“This almost five mile run circles the town of Government Camp on both sides of Hwy 26 on Crosstown and Summit Trails.”
— Kathleen Walker
Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers
Trails can be snowy Nov-June. Portions of Crosstown Trail (east) and Maggie's Trail (south) are within a planned land exchange and will be developed by developers. There may be trail re-locations and disruptions to trail users when the land exchange is finalized. There are no fees or restrictions on free trail use through Skibowl's permitted area, however, users must have dogs leashed, and not cause disruption to permitted activities within their permitted area. Do not go on Skibowl trails.
This 5 mile loop will take you around the community of Government Camp with opportunities for stopping for food and/or drink. The loop can be started at any sno-park. The trail is not difficult for running, however the loop will require crossing Hwy 26 twice at the yellow blinking lights on either end of the Government Camp Loop Road. Extreme caution should be used when crossing Hwy 26, and it should not be attempted if traffic is heavy (summer weekends).
This suggested loop starts at the Nordic Sno-park trailhead parking lot and heads across Highway 26 to a small road off the loop road that is the start of Lucy's Trail #752
which leads to Maggie's Trail #753
. You soon reach Crosstown Trail #755
and head east (right) and travel from the west end of Government Camp to the east end as the trail drops down to the Summit Sno-park. Carefully cross Hwy 26 again and pick up the Summit Trail #691
(which at this point is a gravel road), located just east of the intersections yellow blinking light, as it heads south. Stay on this gravel road and it turns right (west) towards Skibowl's west.
At this point, there can be lots of activity, but travel on the gravel road between the old lodge on your right and the yurts on your left and head west. Follow the road as it skirts the downhill side of a ski-lift, and then head right (northwest) as Summit Trail #691
becomes a trail again. Continue on the trail until it returns you to the road into the Nordic Sno-park trailhead again.
You can add another 1.5 miles on by taking the Camp Creek Trail #754
which is another loop along Crosstown Trail #755
. Dining and drinking options can be found close to the trail at the Mt. Hood Brew Pub on the west side or at Skibowl on the south side. To enjoy the numerous options in Government Camp, take the short Glade Trail downhill where the Timberline to Town Trail
hits Crosstown Trail #755
. This will drop you at a gated road that is East Blossom Trail Road.
Need to Know
This loop requires crossing Highway 26 twice at either end of the Government Camp Loop Road at yellow blinking lights. There is no designated pedestrian crossing in these locations. Therefore, you should use extreme caution and avoid this trail when it is likely to be busy on the highway (summer weekends). This loop has plenty of food and drink options nearby. Mountain bikers may be seen on the trail—most frequently on the Crosstown Trail #755
between Maggie's Trail #753
and Timberline to Town Trail
. Sno-park permits are required between November 1 and April 30. A Northwest Forest Pass is not necessary. Yield to users in the Skibowl Ski Area for both summer and winter events.
There are many options for where to start this loop run, and we are starting it at the Nordic Sno-park Trailhead. Take the exit at the Skibowl west along Hwy 26 and travel through the large parking area to the far east end. The trailhead is on the far east end of Skibowl's parking lot. Turn south into the 40 car parking lot. Once parked, head north toward the highway and the yellow blinking light. There is no designated pedestrian crossing, so use extreme caution as cars are traveling at highway speeds. Once across the highway, begin running northeast along the Government Camp Loop Road for about 500 feet. Turn left at the first road on your left (north). Lucy's Trail #752
begins 60 feet in, on your left near the beginning of the road. Follow Lucy's Trail #752
to its intersection with Maggie's Trail #753
. Turn left (northwest) onto Maggie's Trail #753
and continue for another 600 feet over a bridge to the Crosstown Trail #755
. Turn right (east) onto the Crosstown Trail #755
The Crosstown Trail #755
is open to runners and mtn. bikers in summer and nordic skiers and snowshoers in winter. It has 20 foot wide clearing limits and a 18-24" trail tread. Numerous large 14-foot wide trails are designed to allow a ski groomer to pass across creeks. While bikes should yield to runners, be on the lookout for bikes. Follow Crosstown Trail #755
headed east. After 4,000 feet, you'll see Wally's Tie Trail #755A
on your right. Another half mile along, you'll see a sign for Skiway Trail #755B
on your right. Stay on Crosstown Trail #755
. A short distance later, you'll come to the intersection with Timberline to Town Trail
. If you want to detour into the middle of Government Camp for food at this point, take the trail on your right downhill (should be marked Glade) that heads towards houses and a gated road (E. Blossom Trail). There is no parking in this area. Otherwise continue on Crosstown Trail #755
headed east. The trail drops south and travels through the Summit Ski Area towards the Summit Sno-park.
Cautiously cross Hwy 26 at the yellow blinking light and head slightly left (east) to the gravel road. This is the east end of the Summit Trail. You'll pass an A frame building on your right. Continue on this road as it curves generally south for 0.4 miles until it swings towards the west. Stay on the road as it heads towards Skibowl East. As the road comes into the Skibowl area, stay between the old lodge on your right and the yurts on your left. Stay on the road as it heads west through the ski area. The road will drop down to a ski lift where the Summit Trail #691
turns back into singletrack trail and heads northwest. Follow the trail across as it crosses two more large bridges before it terminates at the trailhead parking lot.
Flora & Fauna
Much of Government Camp is wetland and fen (bog like wet areas). The elevation is 4,000 feet, so you'll find Douglas fir, mountain hemlock, lots of western red cedar, and Alaskan yellow cedar. Lodgepole is found throughout the east end of the loop. There is also an occasional tamarack (Larch). Rhododendron, bear grass, dogwood, many ferns, salal and Oregon grape are found along the trail.
History & Background
This loop route will take you by numerous historic and natural features. Lucy's Trail #752
is named after Lucy Haynes, who lived and ran a youth ski lodge in Government Camp for much of her life. Her son Bruce, worked most of his life at Zigzag Ranger District and helped design these trails. When laying out Wally's Tie Trail #755A
, he found a plaque on a rock that said "Here lies Wally - the best damn dog that ever lived", hence the name Wally's Tie Trail. Bruce's loyal yellow lab Maggie, was a Zigzag Ranger District office fixture and the namesake for Maggie's Trail #753
. The old bus tram that took skiers to Timberline Lodge is found in the Crosstown Trail #755
and Skiway Trail #755B