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Difference between revisions of "Paradise Park via the Sandy River Hike"

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

(Add junction)
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=== Fees, Regulations, etc. ===
=== Fees, Regulations, etc. ===
* Northwest Forest Pass required
* Northwest Forest Pass required at trailhead. Pass must be acquired beforehand as they are not sold at the trailhead.
* Free self-issue wilderness permit.

Revision as of 21:41, 2 August 2019

Mount Hood from the Timberline Trail/PCT North of Paradise Park (Jerry Adams)
View from Timberline Trail/PCT crossing of the Sandy River (Steve Hart)
  • Start point: Ramona Falls TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Paradise Park
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Distance: 14.4 miles round trip
  • Hike Type: Out-and-back
  • Elevation gain: 3400 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: Summer, Fall
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: first 3 miles are crowded


Hike Description

This is definitely not the easiest way to get to Paradise Park. The slog up from the Ramona Falls Trail to Paradise Park is arduous - you mainly see people walking around Mount Hood or thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Because of the length of the hike, and the elevation gain, most people would only do this as a backpack.

Start south past the information board. You'll shortly come to a junction with the Sandy River Trail. Go straight here.The first mile goes along the south side of the Sandy River. Be careful because the Sandy River can undercut the trail causing it to collapse.

At about mile 1 is the Sandy River Crossing. There is no longer a seasonal bridge, so this can be difficult and dangerous. If it's late August or September and there hasn't been recent rain, you can probably rock hop. Sometimes, it's easier if you go about 100 yards upstream from the old bridge. There are a bunch of trees that can be used to cross. Maybe it's safer to walk across getting your feet wet.

At about mile 1.5 is the Pacific Crest-Sandy River Trail Junction. Go left here and come to the Pacific Crest-Ramona Creek Trail Junction. Make a right to head up shady Ramona Creek. At mile 3.3 you reach Ramona Falls at 3450' elevation.

From Ramona Falls, bear right with the Pacific Crest Trail to reach the Pacific Crest-Timberline Middle Trail Junction. You can go left to take the trail a short distance down to the Sandy River. This crossing can be impassable early in the summer when there is heavy snow melt or after heavy rains. It can be easy to cross in the morning but be difficult to cross in the afternoon when there's more snow melt. Then continue up a long steep grade to Paradise Park and then further around the mountain.

Then the trail goes along Rushing Water Creek, a reliable year-round source of water. There are a number of campsites.

Then the trail starts a long steep grade through forest until the junction with the Paradise Loop Trail at mile 6.4, a 2100' elevation gain. There is no drinking water. Towards the top you start getting views into the Sandy River Canyon and Mount Hood.

Take a left on the Paradise Loop Trail. At about mile 7 (5800') you reach Paradise Park and the end of this hike. Return to the trailhead the way you came.

If you wish, you could walk another mile at 5800' to the other end of ]]Paradise Park]], turn right on the Paradise Park Trail, turn right on the Timberline Trail back to the junction with the Paradise Loop Trail, and then back down the way you came. This would add three miles and no elevation gain to the hike.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Northwest Forest Pass required at trailhead. Pass must be acquired beforehand as they are not sold at the trailhead.
  • Free self-issue wilderness permit.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

More Links


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.