- Easy and really beautiful dayhike with great views on Mt. Hood + Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Jefferson in the distance.
- About 3.2 miles up, same way back down. 6.4ml total.
- Gently uphill.
- Come early as it’s a popular hike and the TH parking lot fills quickly.
- Big thank you to Wired for helping me find this hike!!!
We drive up in the clouds and get one of the last spots at the trailhead to Mirror Lake. Despite of the 20 cars parked, we hardly meet anyone on the way up to Mirror Lake. I feel like walking through some exotic yet strangely familiar forest. Pinetrees are towering high but underneath rhododendrons bloom. Birds sing and it’s magical.
The trail zigzags up gently and before we know it we’re at mirror lake. There’s not much to see in the mirror, but my own face. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s what it’s about. Looking into the mirror of my own nature might be just the right thing to do while waiting for the clouds to set the mountain free.
An then there he is. Mt. Hood. Such a beauty. The clouds kiss him goodbye and we hike on, up the ridge to Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain. 2 long switchbacks. Smooth. With beautiful views back on Hood. Wildflowers bloom. Mosquitoes too. A well. Soon we’re on top and the view is breathtaking. I just stand there and think of the journey of the past months. 4 months ago I was learning to walk again. Now I am standing here. I can’t lift my leg properly yet and use it like ‘normal’ but I made it up here. And that’s fucking awesome.
At Mirror Lake I receive Goaltechs message with a dinner invitation. So kind. We happily say yes. Goaltech gave us his Happy Hiker Award two years ago while we were hiking the PCT. We only met for 10 minutes along the trail in California, his trailmagic and kindness stayed longer.
In the evening we drive up to Timberline Lodge and meet Goaltech and his daughters at the Rams head bar. We have dinner with a view of the sunset on Mt. Jefferson and we talk trail trail trail. It’s wonderful. How great it is to connect with people around the world, sharing the same passion. I have experienced so much kindness in this community. But some, like Goaltech, really stand out. Tomorrow he and his daughters hike up Mt. Hood, almost to the summit. Pretty badass. And it’s so good to see parents take their kids into nature, up mountains, on trails and spend time outdoors together. It gives me hope for the future.
Well fed (both body and soul) we drive back down to our campsite along muddy creek. The moon is out and ‘shining’ when we go to bed and I have a good nights sleep (one of the best since surgery actually). Ah I love sleep. And mountains. And birds. And pillows. And life!