Salmon Butte Loop
3 reviews Mount Hood National Forest #6 hike out of 41 in
4 hrs 57 min
This is a difficult out and back trail to Salmon Butte in Mount Hood National Forest.
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A very nice hike with few people (encountered only 10 on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon). The beauty of this hike really begins once exiting the old road and entering into the trees. The understory is open with good sight lines through the trees. The forest floor is blanketed with greenery. Rhododendrons are beginning to bloom at the lower elevations. Just below the summit the trail passes through a grove of rhodies that won't bloom for another two weeks. Of course the jewel is the view from the top; Mt Hood is prominent to the northeast, and the Washington summits of St. Helens, Rainier, and Adams are all visible on a clear day. Mt Jefferson holds the southern view.★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We went on this hike 5/14/19. The trail was in good shape with just a few small trees across the trail to step over. It was forecasted to have showers all day so we had rain gear on and got wet, not by rain, but from the large shrubs next to the trail. We ran into patches of snow at about 4100 feet elevation that were soft enough to walk through but deep enough in spots we needed our GAIA to keep on the trail. When we were about 0.2 mikes from the top, the snow suddenly was 3 feet or higher on a steep incline with a drop off to the right. While we had mini spikes to put on we felt it was too risky to chance a fall at that point. It was cloudy with limited views of the valley but not the mountains.★ ★ ★ ★
The day started out cool as the previous day it rained and you are under the forest canopy for the hike. The leaves were wet and rubbed off on my pants. Previously there was a hail storm as many of the plants were tore up and the forest floor and trail were littered with leaves and pine needles and the hail stones were still on the ground. I had the entire trail to myself today (Friday) which was phenomenal to have the place to yourself. It was partly sunny or cloudy today so it was never really warm but the temperature was perfect for hiking. Uphill hike to the top and from the top you are able to Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson. Unable to tell what you can see from the Washington side due to cloud cover. There were springs the first few miles but then nothing so have water. Nice hike.
Hood - Salmon Butte
June 17, 2019 sih cvg Excellent, if a bit lengthy, hike. It is non-stop up, but grades are mostly tolerable and no significant creek crossings. Nice variety of ecosystems, very serene. Rhododendrons blooming sporadically along the trail, and en mass near the top (along with a few bear grasses). Exceptional wild flowers, especially at the small meadow at the lunch stop (a few steps off the main trail). Excellent view from the summit of Hood and all the other usual suspects. Heard male sooty grouse booming call at same spot coming and going. Only a couple of other hikers on the trail on a beautiful Monday. About 80% shade and semi-shade. Start at Salmon Butte trailhead, about 15 minutes from Zigzag. Took 4 hours up including stops and lunch and 2 ¼ hours down without stops.