Saturday, June 29th, McNeil Point 7:30am – 6:00+pm
This hike on the Northwest side of Mt Hood is relatively strenuous, primarily due to the mileage. We will maintain a reasonably easy pace in the vicinity of 2 to 2.5 mph so it won't be a speed event. There are a couple short, steep scrambles and a small creek crossing. Round trip mileage from the Top Spur trail head is about 10.6 miles with 3000 feet of total ascent. We will leave from the Gateway Transit Center by 7:40 AM. Round Trip mileage from the car pool site is about 100 miles so come prepared to help out those who volunteer to drive. We generally suggest about 10 cents per mile per person subject to discussion with your driver. Each car will need a federal pass for parking at this USFS trail head so please bring yours along if you have an annual NW Forest Pass or Interagency pass. No Dogs Please. If you have questions about the hike or what to bring, call Bob Rowton at home #[masked] or cell #[masked] or Mike Newsham at cell #[masked]-0800. These cell numbers can also be used for communication purposes on the morning of the hike if you have any problems finding the car pool location.
Description: This is a difficult 10.6 mile round trip with about 3000 feet of elevation gain, 9.6 miles with about 2,200 feet of gain if you stop at the McNeil Point shelter and wait for the rest of the group to return from the higher elevations. We will start at the Top Spur trail head at the 3,950 foot level on the Northwest side of Mt Hood and traverse the south side of Bald Mt. on our way to a point about a half mile above a stone climbers shelter. There will be some snow on the trail below the McNeil Point Shelter but most of the trail should be bare. We can stop and have lunch at about the 6,800 foot elevation. This is an incredible perch on a ridge line between the Sandy and Glisan glaciers, well above tree line. A trip report from last weekend indicated that the Bear Grass is blooming profusely and some other wild flowers are starting to pop. This whole hike is a series of spectacular vistas, not to be missed. Be sure to bring your camera. For a photo slide show from a previous hike, check out this link:
Weather Forecast: As of Tuesday evening, NOAA is forecasting mostly sunny with a high temperature of 66F at the 5000 foot elevation. (A lot better than 80 to 85 in Portland) Expect light winds at about 6 mph. Check out the NOAA site for updates prior to the hike. http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/ and adjust your clothing list accordingly. Be sure to pick a location that reflects an elevation between 4,000 and 7,000 feet as temperatures vary at about 3 degrees per 1,000 feet.
What to bring: Bring your usual day hiking gear / Ten Essentials, lunch, salty snacks, and sufficient water. (2 to 3 liters for most) Be sure to bring a light fleece for the cooler morning hours and a light wind breaker or rain shell. Come prepared for some hiking on consolidated snow fields and be sure to have sun block, sun glasses, and a hat. It is probably a little early but we are getting close to mosquito season so it might be a god idea to bring your bug repellent as well. Please avoid cotton clothing, jeans, etc. as we will be well above tree line.
Directions to Carpool: We will meet just inside the South side entrance to the Gateway Transit Center parking garage at 9900 NE Multnomah Street, Portland, OR.
Look for my silver F150 with a matching canopy top.