Bennett Pass Road

4.7/5 (35 reviews)
Government Camp, Oregon (HoodRiver County)
Last Updated: 07/03/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Winding along narrow shelf roads, through alpine forests, and past some of the prettiest views in northern Oregon, Bennett Pass Road is a jewel of the Mount Hood National Forest. The amazing views of Mount Hood will be treasured memories for years to come. In the mid-to-late summer, wildflowers bloom along the many hidden hanging meadows and high prairies. Droves of butterflies can swarm around your vehicle on sunny summer afternoons making you think you're in a fairy tale. On very clear days, you can see from Mount Hood and Mount Adams to the north and all the way down south to the Three Sisters and maybe even Diamond Peak. Views to the east span hundreds of miles of high desert and the Oregon Outback.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Bennett Pass (Mount Hood National Forest Road 3550) Road can be run in either direction although the shelf road described in Waypoint 6 is more easily navigated heading east in left hand drive vehicles. Jaw-dropping views of Mount Hood can be had in the vicinity of Waypoint 6 and between Waypoints 12 and 13. Driving Bennett Pass Road to the east will position your vehicle to have its front in photographs of Mount Hood while driving to the west will show your vehicle's rear bumper in photos. The route runs through varied terrain including towering pine and fir forests, rocky shelf roads, thick and powdery dust, deep washed-out ruts, a fire burn scar, and talus road surfaces. On the shelf road segments, exposure of up to 300 vertical feet is possible although except for at Waypoint 6, the road is always at least 1.5 vehicles wide. In the forest segments, downed trees hem in the road at pinch points where it is possible to pop the sidewall on a tire with improper wheel placement. Turnouts are available sporadically but there are areas where oncoming vehicles may be forced to back up for some distance including on shelf roads. Note that this road is seasonally closed (December 1 - April 1) due to snow and to allow other recreational users to have unfettered access to the area. Please respect this seasonal closure.
The shelf road at Waypoint 6 should be avoided if snowy or icy. The shelf road also is very narrow in one spot which may be difficult for full-sized vehicles to navigate.

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (35 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/05/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Incredible views of Mt.Hood, can also see Mt. Adam’s and St. Helens. Quite a few campsites. Trail is rocky and narrow in points. Pin striping was unavoidable at one part of the trail toward the end. Made in through in a Highlander on 31’s and a stock ‘99 Grand Cherokee.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Made it all the way through in my 98 Tacoma with winter tires. Astounding views and not to much traffic. The road was a little more tore up than I expected so I had to crawl about half of the trail, but I did Not find it necessary to air down. Douglas did a stellar job mapping the trail and the way point descriptions were on point!! 10/10 experience. Can’t wait to camp up there!
Trail Review: Bennett Pass Road - Tyler B.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/13/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Took my stock Tacoma up only to waypoint 9 and didn’t have a problem. Some areas seem sketch while driving on the side of a drop off but the views were amazing. Was looking for camp spots and there’s plenty but not much for big groups. I can’t imagine how people do it when there’s snow.
Tim
100
Status: Partially Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 07/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Road is open for the first couple miles but right as you pass the corner lookout where we camped it was preety snowy and very slippery I would say it’s not passable but knowing one of you you can hah but beautiful time not a lot of people
Trail Review: Bennett Pass Road - Tim
Status: Impassable
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/25/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Likely an amazing drive. Only made it a few hundred yards before trees across the road and snowpack. Did not appear anyone had attempted the trail yet this year.

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