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Enjoy a holiday hike but please avoid the base area

Categories: Guest Connection

Umbrella Falls at Mt. Hood Meadows ResortThe concern of viral spread has suspended our summer chairlift operations. But there is still a lot of great hiking in and around our permit area.

The most popular and easily accessed is the Umbrella Falls Trail. Just look for the sign on the right side of our access road, about a 1/4 mile before our main parking lot gate. Our parking lots and base facilities are closed, and we appreciate you avoiding the base area and the Sahale construction site.

  • You can park outside of our gates, just please don't block the gate
  • Slow down on our access roads, there could be a lot of foot and vehicle traffic
  • Don't park on vegetation
  • Note - there are no restrooms available in our facilities, other than a pit toilet at Elk Meadows - so plan accordingly

Hiking tips during the coronavirus Leave No TraceOregonHikers.org Hikes:

Here's some great information to help you prepare for your hike - it is important that you recreate responsibly and follow the same precautions you are using to protect yourself at home when you are traveling to and from your hike.

Here's a flashback to an Umbrella Falls hike originally posted in 2015. Happy holiday - and enjoy your hike!

There are plenty of hikes, beauty and nature available right now. Today, I had a little extra time before a morning meeting so I took a quick hike on the Umbrella Falls Trail. It’s easy to find on your right on our main access road. My plan was to refresh myself, clear some thoughts and truly enjoy the nature of Mt. Hood.

I tracked the hike with two apps - the “S-Health” app built into my Galaxy S5, and the free Strava app. We suggest using an app to track your hiking this summer. It creates a great record of your hikes, but also provides some incentive to reach goals - always good to have for motivation. Or you can forget the technology, and just get into the natural serenity and magnificence you’ll discover along the way.

The Pumpkin Tree along the Sahallie Trail at Mt. Hood Meadows

The trail is well maintained and the downhill ascent takes you to the namesake Umbrella Falls. The water is showering over the rocks and streaming down under the walking bridge. It was refreshing - the air temperature was five degrees cooler than at the road, just a 1/4 mile away. I don’t know if the rush of fresh mountain water is more clarifying than other water, but pausing and soaking in the sound sure felt good.

Continuing my walk I reached the Sahalie Falls loop trail and turned right towards the falls. The S-Health app signaled that I had reached the half way point to a 1 mile target it had set. At 9/10s of a mile it urged me on to make that goal. Really I wanted to try to get to the falls, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time. So just after a mile (and a congratulations from S-Health) I turned back. Partly because the app announced I had covered 1 mile in 18 minutes, and I had only 25 minutes to make it to my meeting. I took a moment to soak in the dead silence. In contrast to the splash of the cascading waterfall, at this point on the trail there was almost utter silence. Standing still a moment I could barely hear the white noise of insectual humming, and an occasional bird chirp.

Serenity on the Sahallie Trail at Mt. Hood Meadows

I was planning on a brisk walk, but found I enjoy running up hills more than walking, giving me a good workout. The GalaxyS5 has a heart rate monitor, and I was able to sustain an elevated heart rate of between 110 and 136 for approximately a half hour. That was an unexpected benefit of this morning’s hike that will stick with me all day.

Strava hike at Mt. Hood MeadowsThe Strava app was silent, although I could have listened to a playlist feature accessing files on my phone. Both recorded the hike and presented the trail on a topo overlay. Both allowed me to post pictures to remember the hike by. Both said I traveled 2.2 miles, 2.16 according to S-Health which reported a 44 minute hike. Strava said 35:41 of “moving time” not counting the moments I took gazing at the waterfall, taking pictures and enjoying the silence. S-Health provided some great stats for max speed, avg speed and pace, weather conditions and elevation gain, and the Strata app showed speed and elevation profiles. Considering these are both free apps, I am more than pleased with their record keeping and reporting.

S-Health App hike at Mt. Hood Meadows