Saturday, July 14, 2018
We had a heat wave this weekend with sweltering temperatures. Wanting to escape the heat I headed up to Mt. Hood where it was cooler and I set up camp for the weekend. Even up there it got hot during the day so I did a fairly easy hike on Saturday. After breakfast Saturday morning I drove up to Lolo Pass and hiked the PCT southbound toward Bald Mountain (hike description). The trail is in the trees, but I was fine with that because the shade felt great.
At 1.7 miles there’s an opening in the trees and boom! Great view of Mt. Hood! That little white smudge at lower right is the very busy and crowded Top Spur Trailhead where people start their hike to McNeil Point. Bald Mountain – my destination, is the foreground bump at right:
I passed the junction with the Top Spur Trail and then came to the four-way junction and the wilderness boundary:
Shortly after that is an obvious but unmarked side trail to the left. This is the spur trail to the top of Bald Mountain:
The trail is well-trod and easy to follow:
There was a fire lookout up here in the 1930s (read more about that here). All the evidence that remains are a few chunks of concrete:
There’s a nice flat spot to camp up here. No water, of course, but man, what great place to watch the alpenglow on Mt. Hood at the end of the day! I was surprised that I didn’t find a trash-filled fire ring here:
There was a nice batch of columbine in bloom:
I got up there around noon and with plenty of time to kill I sat down in the shade with my book and read for a few hours. It was quite pleasant. About 15 hikers came and went during that time. I departed at 2:30 at which time the light was much better for photography. What a view!
I got a peek at Mt. Adams through the trees as I hiked back:
On the hike back I got another nice view from that gap in the trees. That long ridge out there is Zigzag Mountain:
And nice afternoon light on Mt. Hood:
It was a little too early for dinner when I got back, and it was HOT, so I hung out by Lost Creek for awhile with my book. It was nice and cool there.
Evening at the campsite wasn’t very pleasant as my inconsiderate neighbors turned on their music for everyone to hear. I retreated to my tent with my earbuds in and listened to classical music to drown their music out. I really would have rather listened to the birds, though.
Tomorrow: Paradise Park!