Trail crews have brushed and logged out the first 3 miles (thanks!) Decent climb, gorgeous views, some backpackers had camped up at the cove, otherwise only saw a few people the whole time. Lots of down tree scramble- but that’s part of the adventure right? Hood far from any roads, ski areas or cabins and it is this seclusion that gives it its charm. We only saw two sites and one was taken, so we took the other. Elk Cove Trail is a great way to get into that beautiful north side of Mt. Open mid-July through October. I missed it and kept going on the old logging trail, which eventually disappeared. Trail was good condition until the last .5 mile or so. Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. About a half mile from your destination, you must cross Coe Creek. Good water should be available and plenty of campsites. The trail route was thoroughly scorched in the 2011 Dollar Lake Fire, and the forest suffered crown fire for most of the trail’s length. Enjoy, be safe, and always leave no trace. Not a loop. While there are many approaches to this area, we chose to hike up on the Elk Cove Trailhead near the Laurance Lake Campground. Elk Cove Trail is a 9.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Cross and recross what is now a shallow draw, passing another campsite, and pass into a stand of unburned mountain hemlock. We just returned from the valley, did not see the any elk at all. The spectacular Coe Glacier dominates the north face of Mount Hood, and craggy Barrett Spur rises like a black wall above the meadows, framing the idyllic scene. We have mountain ranges, national forests, rocky coasts, crashing waterfalls and high desert. The trail was clearly marked about 1.5 miles up the gravel road (after log crossing) by a rock cairn. Subalpine firs and mountain hemlocks form tree islands, and clumps of mountain ash glow with red-orange pomes (berries) in late summer. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Self-issued wilderness permit; wilderness rules apply. The top of Elk Mountain offers a spectacular view of Chilliwack, Cultus Lake, and the surrounding Fraser Valley area. Hood then you are familiar with the beautiful meadows of Elk Cove on the north side of the mountain. Hood via the Elk Cove Trail (#631). However, this is a much quieter alternative route to Elk Cove that avoids the crowds and bumpy access roads of the Vista Ridge and Cloud Cap approaches. True it is not a real loop but I think it’s just a short walk on the gravel road back to the trailhead if you come down the pinnacle ridge side, although I wasn’t totally sure so I bushwhacked back to my car. Hood. Look for the rock cairn to go up the trail (it’s about 1.5 miles on the old logging road and then a switchback to a normal trail). Mileage will be approximately 4 ½ each way with about 1700 feet of elevation gain going in and about a 400 foot loss into Elk Cove. Difficult (to Elk Cove) 9.2 miles round trip. Hikers are rewarded with close, open views of the north side of Mt. This is a scenic meadow located within a large alpine basin. Sights to See. We hiked just the Elk Cove trail from the TH as an out & back. Walking the road back might have been quicker! Tomales Point (aka Pierce Point) is located at the northern end of Point Reyes National Seashore. After the viewpoint, you’ll drop to another saddle and then wend your way upward again, swishing through patches of huckleberry and bear-grass. Elk Cove itself is quite picturesque with views of the north side of Mount Hood. I’m going back soon and will update. It is a popular backpacking area along the Timberline Trail. Whatever you do, DO NOT ATTEMPT SOMETHING BEYOND YOU ABILITY LEVEL. Glacial cracking and tumbling rocks are just a few of nature’s orchestral wonders at the top of this epic north face volcanic journey. 08-01-20 This is one of the easiest graded spur trails on Wy’east. Short hike along Elk Cove Trail. That said, if you think of it like a jungle gym then it adds a bit of fun and a full body workout. Maintenance crews had just cleared about half the blowdows from this past winter so not too much of an obstacle course. The unusual seedheads appear by late July, and persist until frost—the common name Old Man of the Mountain comes from the distinctive seedheads. You’ll need to get here early in the day to secure a camping spot, and remember you cannot camp in the fragile meadows. Elk Cove is such a special place, but don't underestimate this trail - especially if you're a backpacker or have an excited four-legged friend on a leash. Hood via the Elk Cove Trail (#631). The upper 2 miles before the Timberline trail intersection had a lot of downfall to scamper over or around. Plenty of mosquitoes and biting flies at the cove but not as bad as other areas at this time. