How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon

Paradise Park hike is the quintessential Oregon hike, giving you up-close views of the state’s most enduring image: Mt. Hood.  This hike, in fact, starts on TOP of Mt. Hood ~ & you’ll park next to famous Timberline Lodge, where Stephen King’s “The Shining” was filmed.  I’ll tell you how to get to Paradise Park hike in Oregon, FROM Timberline (there’s another route starting near Zigzag).  And I’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes we made….which cost us an extra two miles!!  This hike is already strenuous ~ & trust me, you WON’T want to hike any extra miles here!

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Paradise Park hike is one of the BEST summertime Oregon hikes ~ & it’s also one of the hardest. But I’ve never forgotten these views…

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon 

The most important thing you need to know about getting to Paradise Park hike FROM Timberline Lodge, is that you’ll be taking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for the first part of your hike (Trail #2000) ~ in order to meet up with the Paradise Park loop (Trail #757).  You can see on the map below, that Paradise Park is northwest of Timberline Lodge ~ & that “Paradise Park Trail Head” (which is a totally different hike), starts much lower, near Zigzag.  That is NOT the hike I’m detailing here, as this route starts at “Timberline Lodge Trail Head.”

Timberline Lodge

Lower Paradise Park Trail Head (by Zigzag)

Timberline Lodge Trail Head

Paradise Park

Directions to Paradise Park Hike

Directions from Downtown Portland

Distance from Portland: 64 miles

  • Enter “Timberline Lodge” into your GPS
  • Follow directions to Timberline from your location; it should be very straightforward 
  • Timberline Lodge has a large parking lot; park anywhere

Paradise Park Hike Info

  • Starting Point: Timberline Lodge Trailheads 
  • Total Trail Distance: 12.1 miles round-trip to Paradise Park
  • Hike Type: Loop (at Paradise Park), & out-and-back to Timberline Lodge
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time: 5-6+ hours
  • Elevation Gain: 2,300 feet
  • Pet-friendly: For very active dogs, who can cross rivers
  • Kid-friendly: Only for older, active kids who enjoy hiking
  • Good for Trail-Running/Marathon Training: Yes
  • Crowded: Light to moderate
  • All Seasons? Summer & early fall only
Great Oregon Hikes, John Muir, Angel's Rest Hike

Photos of Paradise Park Hike

Okay ~ you’ve parked, & you’re at “Timberline Lodge Trail Heads” (shown on map above).  This was where we got confused: we simply headed west on our own, not following any particular trail.  WRONG.  We got totally lost!  What you need to do, is find the Pacific Crest Trail (Trail #2000), which you can see on the map above heads west, crossing Zigzag Canyon, & eventually meeting up with Paradise Park (Trail #757). 

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

This a great illustration of the route from Timberline Lodge to Paradise Park ~ & you can see how the PCT overlaps with it.


How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

This hike gives you some of the most classic & quintessential “Oregon” views I’ve ever seen.

Most difficult things about this hike include: in the beginning, you’ll descend some large hills down into Zigzag Canyon.  The problem: you need to come back UP those on your return, when you’ve already hiked 10+ miles (we were EXhausted by then)!  This is challenging, & is why this hike is not for everyone ~ & definitely not for all dogs or children. 

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Paradise Park IS dog-friendly ~ but only for very active dogs, who can easily cross rivers!

My dog, Dylan, was about five when he did this hike.  Crossing Zigzag Canyon River was fine on the way there ~ but on the way back, we literally had to carry him across, because the river flow had changed.  He’s ten now, & there’s NO WAY I’d take him on this hike at his age!  Gauge the fitness level of your dogs & kids ~ & decide if they’re prepared for 12+ miles of hiking.

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Simply gorgeous. Photo taken in July.

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon 

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

The Paradise Park Loop is technically Trail #757 ~ but if you’re coming from Timberline, you won’t reach it for several miles.


How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Once you get to Paradise Park (during summer), you’ll be greeted by a sea of wildflowers.


How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

If Mt. Hood wasn’t hidden by clouds, it would be RIGHT behind us.

Photos of Paradise Park Hike 

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

On Paradise Park Loop.


How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Dogs & Kids need to be able to cross this rocky river to get to Paradise Park.


How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

On the way back to Timberline Lodge, beautiful views await..

Great Hikes Nearby

Popular Mirror Lake trail is located right off Highway 26, just before you get into Government Camp.  Every time I’ve been there, it’s been CRAZY busy!!  So try to hike it on a non-summer weekday.  There are also plenty of hiking trails starting at Timberline Lodge ~ check out a map & pick one that looks right for you.

Where to Stay & Drink

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World, Timberline Lodge

Look familiar? Timberline Lodge is the famous hotel from the movie, “The Shining.” The goods news: after a LONG hike, you can grab a drink here & take in amazzing views (& see if it’s haunted)!

Timberline Lodge is a legendary hotel located on top of Mt. Hood (not the very top ~ but as high as you can drive up).  They filmed “The Shining” here, & it’s also where the popular Hood-to-Coast relay race starts each year, in late August.  An ideal way to end the Paradise Park hike would be to stay the night at the Lodge, enjoying dinner & drinks while soaking in the magnificent Pacific Northwest views.

Get Prepared!

 

How to Get to Paradise Park Hike in Oregon

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how to get to Paradise Park hike in Oregon ~ have you been??  Did you get lost in the beginning too?!  Tell me about it below!

Happy Adventuring! 

xoxo Noelia 

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