Hunchback Mountain - Mt Hood ZigZag, OR

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
10.9 mls N/A N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
7.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
4,220 ft
Oregon State Parks
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Zigzag, Turn right into the Zigzag Ranger Station,
  Large parking lot and trail head is on the left.

For deep valleys, great mountains and tall timber it's hard to beat the pacific northwest. Hunchback Mountain is one of the steeper of the Oregon hikes especially as it edges along the knife ridge line for which it is named.

We were lucky and had a spectacular day of weather with the visibility over 20 miles. On the ridge portion of the hike as we neared our vertically highest point we were rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view towards the southwest.

At t he furthest point in the hike (this is an out and back hike) there is a small clearing were Mt. Hood peeked through its lower cloud layers. I think with about another 20 minutes it might have cleared up a little more and we would have gotten a great view of the whole mountain.

This hike will really test your fitness. At over 4,000ft and 10+ miles by the time you get back to the parking area you know you've accomplished something. What's great about this route, besides from the spectacular views, is that if you get to tired or start running out of time it's easy to just turn around and call it a day.

Directions for this hike are very simple. Just stay on the the trail as it steeply zigzags the mountain before reaching the ridge line in 1.5 miles. At that point continue following the ridge as it undulates and continually ascends Hunchback Mountain before reaching the high point at 4,011 feet 4.5 miles from when you reached the ridge. To return just retrace your route.

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Hiker Reviews For The Hunchback Mountain Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: coho Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 16, 2010
I would have enjoyed it more were it not for a 45 pound pack and the last 3 miles from Devil's Peak there's a bunch of blowdown to negotiate which slows you down. Take a minimum of 2 liters of water with you as there is no source for about 8 miles and that was a trickle in the trail where I ended up spending the night. Trekking poles helped a lot both up and down. You WILL get a workout.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, March 12, 2007
No parking permit needed with quick convenient location off the 26 at the Zig-Zag ranger station. I would only recommend this to someone in excellent hiking shape! Quite steep throughout the first couple miles. Yes, walking stick would've helped the downward descent and my aching knees.

By: Dr. Bob Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 01, 2006
Excellent challange, walking stick is recommended, great views from rock outcrops after two miles.  One map I saw showed a heli-pad at about 6 miles??.  At the top, where this description ends it turns to solid canopy forest, reasonably flat but bo-o-o-ring.

Mid June
Late May
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