Hiker celebrating atop Picnic Rock. Photo by Josey Rice.
Our featured Hike of the Week, while not the highest in elevation by any means at Mt. Hood Meadows, is one of the resort's best for those looking to experience the thrill of precipitous cliff faces and the feeling of being far above their surroundings.
For this week, we're highlighting the Picnic Rock Spur (Trail No. 3) and the Bear Grass Trail (No. 1). Picnic Rock – a sheer, rocky outcropping located near the legendary God's Wall skiing/snowboarding terrain – is a fairly well-known landmark in the Meadows permit area, and offers sweeping views of the Hood River Meadows area below it, along with Mt. Hood, Elk Mountain/Meadows, Mt. Jefferson, and other peaks. The Bear Grass Trail, which the Picnic Rock spur connects to, also offers some good peek-a-boo views of Mt. Hood. And while the mid-summer wildflowers are now past peak, Meadows Summer Operations Manager Josey Rice reports that the end-of-summer wildflowers – goldenrod, fireweed, pearly everlasting, etc., – are out in full force, particularly on the lower sections of our trail system, and ones near sources of water.
Mt. Hood and Clark Canyon as seen from Picnic Rock. Photo by Kathi Williams.
The hike is best accessed via a Scenic Chair Ride up Stadium Express, but like many other hikes at Meadows, can be accessed from the base area or combined with other trails to make for a longer hike (download our Summer Trail Map for more information). Head right off the top of the lift onto the Stadium Loop (No. 5), then quickly hop onto the Bear Grass Trail (No. 1), which passes underneath the Hood River Express (HRE) lift. Continue on the trail, passing the intersection with the Bear Grass Cutoff (No. 2) and Jack's Woods Trail (No. 6), until reaching the junction with Picnic Rock Spur (No. 3). Head up the the 0.3-mile spur until you reach the obvious promontory that is Picnic Rock. If you do venture out onto the rock, be extremely careful of the steep cliff faces and loose rocks.
Fireweed blooming near the bottom of the Bear Grass Trail, underneath Stadium Express. Photo by Josey Rice.
When you're done enjoying the views, head back down the spur, but take a left at the junction to head onto the section of the Bear Grass Trail you haven't hiked on yet, heading underneath the HRE lift again. Continue on the trail past the Umbrella Cutoff (No. 4) and past the bottom of the the Bear Grass Cutoff as you head back down underneath Stadium Express, past some amazing sections of wildflowers, and into the base area to complete your hike, which will end at the main lodge. Total length of the hike is 3.97 miles, with 616 feet in elevation loss, and should take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. The Bear Grass Trail is rated "Easier" and Picnic Rock is rated "Most Difficult" due to the cliff areas.
Weekend Special Events
Movies, beer, food, and music... we've got another great weekend lined up for you at Mt. Hood Meadows!
On Friday night, we'll have our second installment of our Movies on the Deck series: Ghostbusters! Grab a blanket and settle into one of our comfy chairs out on the deck to take in this 1984 classic flick under the stars. Scenic Chair Rides will be going until 7 PM, and the Paradise Grill will be open up until 15 minutes before showtime (8:45-ish PM/dusk) for movie snacks (please, no outside food or beverages). Tickets are just $10 for adults and $8 for juniors and can be purchased online in advance.
Get Movies on the Deck tickets to Ghostbusters
Saturday marks the return of our Summer Brew Fest, featuring six different Gorge breweries, who will be pouring tastes of their craft beverages from 2-5 PM at the Sahale Lodge, accompanied by live music from Kathleen Hollingsworth. Save a little money and purchase online in advance by Wednesday afternoon, but don't worry! Day-of tickets will also be available.
Get Brew Fest info and advance tickets
After the Brew Fest, we'll have the Brew Dinner in the Sahale Lodge at 6 PM! We have an amazing five-course meal prepared by Executive Chef Matthew Grimsley and the Meadows Culinary Services Team, which will pair perfectly with four beers and a cider from Double Mountain Brewery & Cidery. Tickets for the Brew Dinner must be purchased by Wednesday afternoon; no day-of tickets will be available.
View menu and make Brew Dinner reservations
We'll wrap things up on Sunday with some more live music, this time from Meadows' own Dave Tragethon, who will be playing on the Paradise Sun Deck from 3-5 PM.
As always, you can make a full weekend of it and stay the night in your self-contained RV by purchasing overnight RV parking reservations online in advance. We look forward to seeing you this weekend at Mt. Hood Meadows!