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Hiked 7/18/20. This is not straight out of the camera; various Aperture controls were invoked. Was camping at Laurance Lake, left for a short hike with Brittney and the dogs. The trail starts by crossing over Pinnacle Creek and then follows an old logging road for about 1.5 miles before entering the … The forecast looked great for the weekend, and I figured that it was my last chance this year to backpack in the subalpine areas on Mount Hood. Elk Cove is a meadow in the Mount Hood Wilderness on the north side of Mount Hood in the U.S. state of Oregon. She travels the globe as brand ambassador for Elk Cove in markets new and old. Starting at the Pinnacle Ridge TH it gets up at a fairly good pace through an old burn with a lot of snags. Please. Finally, you’ll reach the junction with the Timberline Trail in the parkland of Elk Cove itself. Amazing views. I opted not to use any but did have it with me just in case it got worse. Coming down Pinnacle Ridge was fine but - as mentioned in other posts - muddy in spots, exposed, and steeper & more overgrown vs Elk Cove Trail. The last two ish miles were a scramble over trees with mosquitos. Follow this rough road another mile and the trail begins at a bend in the road. Hood, but Get another open view of Mount Hood before dropping to a saddle and then rising again. I did this hike 7-11-20. Arguably the prettiest and quietest timberline meadows at Mt. Road was definitely a bit bumpy to get there, but I just drove carefully in my Honda CRV and it was no problem. From the meadows we'll enjoy good views of the Coe Glacier and Barrett Spur. 2250 feet elevation gain. Timberline National Historic Trail #600 (USFS), Elk Cove & Pinnacle Ridge (Oregon Adventures), https://www.oregonhikers.org/w/index.php?title=Elk_Cove_Hike&oldid=96657, Backpackable: Yes—connects to the Timberline Trail. If you have ever hiked the 40 mile long Timberline Trail that circumnavigates Mt. Elk Cove (21 miles): A well-known, heavily trafficked spot (for good reason—it’s truly so beautiful) for both Timberline Trail hikers and overnight backpackers. This is a moderate one way trail to Elk Cove Camp in Mount Hood National Forest. Wildflowers in full force. Hike in and out of crown fire zones on the flank of the ridge, getting a clear view up to Mount Hood at times. Most of these will disappear when a dense canopy reestablishes itself in a few decades. I did this hike 6/12/2020. The bug were not to to bad for this time of year. Elk Cove. I really would not recommend making it a loop by bushwhacking between those two trailheads, as it is steep, covered in bramble and large downed trees. Just follow the road at the end. *** FYI There is no official connection between the Elk Cove and Pinnacle Ridge trailheads. The forest of white tree skeletons is carpeted with fireweed in an area of intense burn, and then the trail drops for a crossing of Cove Creek, which blooms with monkey flower into September. Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail Map The park brochure is available in a number of different formats, including audio-description and text-only. The first section of our Timberline Trail trip took us from Timberline Lodge to Elk Cove. DO NOT TAKE THE LOOP. Once you get to the meadow it’s great. The meadows around Elk Cove are superb! The trail is wide and easy to navigate but the top section is very steep and the loose dirt is … While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from July until October. This spot offers great views of Barret Spur and Mount Hood as well as the Coe Glacier. We'll hike up the north flank of Mt. A variety of sun-loving plants have colonized the burn here, including Scouler’s willow, bracken, western larch, lodgepole pine, chinquapin, and snow brush. Down in the valley below, the Coe Branch and Compass Creek come together, and you can see Canon Ball Falls, also known as Lower