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Amazing & Family Friendly Hike at Mount Hood Meadows

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

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While staying in Mt. Hood Village, we participated in many hikes; but the one that stood out as our best day was our hike at Mt. Hood Meadows.

As a family of 6, with ages ranging from 12 to 50, we have a lot to consider before we begin any hike. It isn't always the easiest to find a hike that checks all of the boxes for all six family members. Some are too hard, some are too boring and some are fun, but don't really deliver the views and scenery we always hope for. However, the hike we just happened upon at Mt Hood Meadows, checked all of our boxes and it happened completely by accident.

We arrived at Mt. Hood Meadows and ate a very tasty lunch at the restaurant while looking over the hiking options. We decided to purchase a chair lift ticket and hike back down Trail 1 since that trail was rated the easiest. I checked Groupon and found 50% off chair lift tickets (as a family of six, we are always looking to save a penny). After dining in the shadow of Mt. Hood, we headed off to the chair lift where we enjoyed a scenic ride to the top of the mountain. Once at the top, we were all set to begin the walk back down, but something pulled me over to the Timberline trail. I asked my family if they wanted to check out the Timberline Trail for a bit (this is a 4 day/40 mile hike) before heading back down and all agreed. After about 10 minutes of walking under the trees we came across Trail 8 which cut across the Timberline Trail. I don't know what diverted my attention to Trail 8, but I asked everyone if they wanted to check this trail out and all agreed again. It was such a beautiful day, free of the summer crowds we had been coming up against all summer and I think we were all in a very explorative mood.

We began to head up Trail 8; it was not the most difficult trail we had done so we kept on following it up and up for quite awhile. Just as I was starting to think we may need to turn around, a stranger heading back down told us, "Keep going...all the way, it is magnificent!" He added that the views made him want to sit up there all day. As we climbed higher and higher all four of my children continued to comment on how much they were enjoying this hike and at this point we were starting to approach the area above the tree line. The views of the cascades were breathtaking and we took several moments to stop and just enjoy the views. As we approached the final turn on the trail, the peak Mt. Hood with it's now visible blue glacier ice loomed just ahead and felt so close that you thought you could touch it. We spent about 30 minutes at the end of the trail just taking it all in and realized that we would be taking the chair lift back down since our hiking plans had completely changed. The kids cheered with the idea that they would get to ride the chair lift again. We were so grateful, that we did not go with our original plan to hike Trail 1 down and the kids all learned that sometimes a diverted path can bring about the most surprising experience.

Trail 8
Base of Mount Hood Peak

Before leaving Mt. Hood Meadows for the day, we made one last stop at the back of the parking lot and took a very short trail to Umbrella Falls. We did not have the energy to explore this trail so we did not continue on past the waterfall, but if I had to do this day over, I would hike Umbrella Falls in the AM, lunch at the restaurant (Mediterranean Wrap was amazing if you like Falafel) and chair lift to Trail 8 hike in the afternoon and chair lift back down.

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