Tag Archives: Zigzag Canyon

Summer Hikes

Looking for a nice summer hike? Here’s a list of some of our favorites ūüôā

If you’re looking to stay in Portland and the surrounding cities check out Oak Island, Mt. Talbert, or Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. They are all easy hikes that have decent shade and lots of birds.

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We love hitting up all the great trails that the Mt. Hood area has to offer during the summer months. Tamanawas Falls and Umbrella Falls are great options if you are looking for a waterfall hike. For a lake hike check out Mirror Lake (and Tom, Dick, and Harry Ridge!), and Lower Twin Lake. Zigzag Canyon is also a really fun hike, go in mid to late June while the lupine is blooming!

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Some great summer Gorge hikes are Upper and Lower Latourell Falls, Gillette Lake, and Strawberry Island.

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Summer time is full of Kayaking as well, be sure to check out Scappoose Bay and Lost Lake!

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–Happy Hiking!

 

Best Of 2015!

Here is our list of the top hikes we did in 2015!

Columbia River Gorge (Oregon side): *Tunnel Falls* We¬†love the Eagle Creek Trail and this year we finally made it all the way out to Tunnel Falls. We definitely weren’t disappointed!

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Columbia River Gorge (Washington side): *Strawberry Island* This was a nice secluded hike that had amazing views of the Gorge and lots of birds.

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Mt. Hood: *Zigzag Canyon* This hike is absolutely beautiful. You get amazing views of Mt. Hood all throughout the hike. We did this hike in late June and the Lupine were in full bloom!

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Oregon Coast: *Bayocean Spit* Who doesn’t love a hike that’s right on the beach?

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Washington Coast: *North Head Lighthouse* You can actually go up in this lighthouse. The views are great!

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Portland Metro/Outer Portland: *Oak Island* This is one of our favorite hikes on Sauvie Island, the place is covered with cows!

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Washington: *Lacamas Creek (Camas Lily Fields)* Go here in the spring when the lilies are blooming, it’s very pretty!

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Willamette Valley: *Abiqua Falls* This waterfall is becoming more and more popular and we definitely understand why. It’s not the easiest waterfall to reach, but it’s definitely worth the scramble.

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Central Oregon: *Smith Rock* We absolutely love this place. There is so much to see you almost need more than one day.

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Kayaking: *Scappoose Bay* This was the first place we took our new kayak. There’s lots of places to explore here.

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*Overall best hike of 2015*

Painted Hills!

Hands-down the most interesting place we’ve ever been to. The colors are beautiful¬†and the views up at Carroll Rim are amazing! We HIGHLY recommend this hike!

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Honorable Mentions: *Lower Twin Lake, Youngs River Falls, Lost Lake (hike and kayak), Tom McCall Nature Preserve (go in the spring!), and The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.*

We’d love to hear what some of your favorite hikes of 2015 were!

Wishing everyone happy hiking in 2106!

Zigzag Canyon (Summer)

Directions: Take Highway 26 just past Government Camp and take a left signed for Timberline Lodge. Follow this road all the way up to the lodge and park in the overflow area.

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This hike starts behind Timberline Lodge, you will need to walk up towards the lodge and take a paved path the winds up the side of the lodge. Soon you will see a sign to your left marked for Timberline Trail no. 600 and Pacific Crest Trail no. 2000. Take this trail and follow behind the lodge and under ski lifts. For the first mile the trail gradually heads downhill on a maintained dirt path that’s lined with lupine. It’s very exposed with little shade and the trail can be quite dusty. You will have great close-up views of Mt. Hood to your right and views of Mt. Jefferson and The Three Sisters to your left.

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You will soon come to a wilderness permit station that you need to stop at to fill out a tag that you carry on your backpack. Not doing so could result in a fine. Continue on past the permit station and you will soon come to Little Zigzag Canyon, this is your halfway point. The trail here starts to become a loose almost sandy gravel that can cause you to lose your footing in some areas. The trail heads more steeply downhill as you hike down into the canyon. You will need to cross some water here but it’s shallow and there are plenty of rocks to hop across without getting wet.

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After making your way across and out of the canyon, you will head back downhill again as you wind through a more heavily forested area. The trail will start opening up as you get closer and start passing a few meadows. You will also get back into the loose sandy gravel as you start heading into a more exposed area that takes you up to the canyon. The trail drops you off right at the lip of Zigzag Canyon with an amazing view of Mt. Hood. You will also be able to see Mississippi Head (large rock formation in the canyon) and the Zigzag River.

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This is an out and back trail, so head back the way you came.

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Distance: 4.5 miles

Elevation: 500 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For:¬†We’re going to say all ages but be aware that the elevation loss and gain is steady and there are steep cliffs at the canyon overlook.

Bathrooms: Yes in the lodge.

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: Early summer to late fall.

Popular: Yes

Overall: This is a great hike! The views are amazing and the wildflowers are gorgeous.