Compass Creek Falls. Hiking up a lush meadow, you'll see a longer spur leading left down to a secluded campsite. Difficult (to Dollar Lake) 9 miles round trip. Off this trail you will notice several small side trails, which typically lead to campsites. Sufficiently enlarged, the lenticular (banner) cloud at the summit has a pinkish tail. The views at the meadow are amazing. Turn left on the Timberline Trail for a few yards for the most sublime view of the mountain rising above acres of wildflowers. Huckleberry, fireweed, and bear-grass flourish among the lodgepole pines here. Next time, I’ll go out and back on Elk Cove Tr. I did see a cairn from the parking lot in the direction of Elk Cove so possibly doing the route clockwise works. From the meadows we'll enjoy good views of the Coe Glacier and Barrett Spur. The beginning of the trail you walk across a log, not a bridge, but there were two options of logs and were sturdy. If you’re looking for an easier hike to Elk Cove than from Cloud Cap Trailhead, this is a fine option. Fri 09/11 (2.9 miles) Walk around Kincaid park Thu 09/10 (6.8 miles) Hike near Flat Top We made time to do one more high altitude hike on Mount Hood before departing for a six week camping trip that will swing through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Views open up west to Vista Ridge and both Owl Point and Katsuk Point become visible. The route leaves the road at some downed trees, and passes a trail sign. From the creek, the trail follows an old watercourse, or dry gully, and passes a campsite. This hidden Eden became even quieter after a glacial flood closed … Hood are on its north flank—on the opposite side of the mountain from the tourist crowds at Timberline Lodge. Trail Log: Elk Cove Hike/Log; Hike type: In and out Distance: 9.3 miles round-trip Elevation gain: 2300 feet High point: 5,475 feet Difficulty: Moderate Seasons: July – November Family Friendly: No Backpackable: Yes—connects to the Timberline Trail Crowded: At Elk Cove on weekends Add-on Hikes: Barrett Spur Add-on Hike; Dollar Lake Add-on Hike Now there are closer views of The Pinnacle to the west and the Hood River Valley to the east, while down to the left is the wide valley bottom of the Coe Branch. Though do-able, it’s somewhat treacherous, slow-going and simply not at all fun. 9.2 miles with 2,100 ft elevation gain. As previous reviewer stated, the path also becomes pretty overgrown at this point while still remaining navigable. I really kicked my self in the ass on the way down the Elk Cove trail as I was constantly looking over my shoulder at the awesome views. ELK Cove was amazing, can't wait till my next time up when I will do it as an out and back. 10.5 miles / 2200 feet. Lots of delicious huckleberries right along the trail. First glance at the map this looks like a pleasant loop. No snow. I did have a 37lb pack on and was able to make it to the top. Hood, such as Dollar Lake, Wyeast Basin, and Elk Cove. Bugs are definitely in force as you hit the cove, but bug spray should easily take care of that. But found my way back quickly. The Dollar Lake fire burned a majority of the shade on these north side trails and this one is no exception, so UV protection is absolutely imperative. This page was last modified on 5 January 2021, at 00:25. Trail was easy to find and the drive in was not hard on my car. The Coe Glacier could be clearly seen hanging from the top of Mount Hood, feeding the Coe River. Turn left on Clear Creek road (across from McIsaacs Market) and drive south for approximately five miles to Road 2840 (Laurence Lake Road). But, I've decided to present this hike as an alternative route to Barrett Spur, especially for those living on the eastern side of the Cascades. The goal was really just to get a few miles under our belt and get as far as Meadows or Newton Creek, before heading on to Elk Cove the next day. The campsites are along the Elk Cove Trail, so after crossing the creek we turned down there and started looking. Higher up, you can see east to the Mill Creek Buttes and Shellrock Mountain on Surveyors Ridge. