July 31, 2010

McNeil Point

Distance: 9.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,400 feet
Location: Mount Hood

Starting at the Top Spur trailhead, this hike connects with the Timberline Trail to head through forests, up to a sub-alpine region with tarns and wildflower meadows, across snowfields, and then up above the tree line to a ridge just below two glaciers on Mount Hood.

the hike starts at the Top Spur trailhead and goes for several miles through the forest

the forest changes as you hike up

the first open meadow… and Mount Hood is hiding in the clouds

wildflowers were everywhere… these are lilies

more lilies

Avalanche Lilies

conifers in an open area

heading towards the tarns

sub-alpine tarn (pond) with Mount Hood peeking over the top

where we are headed…

Mount Adams in the distance

getting higher…

now nearing the timberline… above Ladd Creek

alpine meadows with wildflowers

snowfields to cross

the view back towards Portland

crossing one of several snow fields

our destination: several hundred feet above McNeil Point

the mountain

great view looking down towards the McNeil Point shelter

Mount Adams

Indian Paintbrush


the bleached out tree branches are supposedly buried trees from a long ago eruption of Mount Hood

alpine wildflowers

heading back down the mountain

mountain hemlocks


meadow view looking back at Mount Hood

the same meadow view as earlier in the day, but this time Mount Hood is not hiding

cathedral forest on the way out

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  • martha_k

    Hi Lisa,
    How long did this hike take, approximately? I’m hoping to get up there Saturday!

  • It took us about 6-7 hours, but we are kinda slow and like to stop a lot for photo ops, plus a long break at the top. The guidebook I have says it takes 5.5 hours. This hike is a definite win… as long as the weather is good. I wouldn’t suggest doing it if there’s a chance of stormy weather.

  • Martha_K

    Ah ha! Proof that you did tell me about this hike. Love it. Hoping to do it this Wednesday, work permitting.