Vista Ridge Trailhead
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
Hikes starting here
- Cairn Basin from Vista Ridge Hike (TH | <-- --> | LOG)
- Elk Cove from Vista Ridge Hike (TH | <-- --> | LOG)
- Owl Point from Vista Ridge Hike (TH | <-- --> | LOG)
- Perry Lake from Vista Ridge Hike (TH | <-- --> | LOG)
The Vista Ridge Trailhead is east of Lolo Pass, and is the starting point for several hikes on the scenic north side of Mount Hood. There is no water or restroom here, nor good campsites at the trailhead.
Fees & Regulations
- No pass required.
The Vista Ridge Trailhead can be reached from Lolo Pass Road.
Drive to the community of Zigzag on U.S. 26 which is 18 miles east of Sandy and 10 miles west of Government Camp.
From Zigzag, at the Zigzag store, go north on the Lolo Pass Road and drive 10.7 miles, and take the second right at Lolo Pass, onto FS 18, which is signed for Lost Lake. After 5.5 miles of gravel you’ll be back on pavement, and 5 miles beyond that – a total of 10.5 miles on FS 18 since Lolo Pass – make a hairpin right onto paved FS 16. (A sign at this intersection points to Vista Ridge Trail #626) Go 5.4 miles and turn right at a large intersection onto FS 1650, which quickly becomes good gravel road. The trailhead is 3.6 miles ahead, at the end of the road. Note that twice during this stretch you’ll need to stay left and uphill on the bigger of two roads.
An enticing view of Mount Hood unfolds just as you approach the trailhead, foreshadowing the trip ahead. Parking can be tight where the road abruptly ends at the trailhead, so be prepared to backtrack and park along the shoulder.
For a slightly longer route that has less rough road, drive east on I-84 to Hood River, take Exit 62, turn right onto Westcliff Drive, then immediately right on Country Club Road, which briefly parallels the freeway, then turns south. At a T-intersection with Barrett Drive, turn left, and follow Barrett Drive for about a mile to Tucker Road, marked by a gas station and grocery story. Turn right on Tucker, and follow this route as it eventually descends to a bridge over the West Fork Hood River and passes a fruit market. Just beyond the bridge and market, turn right on Dee Highway and follow this route for approximately 7 miles to the abandoned mill site at Dee. Take the fork to the right onto the Lost Lake Highway, and following signs to Lost Lake at various twists and turns through orchards. Soon, this route enters forest and begins paralleling the West Fork, and enters the National Forest, also becoming Forest Road 13. After several miles, come to the well-signed junction at a hair-pin turn with Lolo Pass Road, which is also Forest Road 18. Turn left onto Lolo Pass Road, and follow it 3.2 miles as it drops to another crossing of the West Fork, then climbs for a few miles to the junction with Forest Road 16. Turn left, onto Road 16, and from here follow the directions described in the Zigzag approach.