Summary: Beginning of hike is through a beautiful forest setting and is quite relaxing. In some areas you are walking through close-in brush. At higher elevations you are above the treeline and it is quite steep/strenuous. Lunch stop at old rock shelter (McNeil Point) where one can see Mt. Ranier and Mt. Adams on a clear day. Quite worth it.
Trailhead: Hwy 26 to Zigzag Ranger Station. Turn Norh on Truman Road for approx 4.25 miles to split at Lolo Pass/Muddy Fork Rds. Take right fork (Muddy Fork Rd) approx 1 mile (just before Fred McNeil Campground - get there and gone to far) and bear left - Road 1828. Continue 2 mile to another fork and bear right. Another 3.7 miles to 2 way fork - take right. Another 1.5 miles to trail head at Top Spur Trail.
After left on Road 1828 - follow signs for "Top Spur Trail No. 785" (Lat:45.2444 Lon:-121.4713)
Trail Guides for McNeil Point:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Zigzag Ranger Station (503) 622-3191 or Mt. Hood Info Center (503) 622-4822
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jimm Burton, who has posted 2 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Martha on 8/9/2012
Spectacular hike! Went up 8/8/12. Flowers are peaking. We saw lupine, heather, paintbrush, lillies, monkey flowers, etc. The views are breathtaking. The climb is not too bad at all, and most of the snow pack is gone. The time to go is now. You won't regret it! I love this hike!
Reviewed by Adam on 10/12/2010
Hiked on 10/11/10, a gorgeous fall day. Trail was in great shape and I highly recommend the loop around the face of Bald Mtn, which only adds a little bit and the side trail is very easy to find, but the views are well worth it. After arriving at the hut,about 2.5 hours,, the day beckoned me further up the ridge, to the obvious McNeil point. Well worth the extra work for SPECTACULAR scenery. I only saw one hiker up in the high country (man in the yellow shirt) but mostly had the basin and high country to myself. Best day hike I've done in years. I used to enjoy Paradise Park, and still will, but this hike is so scenic and gets you up high in a hurry. Next year I'll try to time it with some wildflowers. Amazing hike. Highly recommend i
Reviewed by AS on 9/4/2010
Best hike on Mount Hood, in my opinion. Love the stunning closeups of Mount Hood, and the varied, wildflower-filled alpine meadows. Pretty strenuous hiking past the shelter, but worth it for the glacial views. Has to be seen to be believed. Go there! Best time is mid-August through October after the snowfields melt and the mosquitoes disappear.
Reviewed by Sarah on 10/12/2009
10/10/09 After reading Philipp's 10/6 account, we almost pulled the plug on this dayhike but the rangers said people had been going up all week. While the temp's Saturday were never much above freezing and the snow was pretty much solid after 2 miles, there was a hard-pack trail (thanks to all who did that!)... but still we gave up at around 5500 feet once the trail started side-hilling the steep slope area (estimated 15-20 inches deep where we stopped). Good Luck!
Reviewed by Philipp K. on 10/6/2009
10/06/09 Brutal, dressed for snow, but forgot poles, snow shoes, crampons. 6.04 am Boring, OR 41 degrees 6.26 am Zig Zag, OR 36 degrees 7.02 am Top Spur TH, bloody cold, snow/ice frozen and very crunchy path with ankle twisting foot tread 11.20 am arrived at McNeil Hut, snow ~ 20 inches deep. Went the long way, via the two tarns and up the ridge next to the creek, not too much problem.......until I had to cross the two snow fields, and that was a real challenge - finding my own route - no crampons - hence a four hour ascent (kick, kick, kick) for a normal 2.5 hour climb. But very beautiful - pristine virgin snow. 11.40 am started back down, but went straight down from the Point following foot steps. 13.16 back to car, totally whi
Reviewed by Shane K. on 7/19/2009
So far hiking from top spur trail head. this was one of the most beautiful hikes ive had in years the wild flowers were out in abundance. met many hikers up and back but i didnt mind as everyone is pretty spread out. the best part was actually getting to the rock hut at mcneil point or close to it. it was a virtual garden of indian paint brush, blue lupine, bear grass, glacier lilys, and many many more truly amazing. 7-17-09 and yes i will go agian for sure. having lunch at the hut i heard a huge crash of rocks that echoed through the area around me. i cannot say enough about this hike it was a very good day indeed. no wind, hot hot hot that day. the best. peace.
Reviewed by tasha & aaron on 9/2/2008
9/1/08 It was pretty cloudy and misty on our way up, but it cleared once we made it to the ponds. The view is so breath-taking. Seems to me there are more wildflowers for this late. They were gorgeous. The view at the top once again became cloudy but even so the trip was so worth the effort!
Reviewed by bob (8/23) on 8/24/2008
perfect. clear - rainier. no bugs. tons of flowers up high. started at 8:30 down by 2.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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