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.
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.
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.
This place is truly magical and hopefully it will stay that way. What makes Puff Falls so unique is that you can actually swim in the pool the waterfall plunges into. If you find yourself in southwest Washingtington on a hot day you need to make the trek to Puff Falls. You won't regret it.
Canyon Creek Meadows sits at the foot of Three Fingered Jack in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon.