Mount Hood/Reid Headwall

A snow and ice climb on the west side of Mount Hood.


Take US 26 east from Portland to Government Camp and turn left on the road to Timberline Lodge. Drive up to the lodge and park in one of the two parking lots for the ski area.


Start from the lower parking lot and follow the ski slope to the top of the Palmer chair lift. Stay off of the groomed ski surface and watch out for the Sno-cats. Head north and make a rising NNW traverse to the saddle on the right of Illumination Rock. Rope up at the saddle and descend onto the Reid Glacier.


The Reid Headwall lies directly above the Reid Glacier. There isn’t one specific route up the headwall but a "choose your adventure" array of options. All of the variations start out on moderate slopes that steepen, narrow, and thread through snow and ice-covered arêtes. The left-most lines eventually reach the gentle slopes above the Queens Chair that lead to the summit ridge. The center and right lines top out onto the upper West Crater Rim, which can be taken to the summit.


Descend the South Side route.


Trailhead to Camp 3-4 3,300
Camp to Summit 3-5 2,200
Summit to Trailhead 3


Glacier travel gear, avalanche gear (transceiver, probe, and shovel), helmet, pickets, ice screws, second ice tool.


  • This route can be done in one or two days. Illumination Saddle is a good place to camp for two-day climbs.
  • Climbing parties are required to pick up a self-issued wilderness permit from the climber’s registration area on the lower level of the Wy’east Day Lodge. There is no fee.
  • To reduce the dangers from avalanche, rock fall, and ice fall, climbers should plan to summit in the morning, well before the sun reaches the western slopes.
  • Guidebook: Mt Hood: Climber’s Guide by Bill Mullee (Sharp End Publishing 2014).
  • Guidebook: Best Climbs: Cascade Volcanoes by Jeff Smoot (Globe Pequot Press 2012).
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Ice Climb
  • Length: 7.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,200 ft
  • 11,239 ft
  • USGS Mt Hood South
  • Green Trails Mount Hood Climbing No. 462S
  • Red Marker
    45.330660, -121.709011
    45.3306595388 -121.709010601
  • Red Marker
    45.373615, -121.695951
    45.373615 -121.695951

Upcoming Activities

There are no activities scheduled at this location.

Trip Reports

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.