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Difference between revisions of "Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Hike"

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

m (Elevation gain)
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{{Elevation Gain|1520 feet}}
{{Elevation Gain|1520 feet}}
* High Point: 4,920 feet
* High Point: 4,920 feet
* Difficulty: Moderate
* Seasons: Summer through early Fall
* Seasons: Summer through early Fall
* Family Friendly: Yes, for older kids
* Family Friendly: Yes, for older kids

Revision as of 04:41, 23 March 2007

Mount Hood and the Zigzag Valley from the trail to Tom Dick and Harry Mountain (Tom Kloster)
The cliffs of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain tower above Mirror Lake (Tom Kloster)
Mount Hood alpenglow from Mirror Lake (Tom Kloster)



The Mirror Lake trail has the misfortune of being one of the few hikes accessible directly from Highway 26, and thus suffers a crush of visitors on weekends. The attention is well-deserved: the always well-graded trail takes you past a picture-postcard views of Mount Hood and rugged Tom Dick Mountain, towering above Mirror Lake.

From the trailhead parking area, cross rushing Camp Creek and immediately enter deep forest, crossing Mirror Creek on a second log bridge. The trail soon enters more open woods, then begins a series of switchbacks across open scree slopes that provide interesting views of the Zigzag valley, far below. If you’re taking children on this hike, the evidence of shortcuts at the switchbacks provide a good opportunity to teach the about trail stewardship, and the idea that everyone is an owner of our public lands.

As the trail approaches Mirror Lake, you will hear the outlet creek, and see a third bridge leading to the loop around the lake at the 1.4 mile mark. If you’re planning to stop at the lake, go left and cross the bridge for the best picnic spots along the east shore. Then be sure to complete the loop around the lake to take in the marsh boardwalk at the south end of the lake, and picturesque views of Mount Hood.

If you opt for the longer hike, continue straight (right) when you reach the loop junction, and soon pass the west shore of Mirror Lake, with views of the massive summit cliffs of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain towering above. The second junction with the lake loop is near the south end of the lake at the 1.5 mile mark. Take a moment to walk the marsh boardwalk, visible just a few yards away on the lake loop, before continuing beyond the lake on the mail trail.

The route continues through handsome forest, thick with pink rhododendrons in early summer, before reaching the steep north slopes of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain. This section of trail is lush with wildflowers in summer, and features unusual views of Highway 26, far below, as well as Mount Hood and the Zigzag Mountain high country. The trail continues along this slope, gradually climbing to a broad crest, where a huge rock cairn at 2.5 miles marks a switchback toward the summit. From the cairn, continue at an easy grade along the ridgetop through open lodgepole forest for a half mile before reaching a steep, more rocky section of trail as you near the West Summit of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain.

The final pitch is up an open rocky crest, where the view is dominated by Mount Hood and Mirror Lake, far below. The view also includes Mount Jefferson to the south, and the high, wild ridge tops of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness to the southwest. The village of Government Camp and Timberline Lodge are also visible from this airy viewpoint. Though some continue on toward the eastern summits of the mountain, the trail gets rough, so this is the best spot to end your hike. From here, retrace your steps to complete the hike.


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Guidebooks that cover this hike

60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland, by Paul Gerald

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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.