I took Hwy 26 from Portland to Zig Zag and the E Lolo Pass Rd. Turn right onto Muddy Fork Rd. Continue straight onto the 1828 to Top Spur trailhead.
Length: 7.88 mi
Elevation gain: 3,330 ft
Moving time: 4:09:19
Avg. pace: 31:38
Total time: 4:48:22
Time: 82 Active Mins
The Top Spur trail connects to the PCT after 0.2mi. The junction to Timberline Trail #800. After another 0.6mi continue right on Timberline Trail at the junction with McGee Creek Trail #627. It's another 3.5mi to the McNeil Point Shelter.
|selfie from Ho Rock|
After Bald Mountain Ridge, there is a small patch of snow lower down and then trail is pretty steep and slippery w/ loose rock, dirt, sand. It looks like I missed the top section of the Timberline Trail that loops around to the McNeil Point Trail and took a more direct route.
|View of Mt Hood & Cathedral Ridge from Bald Mtn Ridge|
The hike to Ho Rock/Cathedral Ridge is a grueling 0.5mi incline from the shelter. You climb about 700'. It actually levels off a bit once you reach the start of the ridge. From there, the end of the trail is in sight.
|Mt Hood from Ho Rock/Cathedral Ridge|
When I was there, I dropped my bag off at the first big rock (Ho?) then ventured further to the end. Just in time, I saw a couple sitting and enjoying the view. I backed up quietly out of respect and walked back to my bag to take a break.
My original plan was just to make it to McNeil but when I got there I still had time to spare so I thought I'd just go as far as I could. A few folks were on their descent so it motivated me to keep going. I'm glad I made the extra push, so worth it.