The path from Zigzag Canyon looking up to Huntsville Head under Oregon’s highest volcano.
ELEVATION: 8040 ft, with around 3400 ft vertical gain total; 2000 ft vertical gain Paradise Park loop only.
DISTANCE: 11 mi max round-trip clockwise loop; 12 mi Paradise Park Huntsville loop instead.
DURATION: 5-7 hours round-trip for each Huntsville loop.
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DIFFICULTY: Mix of very challenging (steeper, route-finding, rocky, long, ups/downs, snow travel probable, traction devices helpful above Mississippi Head) and strenuous for Paradise Park loop (long, never steep, good signage, ups/downs).
TRIP REPORT: This hike is like the previous one with Huntsville its many options but on an even grander scale! It’s longer, steeper, contains an option to descend the tip of Mississippi Head to view or visit an old B-26 bomber plane crash site (only part of a propeller remains), and climbs part of a glacier before descending the ski area to the TH. You also happen to pass by the Paradise Park wildflower show (alternate loop option without Mississippi Head), which in high summer is one of the very best in all of the Oregon Cascades! No pass required in summer, and restrooms are located inside the lower building at Timberline Lodge, 50 ft to the right.
Paintbrush, aster, and others light up Paradise Park in late August.
TRAILHEAD: Timberline Lodge. See hike 37 for directions.