ApproachSee the "Getting There" section. The trailhead starts on Highway 26 between mileposts 51 and 52 at a wooden footbridge.
Route DescriptionThe first 1.4 miles is an easy hike on a clearly defined path to Mirror Lake. From there take the right fork (now called the Wind Creek Trail) and head west 1.8 miles to a switchback at a large rock cairn. If you are climbing in winter be careful when you come to a large cleared area on this section of the climb as this has been cleared due to winter avalanches.
After the switchback , it is about .7 of a mile to the end of the path at a summit rockpile. This is not the true summit, however. To get to the true summit, you need to bushwhack about another 1/2 mile to the east to the middle peak on the ridge.
For a variation on this route by Noah (Oregon):
"I don't intend this comment to serve as a full-fledged route description but I wanted to put the info out there in case anybody is interested in a variation to the summit...
Once you get to Mirror Lake, stay to the left (East) when the trail forks. Going to the right will lead you to the normal trail that goes to the summit. By staying left you can reach the far side of the lake in a few minutes. Once on the South-Southeast side of the lake you can go off-trail (please do this only when snow cover is protecting fragile alpine habitat) and make a line straight up towards the summit. Stay as far to the left (East) as you can while climbing. The danger of avalanche seems fairly high despite the north-facing aspect of this climb. It is non-technical walk-up but the cliffs above you and the views of Hood behind you make it a fun, close climb if you are in the Portland area. Like so many other mountains in the world, it is not the difficulty that makes this a nice climb but merely the fact that you can get out there and enjoy nature. Snowshoes and a camera (for the amazing shots of Hood) are a must. But you'd better go in the Winter while the route is blanketed in snow. "
I've also done Noah's route and I would say it is the better winter route. More direct, better views, more aesthetic.