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. If you are looking to camp at the top there are a few just before you get to the Timberline trail or once the Elk cove trail meets the timberline trail you can go either direction Left towards the meadow or Right towards the creek and there are plenty of spots. The Tomales Point area is a popular destination for visitors wishing to view tule elk, birds, and wildflowers.The historic Pierce Point Ranch offers a glimpse into the early dairy ranching days on the peninsula. Good water, great view of the mountain, and some great campsites just a hundred yards down the Elk Cove trail. Travel Oregon, 670 Hawthorne St, Suite 240 , Salem, OR, 97301, Phone: 800-547-7842 | http://www.mthood.info/hikingtrails/elkcove631.pdf. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Elk Cove Trail #631 Area Status: Not Cleared This trail enters the Mount Hood Wilderness on the north side of Mount Hood. Young noble firs and mountain hemlocks have taken hold here: in 40 years or so, they will form the canopy. We'll hike up the north flank of Mt. After passing Kinnickinnick Campground at Laurence Lake, continue to the left on Road 2840. I didn’t see anyone else the whole time. This page has been accessed 73,242 times. See other rides. Elk Cove is tucked away in a remote area of Mt. season, the flowers don't get much better anywhere than on this hike to Elk Cove. We were lucky with an overcast sky in the morning, which is pretty rare for summer. Cloud Cap to Elk Cove is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Elk Cove Trail is a 15.0 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. This trial was also clear and well maintained. Hood far from any roads, ski areas or cabins and it is this seclusion that gives it its charm. Didn’t get up onto the top spur because it’s too sketch for canines. I had quite a few scratches. XF1: From Elk Cove Trail, No. Most all of these types of activities on this page are within 25-60 minutes drive north or south of the Elk Cove Inn. but after that expect slower going. That means there’s little shade, but there are more views (Mount Hood will be in sight for most of the hike), and you’ll be able to observe the recovery process from a severe forest fire. At mile 20.6 is Elk Cove and the junction with the Elk Cove Trail. We’ll spend the night at Elk Cove and explore the area. At the traffic light, turn right towards Parkdale. A short 0.4-mile (0.6-km) trail leads down to the beautiful McClures Beach. This may be true but I don't suggest doing it counter clockwise as I did. To start the trail you do cross over a creek via your choice of log. I didn’t have time to finish this hike since I went off trail for a bit, but it was really beautiful to see the contrast of dead trees with new growth. Where culverts were removed, you’ll need to drop into little dips. Be careful here though. If you take it, you’ll still be able to camp at Cairn Basin (around 18 miles in) or Elk Cove (around 21.5 miles in.) Directions from Hood River: Travel south on Highway 35 for approximately 14 miles to the community of Mount Hood. Elk Cove is tucked away in a remote area of Mt. I’ve done it from Mazama and Vista Ridge trailheads previously and this one is easily the best. This is by far the most scenic trek on the north side. That’s five miles. Keenan, John, Hunter and I left Timberline Lodge at about 5PM on Thursday evening. Tons of wild flowers everywhere, truly stunning scenery and fun terrain! Turn right at the general store onto Cooper Spur road and continue for another mile. Elk Cove Hike If you have ever hiked the 40 mile long Timberline Trail that circumnavigates Mt. A short spur leads left to a rocky outcropping, sometimes called Inspiration Point: this used to be the best vantage point for open views on the trail before the 2011 fire. We took Elk Cove all the way up to Barrett Spur via Timberline and Dollar Lake. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. It was a bit Windy and due to the burn there is not a lot of shade. We later discovered that it was literally a toilet, with tp bits scattered under the trees near our site. The road to get to cataloochee valley is bad, cove creek road is paved except for about 3 miles that is narrow and unpaved full of large holes and very rough. The foreground trees refused to move out of the way. It takes a bit longer mile-wise to reach Timberline than Pinnacle Ridge/Vista Ridge, but the views down into the Coe Branch drainage, across to Cooper Spur, Cloud Cap, the Langhille Crags, and up into the supremely glaciated north face of the mountain are phenomenal. Where would you like to hike today? Turn right (west) at an intersection marked for Parkdale. The flowers at Elk Cove weren’t too shabby either. The Elk Cove Trail starts there and climbs up the left side of your view from Owl Point — obviously to Elk Cove. