Lolo Pass is the pass over the west side of Mount Hood connecting the Hood River Valley on the north to the Villages of Mount Hood’s south side. From Portland it’s best to access Lolo Pass via Hwy 26 turning onto Lolo Pass Road (Forest Road 18) at Zigzag. You drive up the road about five miles when it becomes a single lane road with turnouts. Not long after you will come around a turn to be greeted on the left side (east) by a majestic view of Mount Hood a little more than just five miles distant. This is one of the best, if not the best view on the road, but there are more to be had as you drive.
As you drive up the road views can be had all along until you get to the top and start back down the other side into the Hood River side. Soon after you get to the top of the pass the best road turns to dirt for a few miles before meeting up with the paved section that ends at Lost Lake Road. Tyrn to the left and go to the lake. Turn to the right and you will head down into the Hood River Valley.
It is important to note that Lolo Pass Road is a narrow road with a section of washboard dirt. It is also closed in the Winter when the snows come. Caution is always required when travelling Lolo Pass. Always stop at the US Forest Service headquarters and pick up a Forest Service road map.
Gary Randall is a licensed outfitter and guide for the Columbia River Gorge and is authorized by the US Forest Service to conduct tours and workshops there. Gary has lived in and around the gorge all of his life. He knows the area, it’s attractions and its pitfalls. The views and scenic spots to get the ideal photo.
If you choose to tour Mt Hood or The Columbia River Gorge without a guide please use this list as a way to maximize your time on your visit. And please enjoy your stay.