Hood River Mountain is a little known gem. The loop is about 3 miles long, and I hear there are numerous wild flowers blooming. We were a little too early, a few Balsamroot were blooming. There is an open hillside overlooking both Mt Adams and Mt Hood, as well as Hood River that will be covered in wildflowers soon. I plan to go back here is a few weeks.
The hike started out going through a nice wooded area, then opened up onto a ridge top. Very windy, but beautiful! There are lots of Oregon White Oak here, and with that comes ticks. Be prepared to remove ticks from your animals if you bring them.
This hike is on private land, but the land owners welcome hikers and mountain bikers. There is a weather station at the top and a gravel road leading from the weather station back to the road you drove up on – this completes the loop. If you choose it would be shorter to go back the way you came.
If you take the gravel road down there is a wonderful meadow across the main road. The top of that meadow has great views of Mt Adams.
Drive approximately 1/4 mile south of Hood River on Oregon Hwy 35 from the intersection with the China Gorge Restaurant, and turn left onto East Side Road. Follow this road for about two miles, then turn left again onto the Old Dalles Road. About two more miles up this road you will come to an obvious saddle between two ridges. Park so that you don’t block any gateways, and the trail is on the south side of the road, marked only by a sign from the private owners of the property explaining that all forms of motorized vehicles is prohibited.