Meadows with great views of Mt. Hood
For a hike so close to Portland, it doesn't get the use that many others do. In 2005 the original McIntyre Trailhead was closed due to too much vandalism and misuse by OHV. Fortunately now there is a new trailhead accessible by car and just over an hour away from the Portland metro area. The trail starts off on a wide, old road which climbs up to meet the McIntyre trail. Once you reach this trail, turn right. At just 0.8 miles, you reach the first view point of Mt. Hood. Time it right (usually late June or early July) and you'll see Rhodendrums here. Contine on the trail here as it climbs to McIntyre Ridge. The last section is a little steep, but the payoff comes later. A little further down the trail, you reach the first meadow. Look for the flagging as you enter and exit the meadow. Continue on to the second meadow which is a sprawling meadow of bear grass. From here continue on to the third meadow (roughly 2.2 miles in) where the flowers and view are even more spectacular. In addition, there is a nice bench here to enjoy the view. The bench is dedicated to two hikers who frequented the area. It makes for a great a lunch spot, Mt. Hood rising right in front of you. For those with extra energy, you can continue on to Wildcat Mountain. A lookout tower was here but is no longer and trees now all but obscure the view. When you're done soaking in the views, return the way you came.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.