September 28, 2008

McNeil Point & Ridge

Location: Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon
Distance: 9.6 miles
Elevation Gain: about 2,300 feet

Two weeks earlier, we did part of this hike but didn’t have time to make it all the way up to the McNeil Point shelter. This time we did. The shelter is at about 6,100 ft. at the timberline at the base of Mount Hood. The hike begins in forest and then opens up at a meadow with great views of Mount Hood. See the photos in the earlier posting for McNeil Point. The photos here start at the Wilderness check-in. After the first meadows, there is an open area with tarns (which are alpine ponds created by snow melt) and then you hike around the base of the area where the shelter is located and through more forest with switchbacks and past rock slides. Eventually, you cross in front of large snowfields and up into the high meadows and ridges at the base of the mountain. We went about 200 feet above the shelter along the ridge. You can continue up the ridge until you are between the Sandy and Glisan glaciers. We didn’t have the energy to go up that far, but the views from the ridge were amazing. You can see the glaciers on the mountain and the blue-green color of the ice and the craggy formations all up and down the mountain. It still seems like a long way up to the top… and it is… around another 5,000 feet. McNeil Point shelter was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp.

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