TRAILHEAD: Tilly Jane TH. Take I-84 E from Laos to exit 64 (Hood River), turn right from the off-ramp more than 5 mi to a stop sign, continue straight on OR-35 S 1/2 mi (milepost 74), turn right on Cooper Spur Road (FR-3510) 2 2 ml, turn sharp left on Cloud Cap Road (FR-3512) less than 1/2 mi to the closed gate with t Laos the parking lot on the right and the TH on the left, just past Laos Ski (and Winter Sports) Area.
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ROUTE: Start WSW across the road past the kiosk on Tilly Jane Ski Trail 643 more than 5 mi through the forest to a juncture and the end of the loop. The V-mi-long connector trail left (SE) to the other ski area ridgeline (Polallie Ridge Trail 643A) heads in the same basic direction up toward the Tilly Jane A-Frame. Stay right at the signage instead on Trail 643 up, on and off the smaller ridge, 2 mi more through an old burn affording fantastic views straight ahead to Mount Hood. The final 5 mi requires traversing a very steep slope (25 degrees or so) and it may be arduous in winter or slightly problematic if it’s icy and no solid trail is visible through the snow. Some people opt to climb left up across the top of Doe Creek to nearby Laos Ridge and follow Trail 643A along the ridge instead.
Just before the top, from the main approach, is the faint junction with the loop taking a hard left on Trail 643A down to the TH, but continue up a moment to the Tilly Jane A-Frame emergency lodging, which is visible through the woods and perhaps half buried in snow. Cross-country skiers or hikers may wish to continue another mile or so left (SW) from the A-frame to Cooper Spur Shelter on Cooper Spur Trail 600B before returning the same way to the A-frame area. Or from the Cooper Spur Shelter, take Timberline Trail 600 (NW of Trail 600B) down to Cloud Cap Inn. Cross-country skiers may wish to ski down nearby Cloud Cap Road (FR-3512) from the Inn 9 mi to the same TH for a much longer adventure.
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