Hike Lookout Mountain via High Prairie Trailhead

Hike Lookout Mountain via High Prairie Trailhead

High Prairie Trailhead

Distance

3 Miles

Elevation Gain

565 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Michael Graw

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

Get in-your-face views of Mount Hood along with sprawling views of the Cascades and eastern Oregon at the top of this easy 3-mile summit hike.

Lookout Mountain should be the most popular destination in Oregon given its views to effort ratio. Mount Hood seems close enough to reach out and touch from the open, rocky summit, and views extend from the Three Sisters in the south to Mount Rainier to the north. While the hike is popular in the summer, Lookout Mountain sees far fewer people than nearby Elk Meadows or Mirror Lake. The Lookout Mountain trail is also a great entry point for longer hikes/backpacks into the Badger Creek Wilderness.

To reach the High Prarie Trailhead, from Highway 35 turn onto Highway 44 towards Dufur, just north of the Little John Snowpark. Note, this highway is unplowed in the winter, so you'll have to use the snowpark to reach Lookout Mountain via a much more difficult route once the road becomes unpassable. Continue for 3.6 miles, then turn right onto gravel FR-4410 - the road is marked, but it's difficult to see the sign before making the turn. Continue another 4.8 miles on well-maintained gravel, then make a left at the T-intersection and turn into the trailhead parking lot 50 feet later.

The trail begins across from the parking lot. You can either follow the old dirt road or take a spur trail on the right - they'll meet up about three-quarters of the way up the mountain. Either trail winds uphill through fir forest before reaching the junction, where you'll turn east (left if you took the dirt road, right if the spur trail) to climb the bit to the summit.

At the top, take in the views. Sunrise and sunset are both spectacular from the bald summit, and open views make for great night sky viewing. It is also possible to camp on the summit - there is a tent pad in the trees on the north side of the summit area - but be considerate of other hikers during the summer months. Once done, return to your car the way you came.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Amazing views, spectacular sunrise and stargazing

We backpacked this for our first backpacking adventure ever! A great first choice. Super high reward for little effort. It got pretty windy at the top overnight (this was mid-August). Amazing sunset, stargazing, and sunrise reflecting onto Mt. Hood make this a great, really relaxed and beautiful overnight or a perfect add-on to a longer hike in the area.

Distance

3 Miles

Elevation Gain

565 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Michael Graw

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Snowshoe to Tamanawas Falls

Adventure

Hike to Tamanawas Falls

Adventure

Dry Fly Fishing the East Fork of Hood River

Adventure

Snowshoe to the Tilly Jane A-Frame

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Related Stories

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

gear

Patagonia's First Ever Product Collaboration: Danner & Patagonia Wading Boots

Debuted at Summer Outdoor Retailer 2018, Patagonia's newest fly fishing products are now available.

activities

The World's Gnarliest Bike Race: 1000+ Miles on the Silk Road

"How tough it will be cannot be understated, but as Mike Hall once said, 'Nothing that’s worth an...

photography

How Landscape Photographers Can Improve at Leave No Trace

We often talk about “leaving no trace” in the outdoors. You don't take anything from the wilderne...

More Stories