Elk Meadows

Mt. Hood from Elk Meadows

  • Moderate (to Elk Meadows)
  • 6 miles round trip
  • 1230 feet elevation gain
  • Open late June through October
  • Use: hikers, horses


  • Difficult (to Gnarl Ridge)
  • 9.4 miles round trip
  • 2230 feet elevation gain
  • Open mid-July through October

Two of Mt. Hood’s most scenic hiking goals are tucked away on the mountain’s southeast flank: a rustic shelter amidst Elk Meadows’ wildflowers, and Gnarl Ridge’s breathtaking cliff-edge viewpoint amid wind-dwarfed pines. Visit either destination, or take a slightly longer loop and visit both.

From Portland, drive Highway …

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If you’re heading for Elk Meadows, it’s only …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington.

Shelter at Elk Meadows

Shelter at Elk Meadows