Grassy Knoll

At the Grassy Knoll trailhead you head north along the old route of the Pacific Crest Trail which started at Dog Mountain, gently climb from the parking area across a wildflower meadow into the forest. It doesn’t take long before the trail steepens and becomes a long slog up the hill. After about 1 mile walking up through the nice forest there are some views to the east of the Hood River area. Continuing a bit farther the trail sort of levels out and there are some nice viewpoints from the tops of some weathered basalt cliffs of the Big Lava bed and surrounding Mt. Adams.

From there the trail drops down a bit, following the ridgeline and passes through a pleasant forest with carpets of wildflowers and a couple of mountain meadows with wildflowers dotting the landscape. Some of the open areas had large anthills nearby. You’ll know if you are too close because these ants bite. I even had a couple latched on to the soles of my hiking shoes. Soon the trail climbs again and comes out to a very large alpine meadow full of wildflowers. This is the site of the former lookout where the Forest Service built a lookout on in 1934. You can find plenty of pieces of the former lookout while admiring the vistas.

From Grassy Knoll the trail stays under a canopy of trees and about 5 miles from the trailhead is a camping area and a short side trail down to Cold springs. Someone has called it the Alway Trail and does some maintenance. Down this trail there is a little bridge across the tiny creek from the springs and it is an excellent place to refill your water. The side trail goes on a bit farther then dies out.

The trail climbs fairly steeply up to the junction with the PCT. From the junction of the PCT and Trail 146, take a short steep trail up to the top of Big Huckleberry Mountain. There was a fire lookout built here in the 1920’s and was used through the 1930’s. There are pieces of glass and other remnants about but not as much as at Grassy Knoll. There is a large open area with nice views of Mt. Hood and some limited views of Mt. Adams through the trees. There are some additional meadows to the east where you get another glimpse of Mt. Hood.

Come back down on the side-trail and back to the junction of trail 146 and the PCT and from there back to the Grassy Knoll Trailhead.