August 2011- Hiking around Mount Hood (Zigzag Canyon and Paradise Park)
This is one of the more beautiful and adventurous 2 day hikes I’ve done. It could easily be done in one day, but that’s not nearly as fun. There are river crossings, a cool ice cave a little off the beaten path (at least when we were there), and some nasty elevation gain, so be prepared; this ‘paradise’ is no walk in the park; but it is all well worth the effort with the beautiful Mt. Hood in your periphery for much of the hike.
The hike itself is about 12.3 miles total, and starts at Timberline Lodge. We just walked past the lodge, saw the Pacific Crest Trail and followed it. It eventually leads you into a huge 700-foot-deep canyon, with views almost the entire way. Eventually you cross a river and head back up, getting to the ‘Paradise Park’ section of the hike. Here is how we experienced the hike.