A nice alternative to the more popular High Prairie 493 trail. This trail winds through meadows and forests along a Western ridge with great views of Mt Hood.
Follow highway 35 to Dufur Mill Road 44 (between mileposts 70 and 71) and head East on the paved road for 3.8 miles until you turn right on gravelly High Prairie Road 4410 for another 4.7 miles. At a "T" turn left for a Tenth of a mile to the trailhead. Cross the road to get to the trail.
This trail splits off the main High Prairie 493 Trail right from the trailhead. You'll see a small sign ("Horse Trail") pointing to the right. This is definitely the road less traveled, but the overall length of your trip (1.2 miles) stays about the same. The trail begins in meadows of blue penstemon, purple aster, blue lupine and hellebore (a plant which local Natives believed could ward off evil spirits.) Peek-a-boo views of Mt Hood are seen along the way while the trail winds between sub-alpine forest and meadow, eventually topping out on decomposed volcanic rock. (Ignore the side trails to the right, they'll just take you downhill) Wind past the Volcanic Pinnacle and up toward the junction with the divide trail. Turn left up the Mountain and continue on to the summit. Lots of little side ridges are available to peek out at the views of Badger Creek Wilderness to the South. At the top one can enjoy views of Mt Hood, Rainier, Adams and Jefferson.
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