TOM DICK AND HARRY
Contributed by Charles Hipkin and Hilary Hipkin
Country: United States
Location: North West Oregon Cascade Mountains
Round trip: 9.6km
Start elevation: 1,030m
Final Elevation: 1,491m
Maps: Mount Hood Wilderness (Geo-Graphics 1:30,000)
From Government Camp in Clackamas County, the trailhead (Mirror Lake) is about two miles west along Highway 26, on the south shoulder between mileposts 51 and 52.
Taken in mid July to August, this easy hike will reward you with a generous taste of North West Oregon’s subalpine forest flora, a close view of Mt Hood and, on a clear day, a panoramic view that includes an iconic collection of Cascade Mountain peaks.
The first half of the trail climbs upwards fairly gently through Western Hemlock forest with a diverse flora. Gaultheria shallon (Salal), Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron), Vaccinium alaskaense (Alaska huckleberry), Oplopanax horridus (Devil’s club) and Acer circinatum (Vine maple) are common shrubby plants under the coniferous canopy and moss-like carpets of Lycopodium selago (Ground pine) are conspicuous in some places. White may appear to be the predominant flower colour with beautiful displays of Anemone deltoidea, Clintonia uniflora, Cornus unalaschkensis, Trillium ovatum and the ubiquitous, foamy sprays of Tiarella trifoliata scattered in the herbaceous ground layer. But patches of the pale blue flowers of Campanula scouleri, pastel-pink drifts of Linnaea borealis and bright yellow bunches of Viola glabella will also be evident.
In deeper shade, plants that make intimate associations with the roots of forest trees such as Pterospora andromeda (Pine-drops), Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe) and the blushing pink flowers of Pyrola asarifolia add to the biodiversity. After about 2.25 km you will reach a trail junction. The left spur will take you to picturesque Mirror Lake. The trail to the east summit of Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain goes on and upward, a little more steeply now through Subalpine fir and Douglas fir. The purple, Penstemon-like flowers of Nothochelone nemoralis are relatively common at the edges of the forest here along with Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry) but it will be the flowering clumps of Xerophyllum tenax (Bear grass) that will really attract your attention.
The summit is attained easily where the full, south face of Mt. Hood will be staring back at you. Spinning around from west through north and south, you’ll be able to pick out distant, clear views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens and Mt Jefferson under good conditions.
Alpine & Subalpine Plants
PARTIAL SPECIES LIST ON & AROUND TOM DICK AND HARRY
Ledum glandulosum var. glandulosum
Lupinus lepidus var.lobbii