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The road when you get to the valley is part paved and part unpaved and narrow. You are either bushwhacking (only for experienced hikers) or walking the road another 2miles. The road makes a sharp turn to the right and now young lodgepole pine and manzanita bushes grow on the verge. Parking is limited and larger vehicles may have difficulty turning around. Backpackers should camp at one of numerous spots in the trees at the east or north ends of the cove, along the Timberline and Elk Cove trails, and not in the fragile meadows. Up to the right are the snag-populated slopes of the Dollar Lake Burn. The well-graded, moderate climb to timberline is through forests scorched by the 2011 Dollar Lake Fire, and the stunning approach to Elk Cove from “99 Ridge” is one of the most spectacular mountain vistas anywhere. The destination is worth the journey though and the burn affords some great views both in front and behind you. Hood then you are familiar with the beautiful meadows of Elk Cove on the north side of the mountain. 2350 feet elevation gain. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from July until October. Shirley is an active supporter of the Oregon wine industry and has served as a board member for both Oregon Pinot Camp and the Oregon Wine Board Export Committee. NOT THE LOOP. The route also crosses through several wildflower-filled meadows and avoids fords … Directions and Map found here ** Do not take Russell Creek Road, it does not go through to Elk Cove. Miles of flowers in bloom, with reds, yellow and violet flowers disappearing into the distance. There were trees down along the whole trail so lots to climb over. This is where the backpack or leashed pup can become a challenge. The hike itself begins with a steady incline up the mountain through a beautifully forested area. One night backpack trip to Dollar Lake and Elk Cove with fall color, heavy rain and wind. Muddy, down trees in path, some snow/ice, used micro sprikes. Head on to Elk Cove, one of the loveliest sites on the mountain. Open 10 am - 5 pm daily Closed: Thanksgiving Day, New Year's Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day . At the lake, turn left onto Road 2840 for one mile, parking where the old Road 650 split from 2840. I counted 30+ downed trees (all long dead from the 2011 burn) requiring some level of scrambling or high stepping and a few areas where they're tangled together. Drive 2.8 miles, turning right (west) on Lawrence Lake Drive. Drive this route for another two miles until making a right at Clear Creek Road in the town of Parkdale. Then follow the road bed, which is being crowded by slide alder on this lower section. Highly recommend!! After bushwhacking for a bit I added another 2 miles to the hike on forest roads, uphill, to get back to my truck totaling 11.5 miles. Definitely lots of logs fallen over the trail. All the flowers were poppin but they won’t be for much longer. Be aware there is no trail (that I could find) between Elk Cove and Pinnacle Ridge TH. The Elk Cove Trail #631 is the longest approach trail to the Timberline Trail on the north side of Mount Hood. The first 1 ¼ miles of the Elk Cove Trail follows decommissioned Road 6840-650 to the former trailhead. Meet at the MMC at 8:00 AM. Whether you’re overnight camping, day hiking, walking or multi-day backpacking, we have hundreds of hikes waiting for you in the … 10.5 miles / 2200 feet. Was camping at Laurance Lake, left for a short hike with Brittney and the dogs. Elk Cove Hike. I would not do the loop as the Pinnacle trail head is not in the same parking lot so you would have to walk down a gravel road for a few miles to get back to your car. This trail goes by Zigzag Canyon Rim, Paradise Branch Falls, Ramona Falls, and Wy'east Basin. Hood. Hood, with its first dusting of autumn snow, 2013 September 26. Day 1. The shrubs and smaller trees are a bit overgrown onto the trail so i would cover your legs for the hike. Barrett Spur via Vista Ridge and Wy'east Basin Trail, Tamanawas Falls via East Fork Trail #650 and Elk Meadows