Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cloud Cap

The Cloud Cap trailhead at Mt. Hood is a gateway to high elevation views of the north side of the mountain. We set out one day to go on a hike there, but got snarled in a traffic jam.  We decided to keep going there anyway and just take a stroll. We couldn't do the longer hike we'd planned but at least we got to breathe the fresh mountain air! The Cloud Cap Inn, built in 1886, still stands but is only open to the public when the Forest Service gives occasional tours.  It's maintained and used by the Crag Rats, a search and rescue team established in 1926. A devastating forest fire came through in 2008 and left the inn untouched, but the drive up to the trailhead provides vast panoramas of thousands upon thousands of dead snags left behind.  The drive is a bit nasty and best suited to high clearance vehicles.  A Northwest Forest Pass is required.
Buckwheat.
Lupine.
Penstemon.
Penstemon.
Jacob's ladder.
Phlox.
Lupine.
Cloud Cap Inn.

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