Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dog River Trail - Mt. Hood National Forest - 10/21/12

I had hoped to do some climbing on the NE face of Mount Hood (Cooper Spur Trail) on this day but my rental car was unable to negotiate the access road.  There was some ice and snow on the road and the sign was out saying chains necessary.   From Cooper Spur Ski Area, it would have been another 9.5 miles to the trailhead.
I looked for an alternative hike and settled on the nearby Dog River Trail.  It turns out that this trail is more well known as a mountain biking trail, but I didn't know what else was around and it looked OK to me.
Mount Hood from the NE along Route 35


This was as far as I could go without chains on the car

Below is the trail description sign that was at the Dog River trailhead.  I decided that this would be the hike for the day.  The trail was quite easy to walk on (since it is a mountain bike route) and I quickly walked up onto the ridge where I reached the snow line at about 3000'. 

Dog River trail description

10 minutes up the trail, I came face to face with a deer

I was hoping for some good views of Mount Hood from this trail, but it was socked in all day.  I did enjoy seeing the snow though on a warm day in the 40's.  Every once in a while, the tress would release some clumps on snow onto me, but that was OK.

Starting to reach the snow at 3000'

Up at the far end of the ridge, the trail came out on a forest road

Not sure if this is a Larch tree, or in that family

This sign was attached to the tree on the picture above

Mossy trees down low by Dog River and no snow here

It was an interesting day, with no snow at the start, yet quite white and wintry looking up high.  I did see a couple mountain bikers getting in some last rides before winter.  A nice day out.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  10.6 miles
Hike Time:  3.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  2860'

Dog River Trail in relation to Mt. Hood


A larger look


  1. That's one trail I've never hiked. If you're ever in the area again, there are a couple other trails off of Hwy 35 that are good. There's the trail to Tamanawas Falls and the Gumjuwac trail - both can be accessed right off of the highway. There is also a trail up to Tilly Jane that you can access from Cooper Spur Ski area's parking lot (provided you can get that far). I skied up that trail twice last year (stories are on my blog)

    1. Thanks. Yes, if I had known, I would have just parked at Cooper Spur and hiked to Tilly Jane.

      ...and yes, I'll be back. Usually once or twice a year.