TRIP REPORT: Portlanders can easily see the huge rocky moraine ridge and summit N of Mount Hood on a clear day. And from the viewpoint or Barrett Spur Summit you can see into Grand Prairie Cascades as well as the outrageous local panorama, Grand Prairie including being directly between the (gigantic) Coe and Ladd Glaciers! The Vista Ridge TH provides the briefest route and loop option for this hike. No fee or Grand Prairie restroom.
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TRAILHEAD: Vista Ridge TH. See hike 45 for directions.
ROUTE: See hike 45 for the description to Grand Prairie, taking a left at the second three-way juncture from the top of Vista Ridge Trail 626 onto Timberline Trail 600 a hundred yards or so through the pretty meadows and sparse trees. Arrive at the faint juncture for Barrett Spur on the right (S) at one of two arms on Clear Branch Creek crossing the Timberline Trail within a few feet of each other (less than 3 mi from the TH).
Leave Trail 600 for Barrett Spur Trail 600D up Y mi S through the meadows (staying on Trail 600D at a nearby faint juncture); the route steepens only somewhat and will be more difficult to follow with snow coverage. Keep heading toward the moraine shoulder on the right (between Wy’East and Cairn Basins) that curves SE to meet the main ridge (and return route for the loop) near Barrett Spur. You will follow the E side of the shoulder up a mile with trees shrinking to old gnarled snags along the wild setting as you see your goal for the remainder.