Pacific Northwest Region Viewing Area
LOCATION and PHOTOS
Phlox. Photo by Brother Alfred Brousseau, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.
Orange agoseris. Photo by Gary A. Monroe, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.
Pacific trillium. Photo by Brother Alfred Brousseau, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.
Top Spur Trail
Forest: Mount Hood National Forest
District: Zigzag Ranger District
Description: The Top Spur Trail is a popular trail located on the western side of Mt. Hood and is one of many that provide easy and superior hiking within a one-hour drive of Portland. This forested trail is mainly an access route to the Timberline Trail and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Qualities of the trail itself include wildflowers in June and huckleberries in late August. It is heavily visited. This ½ mile access trail climbs about 250 feet, so while it is not excessively steep, given that the climbing starts right from the get go it tends to feel steeper than it is. Elevation is 3950 to 4200 feet and is snow-free from late May thru October.
Viewing Information: The trail begins in a beautiful Douglas fir forest with wildflower beauties such as Pacific trillium (Trillium ovatum), pacific bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa), kneeling angelica (Angelica genuflexa), and wild ginger (Asarum caudatum). This trail gradually climbs to an open meadow with magnificent vies of Mt. Hood. Here, you will find an array of alpine meadow wildflowers that grow on a south facing slope. Including spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa), orange agoseris (Agoseris aurantiaca), broadleaf arnica (Arnica latifolia var. gracilis), Henry Indian paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora var. oreopola), and broadleaf lupine (Lupinus latifolius var latifolius).
A Northwest Forest Pass is required (available at Mt. Hood Ranger District offices).
Safety First: You must carry ample drinking water for a two to four hour hike. Weather in the Mt. Hood area can be extreme and can change quickly. Carry appropriate clothing for changes in the weather. Hiking is not recommended during thunderstorms due to the possibility of lightning strikes. A jacket and hiking boots are recommended. Hypothermia can be a hazard throughout the year.
You will be driving unpaved, narrow roads. Drive defensively, and watch carefully for oncoming vehicles.
Directions: Take Hwy 26 eastward. Seventeen miles east of Sandy Oregon you will come to Lolo Pass Road, just before the Zigzag Ranger Station. Follow Lolo Pass Road north about 4 miles to its intersection with Road #1828. Stay on 1828 for about 6.5 miles, and then turn right at the intersection with Road #1828118. Take road 1828118 for almost 1.5 miles to the well marked trailhead. Please park “head in” at the trailhead.
Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Mount Hood National Forest, Zigzag Ranger District, 70220 East Highway 26, Zigzag, Oregon 97049 (503) 622-3191.
Closest Town: Zig Zag, Oregon.