Categories
Hiking Mt. Hood Area Oregon Trip report

Devil’s Peak

The end of September/beginning of October brings us a pair of birthday celebrations, my Grandma on 9/30 and our Son on 10/1. We planned a joint celebration dinner in Portland but before the festivities we headed out on a hike to work up an appetite.

Due to the plans we needed a hike near Portland in the 8 to 10 mile range and hiking up the Cool Creek Trail to the Devil’s Peak Lookout fit the bill perfectly. We headed out early to the Cool Creek Trailhead. Oddly our guidebook had us turn on Road 20 at the east end of Rhododendron, OR instead of west of Rohododendron on Still Creek Road which is how the Forest Service directions have you go. We followed the guidebook directions only to be turned back by a closed bridge and had to go back to Still Creek Road. After finding the open route to the trailhead we parked along the shoulder of the road and set off on the Cool Creek Trail.
IMG_3124

The trail started with a steep incline, a reminder that it needed to gain over 3000′ over the next 4 miles. Not far from the trailhead we entered the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness.
IMG_3133

The trail is mostly forested with a few glimpses of Mt. Hood through the trees.
IMG_3144

IMG_3145

IMG_3148

IMG_3157

The best early view came just over a mile along the trail. For about two tenths of a mile the trail passed along an open hillside with a view across the valley to Mt. Hood.
IMG_3165

IMG_3166

The trail then passed around to the other side of a ridge where it pretty much remained for the next two miles. The forest here still housed a good number of red and blue huckleberries.
IMG_3176<

IMG_3177

IMG_3184

IMG_3187

IMG_3183

There were sections of more level trail in the forest which gave a nice break from the climbing, but also meant that the elevation would need to be made up on the sections of uphill.
IMG_3197

IMG_3198

Approximately 3.25 miles from the trailhead a spur to the left led to a rocky ridge top which provided what turned out to be the best viewpoint of the day.
IMG_3201

IMG_3232The rocky ridge

IMG_3203

From this point four Cascades were visible, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood.
IMG_3213_stitch

IMG_3207Mt. St. Helens

IMG_3209Mt. Rainier

IMG_3210Mt. Adams

Tom Dick and Harry Mountain (post) was also clearly visible to the NE.
IMG_3229

Beyond the ridge viewpoint the trail traversed the hillside on the west side of the ridge climbing for another quarter mile past one more viewpoint of Mt. Hood to its end at the Hunchback Trail.
IMG_3235

IMG_3238

IMG_3240

IMG_3244

A spur trail to the Devil’s Peak Lookout is just 500 feet after turning right onto the Hunchback Trail.
IMG_3247

IMG_3248

The lookout is a little over 200 feet up this spur.
IMG_3249

IMG_3250

The tower is available for use on a first come, first serve basis so there was a possibility that it was occupied but it turned out to be empty.
IMG_3257

IMG_3285

IMG_3288

IMG_3289

IMG_3290

Mt. Hood was visible from the lookout.
IMG_3286

I had gone ahead of Heather and Dominique who had joined us for the hike so I explored Devil’s Peak while I waited for them to arrive.
IMG_3259

IMG_3263Mt. Jefferson in some haze to the south.

IMG_3268Mt. Hood

IMG_3272Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness

IMG_3283

IMG_3300Clouds coming up the Salmon River Valley

IMG_3339Butterflies on the lookout.

IMG_3346One of several birds foraging in the bushes near the lookout.

It turned out that I had gotten quite a bit ahead and wound up spending about an hour and a half at the tower watching the clouds break up above while they also moved in below.
IMG_3306

IMG_3332

IMG_3350

After they joined me at the lookout they took a break as well then we headed back down. At the ridge viewpoint the view of Mt. Hood was better than it had been earlier, but not for the other Cascades.
IMG_3355_stitch

We continued back down stopping to gather some huckleberries to take to my Grandmas house. We wound up passing beneath the clouds losing Mt. Hood for the last mile and a half.
IMG_3363

IMG_3366

IMG_3370

IMG_3369

It was a tough 8 mile hike given the elevation gain but the views were well worth the effort. That effort was also rewarded with a nice birthday dinner and a tasty piece of cake. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Devil’s Peak

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s