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Location: In Mt. Hood NF, E of Estacado on SR 224.
From the town of Estacada, drive about 25 miles down 224, past the Ripplebrook Guard Station, taking a right on paved FS Rd. #46 (it's a clear fork here, the left fork is #57 I believe) Almost immediately you come to the Rainbow Campground - which this time of year now gated (and they don't want you parking IN the campground for this trail anyway, so we parked away from the gate in the driveway.) You also have the option of parking at the south end of the trail, Riverside Campground, same rules apply. Or, there is a mid trail access at MP 2 where the trail comes right near the Rd. 46.
Small (concessionaire operated) campgrounds located at both trail termini. Temperate low elevation rain forest environment. Big trees, big ferns, green and lush. Within easy driving distance on paved roads from the Portland, Oregon metro area, this trail is open to use nearly year round, and, unlike most mountain trails, is not troublesome to get to. Portions of the drive to the trailhead are as scenic as the hike itself. Nearest town is Estacada, Oregon, 26 miles west. Features ("riverside") views of river and of wildlife including river otters, bald eagles, osprey, various waterfowl, and uncommon birds. Native salmon runs and good fish viewing during the runs. The salmon story might make interesting narrative. Extensive archeological evidence of native American cultural sites exists along the river. A discussion of this heritage might make interesting narrative.
The main draw is numerous large and towering old growth trees, including Douglas Fir, cedar and hemlock Photos of these trees are appealing to everyone. Generally easy walking, suitable for families, but does not get heavy use and does not have the negative aspects associated with overuse. The trail photographs well any time and in any light, including winter. Several rustic timber bridges.
Width: 24 inches.
Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 1979
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsMap: USFS Trail Map/Overview
Website: USFS Trail Details
Website: Trail information and map
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
Mount Hood National Forest
16400 Champion Way
Sandy, OR 97030
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