It’s been an excellent 2022 summer hiking season on Mount Hood. The season started quite late – at least at the higher elevations. In early July the upper reaches of Paradise Park were still under feet of snow. It was not until the middle of July that the typical higher routes were basically snow free – like ZigZag Mountain.
After the middle of July, we had an unusually dry hot summer. It was not until the 21st of October that we really has an end to the excellent hiking weather. Throughout the summer the snow on Mt. Hood continued to thin. Although the lowest extent was not that different from 2021. However, in 2021, the first snow on the mountain was at the end of September.
The below images are from the last days of each year when the satellite image is available before the year’s snowfall began. For 2021 this was the 14th of September and for 2022 this was the 19th of October.
Minimal Snow extent difference: 2021 and 2022
However, the wet weather returned with a vengeance towards the end of October with a dramatic cooling and prolonged rain. The first snow at Timberline was on the 22nd of October and there was snow on the mountain passes. The change was dramatic and we are now into the time where I need to brush off my rain and winter gear.
However, with the change, it does not mean the end of hiking. Appropriate layers and rain gear will allow for continued hiking throughout the year. So even though we have reached the end of the 2022 summer hiking season on Mount Hood, depending on conditions there may still be the opportunity for the occasional backpacking adventure.
Hopefully, there will also be those dry, beautiful winter days, when the sun is bright and the air is crisp. When there will be the chance to break out the tent and make for some winter camping.
And of course, there is always the lowlands.