Exploregon: Get ‘Lost’ on Mount Hood
Past the hustle and bustle of the city, alongside the rolling Columbia, you will find the one thing that seems to tower over you, no matter where you may be standing in the Greater Portland area. There’s something about how Mt. Hood constantly breaks the Portland skyline that tells you it must be explored. Whether it’s the breath taking sunrises as you wake up, or the transformation that occurs as the last bit of light touches before the sun sets, Mt. Hood always draws in the wondering eye.
Mt. Hood is ever inviting to all travelers and explorers, even those who are constantly fighting to overcome their chronic pain. At the Oregon Pain Center, our hope is that your chronic pain never keeps you from doing the things you love. Below you will find our top three recommendations of trails to explore on Mt. Hood, perfect for taking the first steps to becoming active. So join us, and let’s get ‘lost’ on Mt. Hood.
Lost Creek Loop Hike
Type: Lollipop Loop- Where the trail begins straight, then enters a circular route and returns to the same starting point.
Distance: 0.6 miles
Elevation gain: 10 ft.
Open: Summer into the fall, not crowded
Lost Creek was created hundreds of years ago during an eruptive period on Mt. Hood. Hot ash, lava fragments and lahars buried the White River and Sandy River valleys creating the perfect setting for a trail. This short, yet stunning route, offers an interactive journey along paved trails through the shady forest. Along the way you will find benches allowing you to stop and take in the scenery, at the foot of Zigzag Mountain, under a canopy of trees. This trail may be short and sweet, but is a great starting point if you are just getting back into walking and light hiking.
Trillium Lake Loop Hike
Type: Loop- Where the trail is circular, and the beginning area is also the ending.
Distance: 1.9 miles
Elevation gain: 10ft.
Open: Summer into the fall, crowded on weekends and summer months
Mount Hood serves as the focal point as you walk around Trillium Lake. As you trek around this well maintained trail, you are accompanied by western hemlocks, red-cedar, and more, which fill your nose with the aromas of the outdoors. The trail leads you to a boardwalk system, allowing you to walk through the old-growth marsh and arriving back into the forest on the opposite side of the lake. Along the way, you will find picnic tables and hidden patches to the waters edges. This nature walk is perfect for the family and is equipped with handicap-accessible facilities. Being a little bit of a longer distance with plenty of resting spots, Trillium Lake is perfect for those who are looking to build endurance.
Image by Lindsay Hatch
Lost Lake Loop Hike
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation gain: 0 ft.
Open: Late spring through fall, crowded on weekends and mid-summer months
Lost Lake is one of the famous trails that lead you to an iconic view of Mt. Hood accompanied by a calming lake mirroring the mountain, and stunning old-growth trees. This panoramic trail is well maintained, family friendly, and offers plenty of places to stop for a quick dip in the fresh mountain water. Not to mention, the sporadically placed picnic tables offering the best view in the house for lunch and extensive boardwalk system, making it accessible for disabled visitors. This hike is well maintained and does not include an extensive amount of uneven ground, therefore Lost Lake is great for those experiencing pain in their lower extremities.
**This is the second installment of our Exploregon blog mini-series about conquering your chronic pain, to read the introduction, click here**
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