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September 2, 2010: Mississippi Head, Mt. Hood, Oregon

This route was dreamed up the previous year while approaching the end of a hike from Timberline Lodge to Paradise Park and back. That's a nice route, but having to climb uphill 1400 feet at the end of the day, after already walking about 10 miles, is awful. I wondered whether it might be possible to travel up and over Zigzag Canyon and then walk down to Timberline Lodge. It turns out that the climb up the northwest rim of Zigzag Canyon is tough, as predicted (3300' of climbing in less than 4 miles), but the descent to the lodge is so easy that it's actually fun.

Click here for a map of the route.

Mt. Jefferson partridgefoot & paintbrush Mount Hood & Little Zigzag Canyon Mount Hood & Zigzag Canyon Mississippi Head
clasping twisted-stalk berries slender bog orchid western false asphodel false solomon's seal pearly everlasting
pearly everlasting turtle-head clasping twisted-stalk berries small landslide across the trail fireweed
Zigzag River dragonfly dragonfly green valley north of Zigzag Canyon ripples in a stream
aster-covered hillside last-quarter moon and a hemlock tree Mount Hood & wildflowers Paradise Park trail junction user trail toward Mississippi Head
middle "lobe" of Paradise Park green valley north of Zigzag Canyon, from above south wall of Zigzag Canyon Mount Hood & Mississippi Head trekking pole anemometer
barren slopes looking down Zigzag Canyon penstemon Mississippi Head green slopes
Mount Hood pussypaws Mount Jefferson all three lobes of Paradise Park view down the canyon waterfall at the top of the canyon
Mississippi Head Mount Hood snowfield to be climbed view toward Mount St. Helens Adam
snowfield with a steep drop looking down Zigzag Canyon Timberline Lodge & Mount Jefferson summit of Mount Hood Crater Rock
Illumination Rock Illumination Rock & the summit east side of the summit above the Palmer chair lift snowfield leading back to Timberline Lodge Mount Hood from near Timberline Lodge

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