Distance: 9.6 miles RT
Driving: 100 miles RT, 1.75 hrs.
Elevation gain: 2200 feet
High Point: 6100 feet
Difficulty: Challenging but we'll go at a moderate pace with time for photos and interpretation. If there is still snow above, we may stop at the McNeil Point junction--which will subtract about a mile from total distance.
From Top Spur trailhead, we'll take Timberline Trail south for a traverse around Bald Mountain where we see the Muddy Fork of the Sandy River rushing more than 2,000 feet below and Mt. Hood rising majestically above.
We'll then climb a ridge through a forest to a stream crossing and colorful meadows. The wildflowers are early this year and folks are reporting that they are pretty spectacular.
As is common on my hikes, share your knowledge of local natural or cultural history--so do some homework--e.g., find a plant list and look up some plants ahead of time. I'll share mine too, so this trip will go at a moderate pace with stops for interpretation and photos.
Dogs are not allowed--except for service dogs. If you have a burning question, it is best to call Mary at[masked] (land line) with questions.
Dress in quick-drying layers--no jeans or other cotton. Bring lunch, water, rain gear, and the Updated Ten Essential "Systems" for safe hiking.
Navigation (map and compass) Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen) Insulation (extra clothing) Illumination (headlamp/flashlight) First-aid supplies Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles) Repair kit and tools Nutrition (extra food) Hydration (extra water) Emergency shelter Bring money for drivers (suggested $.10/mi/person), $2-3 voluntary donation for Sierra Club's Leader Training program and money for an optional stop on the way home. Bring NW Forest Pass if you have one.