course hit both if time allows.

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