Distance: 6.4 miles Round Trip
Elevation gain: 1500 feet
Pace: Moderate 2-2.5 mph. We will take a nice long lunch break at the summit.
This well-graded trail takes you past picture-postcard views of Mount Hood and rugged Tom Dick and Harry Mountain, towering above Mirror Lake. The trail starts at a waterfall, proceeds through a deep forest, and partially circles Mirror Lake, which on still days affords fantastic reflections of now snow-clad Mt. Hood for the photographers. The route continues through forest and rhododendrons, before reaching the steep north slopes of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain. This section of trail features clear 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 the world’s largest rock cairn at 2.5 miles marks a switchback toward the summit. From the cairn, we will 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. Due to the rocky nature of the trail once past Mirror Lake, sturdy hiking boots are required.
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. We will then re-trace our steps back to the trailhead.
What to bring: Definitely your camera for Mirror Lake and Mt. Hood shots, 2 liters of water, lunch or a snack, and extra clothing so you can add layers for warmth. It can be windy up there!
Be sure to have the Ten Essentials with you, including a waterproof shell, headlamp and a whistle.
Total driving distance round trip is about 104 miles. If you carpool, please give your driver $10 for gas. A NW Forest Pass is required for parking. (I will be able to drive.)
If you plan to drive, please arrive at Gateway with enough gas for the trip and ready to leave at 8:30 AM. If we leave promptly at 8:30, we should beat any weekend crowding on this trail. We should be back at Gateway by 3:30 PM if we don’t stop for a snack.