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Mount Hood, Oregon (11239 ft)

Mount Hood from Cloud Cap Campground
Mount Hood from Cloud Cap Campground
High on the Sandy Glacier Headwall

Mount Hood National Forest
Clackamas County Sheriff
Mount Hood Inn (MLU reservation)

Route: South Side

Register for climbing at the room outside the WyEast Lodge facing the large parking area just east and downslope of the main Timberline Lodge (6000 ft). Begin climbing by following a snow cat trail to the east of the main lodge. This trail stays on the eastern boundary of the groomed ski area as it passes Silcox Hut (7000 ft) and climbs to the top of the Palmer Snowfield (8500 ft) where the highest ski lift ends.

Above here the terraine gradually steepens. The south side of the mountain forms a ramp due to the collapse long ago of the southern crater wall. The large volcanic plug just left of and below the summit is Crater Rock. Climb generally directly towards the right side base of Crater Rock, keeping the White River Canyon on your right. At the right side base of Crater Rock take a compass bearing towards Timberline Lodge in case visibility deteriorates while you are climbing towards the summit.

Make a traversing climb around the right side of Crater Rock, staying above the hot rocks of Devil's Kitchen on your right, to reach the lowest point of the Hogsback (10500 ft), a well-defined rib of snow leading towards the summit. On weekends in May and June one will typically get in line here and wait for one's turn to continue the climb.

Climb the Hogsback towards the summit, taking care to note a possible bergschrund that may require you to cross a snow bridge or detour to the left or right to climb above it. Continue up steepening snow to a snow ledge below a rock dividing two gullies that lead upward towards the summit. Most climbers take the larger gully on the right. Above this short but typically icy gully the slope widens and you are soon on the summit.

Be careful on the summit not to step on a cornice hanging over the steep north face -- people have been lost falling off the summit.

Descend the same route, possibly using your compass if visibility is poor. Please use the snow cat trail on the descent to avoid postholing the groomed ski runs, and remember to check out at the Registration room.

Mount Hood's South Side
Mount Hood's South Side Hogsback

Emergency Contacts

  • North and East Side Routes: Hood River County Sheriff (503-386-2711)
  • South and West Side Routes: Clackamas County Sheriff (503-655-8218)


  1. Holmes, Don, Highpoints of the United States, Second Edition, University of Utah Press, 2000.
  2. Thomas, Jeff, Oregon High: A Climbing Guide, Keep Climbing Press, 1991.
  3. USGS Volcanoes, Mount Hood: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Hood/

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