Beautiful views of Mt. Hood

The view of Mt. Hood from the top picnic area on the Lava Loop

Strictly speaking, I didn’t hike the trails at Scouters Mountain. Instead, I walked on them briefly during a Mushroom Discovery class. However, I think I saw enough of them to write up a hike review for those who are interested. Scouters Mountain has three trails, the Lava Loop, the Boomer Trail, and the Shelter Trail. The first two trails provide a couple of loops around the top of the mountain, one gentle, the other with a few more elevation changes. The Shelter Trail is paved and provides a path from the end of the Boomer Trail between the two parking lots. Both paths provide striking views of Mt. Hood.

Scouters Mountain Trails

Scouters Mountain Nature Park, Happy Valley, Oregon

Difficulty: Easy

Panting stops: 0-1

Distance: 1.2 miles

Elevation changes: 180 feet

Two deer in the park didn’t seem to be worried about us at all.

We parked at the lot and took the Shelter Trail up to the picnic area. From there we went around part of the Lava Loop and descended the Boomer Trail a bit for our class. On the way up the Shelter Trail, we saw two deer who weren’t afraid of us at all, and judging by some reviews I’ve read, this is not an unusual experience. At the top, there were beautiful views of Mt. Hood, and the park in general is very pretty, especially on a chilly but clear fall day.

The Shelter Trail is paved, and the other trails are well-kept gravel paths. Dogs are not allowed, however. The Lava Loop is wheelchair-accessible.

I didn’t actually walk the whole trail, so I put in one panting stop just because of the change in elevation. The rise between the parking lots on the Shelter Trail is very gradual, though, so you can probably park in the lower lot (you must park there unless you have a disability pass), walk up, and then take the Boomer Trail back down.

How to get there

From Portland or Vancouver

From I-205, take exit 17 for SE Foster Road. Turn left onto SE Woodstock Boulevard. Woodstock Boulevard becomes SE Foster Road. Go 0.6 miles and turn right onto SE 110th Avenue. SE 110th becomes SE 112th Blvd., and then SE Mt. Scott Blvd., and finally SE King Road. After 0.8 miles on SE King Road, turn right onto SE 145th Avenue. After 0.4 miles, turn left onto SE Boy Scout Lodge Road and follow the park signs.

Parking and Amenities

There is a large lower lot and a smaller upper lot that is only for folks with disabilities. The park has a covered picnic area and a bathroom at the top of the park.