The trailhead is about 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
From Portland take I-84 East to the Wood Village, exit (16A). Head south and turn left onto NE Burnside Rd. Heading East, Burnside will merge into Highway 26. Follow Hwy 26 past Government Camp and exit on Highway 35 to Hood River. Follow Hwy 35 for about 2.7 miles. Turn right into the Barlow Pass Trailhead or Snow Park.
A Snow Park permit is required during the snow season.
A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead.
No outhouses are available at the parking lot. The closest bathrooms are at White River West parking lot or Government Camp.
Bicycles are not allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Length and Elevation:
Round trip to Upper Twin Lake is about 7 miles.
Palmateer Trail #482 is 1.7 miles one way.
Trailhead elevation: 4,150 feet. High point on trail: 4,925 feet. Elevation gain is 1,780 feet and loss is 1,780 feet.
Pacific Crest Trail #2000, Twin Lakes Trail #495, Palmateer View Trail #482 with connections to Barlow Road and Devil’s Half Acre Trail #482A.
There is at least one geocache along this trail at N 45° 16.920 W 121° 41.042 . Info at Geocaching.com
Topo Map, Download Garmin .gpx file
Review: November 11, 2009
From the trailhead, walk up into the forest about 50 feet and take a right on the Pacific Crest Trail. On this well maintained trail, walk through a forest of mostly second growth hemlock trees to the bushwhack cutoff leading to a viewpoint of Mt. Hood.
The wide and well maintained PCT undulates up and down, gradually gaining elevation. The forest here is dense and chokes out the tall undergrowth allowing mainly Beargrass and Bunchberries to grow. At Waypoint 036 at N 45° 16.022’, W 121° 41.569’, leave the trail for the viewpoint. Make your way uphill and through the forest. Generally follow the ridgeline up and after about .2 mile cross a rocky slope. Head west, going around the corner of the ridge and make your way back to the ridgeline.
On the next rockfield, head towards the left side of the ridge then continue uphill negotiating through the sparser areas of the forest.
Soon you’ll cross two more rockfields, staying toward the east side each time. Soon you should reach a clearing marked with Waypoint 040 at N 45° 15.781, W 121° 41.768. From there, work your way generally south and uphill to the last and final rockfield which leads to the top of this butte and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and especially of Mt. Hood.
From here, work your way back down to the Pacific Crest Trail heading east, mostly straight downhill. Reaching the PCT, turn right and in about .3 mile reach the junction for trail #495 at N 45° 15.428’, W 121° 41.532. From here the trail continues east through the woods, gently climbing up a couple of switchbacks to a saddle below Bird Point Summit. Bird Point Summit is to the southwest.
From the saddle, the trail drops down through a couple more switchbacks to Upper Trail Lake. Upper Trail Lake has some partial views of Mt. Hood and a campsite or two along the lake. The trail goes skirts the east side of the lake, just in the trees.
Near the south end of the lake is a junction for the Palmateer Trail #482. It heads gently uphill and leads away from the lake. This trail is much narrower and is not as well maintained as the Twin Lakes Trail. The trail climbs for .3 mile and then drops down. Off to the right is a little user trail that leads to an overhanging rocky viewpoint that provides a view of the ridges to the east and of Mt. Hood to the north.
After walking .2 mile from the rocky viewpoint there is a junction for the Palmateer Trail Camp. Follow the right hand trail for .75 mile to the camp and the viewpoint. This trail appears to be fairly level with a few user trails off to the right that lead to more views of the ridges to the east and Mt. Hood.
The trail drops down through a nice meadow, then it steeply switchbacks down to a creek crossing. Use the makeshift log crossing over the creek. About .1 mile after the stream crossing is another trail junction. Take the right junction up to Palmateer View Trail. The trail leads up to the top of the point to a great view of Mt. Hood and a fantastic view of the valley heading off to the east. In the fall the yellows of the larch trees make a beautiful scene.
Descending back to the junction, turn right and climb for about .2 more mile, then level out, and admire this section that has been newly maintained by volunteers. Think about the Washington Trail Association’s motto of giving a day of trail service for every 100 miles you hike.
The trail winds through the forest and just before it reaches the PCT, it begins to climb more steeply. Soon you reach the PCT, turn right and head uphill back to Barlow Pass and the parking lot. The trail climbs gently up on the side of the butte viewpoint.
Great views can be had from the top from different places on the gently sloping point.
There are some steep side slopes but with reasonable care, this trail is safe for small children and pets.
Enjoy the photos!!