Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain: Government Camp, Oregon

Start your journey in a cool, shadowed forest, with giant pines towering above. Take in the view at an alpine lake before ascending a rocky ridge up the side of Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain.

The 6.8 mile out-and-back is a steady climb, but any physical challenge will soon be distracted by the views of Mt. Hood, standing dramatically to the north.

Get ready: Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain is located in the middle of the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon. From Portland, hop onto U.S. Highway 26 East out of Gresham. The Mirror Lake trail head parking lot (where you’ll park) is on the right about a half mile before the town of Government Camp.

Take note: a NW Forest Pass is required – stop and get one along the way at the Mt. Hood National Forest HQ in sandy, oregon.

Get set: The parking lot fills up quickly on a nice summer day. To nab a spot, get there early. If you get a late start, you might need to park about .4 mile up the highway at the Mt. Hood Snowbowl.

Go: Look for the sign marked for Mirror Lake, and cross a narrow wooden footbridge over a raging creek. You’ll enter the shadowy forest right away. Your footsteps will be muted by the soft, pine-needle-laden soil as switchbacks lead you to the break in the treeline. About 1.4 miles in, you’ll reach a marker for the loop around Mirror Lake. We chose to do the loop after summiting, and really enjoyed it that way, so for that option, continue straight (to the right) to begin heading up the ridge. Stop to take in the impressive views of the Zig Zag Valley and Mt. Hood along the way.

At 2.5 miles in, a rock pile marks a sharp turn to the left to lead you to the summit. When you get to the rocky top, take in Mt. Hood to the north, followed by Mt. Adams and then Mount St. Helens on a clear day. To the south, you’ll see Mt. Jefferson. It’s an impressive place to stay awhile. Upon descent, take the trail to the right around Mirror Lake to explore this incredible area further. Return to your car the way you came.

Effort: With around 1,600 feet in elevation gain, this is a challenging hike for a physically fit person, though, because of the views afforded at the top, I wouldn’t discourage someone in less-fit shape from tackling it. Just make sure you bring plenty of water, snacks and hike with a buddy. There’s nice variation in terrain. On a hot summer’s day, impressive Pacific Northwest trees provide nice shade when your muscles really start to burn.

Takeaways: Definitely get to the parking lot early, not just so you can get a spot, but also so you can hike with fewer people around. This is one of a few trail heads directly off U.S. 26, so it’s usually pretty busy – especially on a weekend in the summertime. Bring a picnic and make a day of it, or, stop at restaurant in Rhododendron or Government Camp.