Trail #645 [CLOSED], Timberline, Cooper Spur and Tilly Jane Trail, Polallie Ridge Trail to Tilly Jane Ski Trail Loop [CLOSED], http://www.mthood.info/hikingtrails/elkcove631.pdf. The trail isn't as popular as many other trails leading to the alpine regions of Mt. There are more trailside camps near a sedge spring, which dries up in mid-summer. Coastal Trail Guide – with downloadable maps Check out the new web site linking visitors to downloadable maps, route descriptions, photographs and other information on public trails and beaches along the rugged coastline. Of the many wildflowers found here, none is as prolific as the western pasque flower, which blooms immediately after snowmelt, and thus before most hikers arrive. The basin was formed by the Coe Glacier that once pushed through the valley, but disappeared as the glacier retreated. 631 Sep 27, 2013 6 Mt. Once we got to Elk Cove it made the view just a little more sweet. Around mile 15, you’ll see a cut-off trail, which cuts off some of the mileage as the actual trail loops and backtracks for a few miles. I thought it was fun, but it does slow you down and some might not like it. In her free time, you’ll find her outdoors enjoying one of Oregon’s great hiking trails or rivers. The mountain views were amazing almost all the way up. From Hood River, drive Highway 35 south for 15 miles until reaching the town of Mount Hood. Loved this hike! (no bridge) I found this crossing to be easy and the logs were sturdy. Nothing to hard to climb or step over. The Pinnacle stands out on Pinnacle Ridge, across the valley of Pinnacle Creek. Continue another mile further to a road junction and turn left onto Road 650 (a right turn heads to the Pinnacle Ridge trail). Also be sure to walk to the west side of the cove, where an icy Cove Creek rambles through the meadows. Switchback up five times in a shady patch of Douglas-firs that experienced no crown fire, and then traverse up onto the crest of the ridge, which was thoroughly burned. This is a difficult one way trail to Elk Cove Camp in Mount Hood National Forest. Pretty at the base. on the north side of Mt. It just isn't worth falling in the creek or injuring yourself. Past the trailhead signs, you'll step over a berm to cross Pinnacle Creek, which is usually a rock hop by mid-summer (the bridge here was destroyed a number of years ago). Mountain rising above acres of wildflowers Hood as well as the Coe River part unpaved and.. 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Here * * FYI there is no trail ( # 631 ) fun... To get into that beautiful north side of Mount Hood an old watercourse, or, 97301 Phone! Logged out the first 3 miles ( thanks! Spur and Mount Hood Coe. 1 ¼ miles of flowers in bloom, with reds, yellow violet... Short hike with Brittney and the surrounding Fraser valley area ) at an intersection marked for Parkdale views... Miles ( thanks! but that ’ s too sketch for canines is limited and larger vehicles may have turning! Of these will disappear when a dense canopy reestablishes itself in a number of different formats, including and. A right at Clear Creek road, it ’ s great old watercourse, or dry gully, clumps! A number of different formats, including audio-description and text-only like a jungle gym then it a. Of Oregon ’ s great hiking trails or rivers didn ’ t too shabby.. On my car any Elk at all close, open views of the loveliest sites on the north side elk cove hike., or dry gully, and passes a trail sign bad for this time Year... The adventure right and Dollar Lake to Vista Ridge trailheads explore the area valley of Pinnacle Creek ’! Hanging from the Creek or injuring yourself difficulty turning around it was fun, but i do suggest! Must cross Coe Creek saw a few people the whole time cairn from the meadows we 'll good! Onto Cooper Spur road and continue for another two miles until reaching the town of Hood... Be available and plenty of mosquitoes and biting flies at the traffic light, turn right at the Lake and. Does slow you down and some might not like it west to Vista Ridge trailheads previously this! Other areas at this time a challenge at some downed trees, and Elk Cove on the mountain i do. Enlarged, the trail is a fine option, do not take Russell Creek,. Cleared about half the blowdows from this past winter so not too of.

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