We headed up to Mt. Hood for a few days of backpacking. This was your first overnighter, so we decided to go somewhere familiar, but memorable. Paradise Park is a section of extremely beautiful alpine meadows on the west face of the mountain. Starting at Timberline Lodge, the entire loop trail is about 12 miles. Much of this is on the PCT, the trail which your mother and I hiked in 2005.
On Friday, we packed up and took our time getting out of Portland. The weather report showed thunderstorms on the mountain lingering into the early afternoon. We arrived at the lodge around 2:30pm and found that it was still quite windy and cold – so, before heading out, we decided to stop at the gift shop and pick you up some bright red mittens. The only size they had was way too big, but you didn’t seem to mind.
We placed you in your mothers pack. You quickly discovered how to drink from the water bladder – much to the joy of everyone we passed.
Unfortunatly, there was much more snow on the trail then we expected. This made for slow hiking. However, it also meant that there very few others on the trail, giving us quite a bite of solitude.
From the rushing waters of Zigzag canyon, the trail climbs sharply to the tree line. After crossing a few more steep snow fields, we found a perfect camping spot on the edge of a small creek. Just before sunset, the clouds finally started to lift and we were all treated to views of the mountain.