If you have ever hiked the 40 mile long Timberline Trail that circumnavigates Mt. Hood then you are familiar with the beautiful meadows of Elk Cove on the north side of the mountain. Elk Cove is tucked away in a remote area of Mt. Hood far from any roads, ski areas or cabins and it is this seclusion that gives it its charm. There are several ways to get to Elk Cove but for this hike we approached it from the Elk Cove trailhead near Laurence Lake just outside of Parkdale.
Categories for Hikes
Elk Meadows on the southeast side of Mt. Hood is one of the most quintessential hikes in the northwest region. It is relatively easy to get to, has moderate crowds and delivers almost everything the average hiker could want including mountain streams, flowery meadows and glacial views. The 6.5 mile hike is easy to do for even novice hikers and there are many different options for those more advanced hikers looking to add on a little something extra.
Sahale Falls is a lesser known waterfall on the SE side of Mt. Hood that plunges over 60 feet on the East Fork of the Hood River. The waterfall is often hiked to as part of a loop hike in conjunction with the nearby Umbrella Falls. Both waterfalls are easy to access during the summer from the Mt. Hood Meadows parking lots and on days in which the gates are open you can even drive to Sahale Falls. If you are reading this though, you are probably not interested in driving to a waterfall.
Part of the mystique of the John Muir Trail (JMT) is the plethora of enduring myths. Some are partially false, most are fully false. But all are fun and garner the attention of hikers and prospective hikers. Let’s address these myths, in no particular order.
Cape Horn hike is a 7 mile loop in the Columbia River Gorge offering excellent views, waterfalls and creek crossings. This is the perfect summer morning hike for the intermediate hiker with out and back options for beginners.