In order to access the Cooper Spur Trail, walk through the Cloud Cap Campground to a three-way junction. Tilly Jane Trail #600A is to the right, and Timberline Trail #600 is to the left. Continue straight ahead (south) through the woods. A short distance beyond the wilderness entry bulletin board, a trail leads off to the right. This is an impromptu trail developed by climbers that ascends the south moraine of the Eliot glacier. Keep to the left, the main trail. The trail now leaves the trees (mostly Hemlock and occasional Pacific Silver Fir) and travels over sandy, boulder-strewn slopes. A few gnarled Whitebank Pine dot the hillside just before reaching a junction with the Tilly Jane and Cooper Spur trails. This is where the Cooper Spur trail begins.
A few hundred feet up the trail a rock shelter is passed on the right. The trail then parallels Timberline trail for about one mile before beginning a series of switchbacks that takes hikers to a dip in the crest of Cooper Spur and the end of the trail at 8,514'. Pending nice weather, the outstanding views reward those willing to make this steady climb. A return can be made by following the climbers trail down the crest of the moraine. This is not a maintained trail and the tread is often loose rock, and quite narrow in places. Watch your step!
Directions: From Hood River, Travel south on Highway 35 for approximately 25 miles to a sign indicating "Cooper Spur Ski Area". Turn right and drive to the Cooper Spur Inn (approximately two miles) and turn left on Road 3512. Follow signs to Cloud Cap (approximately 11 miles). The last nine miles are narrow and unpaved - stay alert. Park near the Cloud Cap Saddle Campground.
Distance: 3.4 miles
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Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon
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