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Mt. Hood National Forest, OR – Volunteer Vacations 2023

June 25, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - July 1, 2023 @ 10:00 am

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Join this project to maintain trails in the scenic Mt. Hood National Forest, with views of glacier capped Mt. Hood in the distance! Volunteers will work alongside Mt. Hood National Forest staff to rebuild a staircase on the Wahtum Express Trail in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness, which provides access to the scenic backcountry Wahtum Lake and a quiet segment of the Pacific Crest Trail. Later in the week, volunteers will travel to a different portion of the Mt. Hood National Forest to restore drains and sidehill benches on the Elk Meadows Trail near the base of Mt. Hood — Oregon’s tallest mountain at 11,249 feet. Volunteers will hike up to 5 miles daily, with 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Project access is on solid trails with mostly stable footing. Volunteers will need to carry in tools and daypacks with their own food and water to the work site each day. This will be a short walk on the first few days and will be up to 3 miles during latter half of the trip.

There is no experience needed to join a Volunteer Vacation! Your expert hosts will provide detailed instruction, tool demonstrations, and project oversight throughout the week. All you need is a willing attitude and to be in good physical condition to participate in moderate physical activity for approximately 6-8 hours a day with plenty of breaks, at your own pace. Find out more about what it’s like to join a Volunteer Vacation and other frequently asked questions here.

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, Cascades, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, their deep and sacred connection to these lands, and those who continue to steward these lands today. We offer this land acknowledgement as the first of many steps to stand as an ally and amplify Indigenous voices. We invite the American Hiking Society community to join us through continued efforts to support Indigenous communities and learn more about the history of the lands on which we live, work and recreate.


US Forest Service


Car Camping Tent Sites


Day hiking up to 5 miles each work day.

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

Volunteers will be located between the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Mt. Hood National Forest, about one hour and twenty minutes from Portland, OR. Endless urban and outdoor recreation opportunities are available within a short driving distance during days off. Mount Hood, a dormant volcano capped by glaciers, is home to ski trails, alpine lakes and the 1930s Timberline Lodge. The Timberline Trail encircles the peak, passing waterfalls, glacial creeks and meadows. Barlow Road, once part of the Oregon Trail, goes around the southern slope near the village of Government Camp.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will be based out of Wahtum Lake Campground and Nottingham Campground. Both have good access and well maintained unpaved roads. Vault / pit toilets are available at the campsite. Volunteers need to bring their own tent and personal camping gear, sleeping bag, towels, personal cup / bowl / mug / eating utensils. Please contact volunteer@americanhiking.org for assistance with gear needs.


Portland International Airport in Portland, OR is the closest airport. Airport pick up and drop off is not available and volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to and from the project location. Carpooling can be arranged upon confirmation of the project.


Mt Hood National Forest
6780 OR HWY 35, Mt. Hood Parkdale, OR 97041 United States + Google Map