Lunchtime Hike at Scouters Mountain

If you happen to have the benefit of working from home like I do, you might often feel the need to GET OUT once in a while. I sure do. I live in a very walkable area of Happy Valley, and keep finding little trails and pathways to keep me from going insane in the small bedroom office. It's a lifesaver.

Length of Hike: Just over a mile, in a loop.

Where to Start:  The trailhead is just off of the parking lot.

Difficulty: Easy

What to Wear:  We hiked around this nature park in early March and wore long pants, long sleeves, and an extra light layer. Though it was a bright sunny day, it was chilly in the shaded areas.

What to Bring in Late Winter/Early Spring:
  • Extra layer for warmth in the shady areas
  • Snacks or lunch
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera with a zoom lens for great pics of Mt. Hood!
What to Expect: Scouter's Mountain is an extinct lava dome located at SE Boy Scout Lodge Road and SE 147th Avenue in Happy Valley. There's parking, wooded trails, a covered picnic area and a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood.

walking trails at scouter's mountain

Today my husband (he doubles as my co-worker) and I took advantage of a long-overdue sunny day to drive up to Scouters Mountain on our lunch break. It's located near downtown Happy Valley and would make a great local escape for anyone in offices nearby.

Construction at Scouter's Mountain

The only bummer seems to be the giant construction project down at the entrance of the park. We felt like we weren't even supposed to be driving on the bumpy gravel road leading up there. Maybe that's why we had the place to ourselves.

hiking trails in happy valley

Luckily, once you get up to the parking area, you hardly notice the construction (which I doubt is going to be wrapped up any time soon from the looks of it). 

The Park at Scouter's Mountain

It's a small park, perfect for a lunchtime picnic or stroll. You can park right away and take the paved path to the picnic area, or drive directly to the top. We chose to walk, because that's what we do.

walking trails at scouter's mountain

The trails immediately surrounding the summit are paved and fairly flat, perfectly fine for whatever shoes you wore to the office that day.

The Perfect Place to Relax in Happy Valley

If you just need some fresh air, pack your lunch and head up to the covered picnic area. There are plenty of tables, water fountains and restrooms. You might not want to go back to work. If you're feeling extra relaxed, grab a blanket and have your lunch in a more classic picnic style, the large grassy area is practically begging you to do it.

Picnic area at Scouter's Mountain

Get Movin' at Scouter's Mountain

If you need a little more movement after sitting at your desk all morning, take to the trails. There is a small center loop called Lava Dome trail. Maybe a little too small. We ventured out onto Boomer Trail, a one mile loop that goes around Scouters Mountain and comes back out at the parking area.

Viewpoint at Scouter's Mountainview of mount hood from scouter's mountain

This trail is not paved, and is more of a climb. It is the perfect amount of trail to get you moving but not too sweaty before going back to work. 

Dogs are not permitted at this park, another reason it's perfect for a lunch escape. Unless you take your dog to work... 

hiking trails in happy valley

Now that you know what you need to know about Scouter's Mountain, throw your sneakers in your briefcase tomorrow morning and get yourself out there for lunchtime. Whether you choose to hike around the beautiful forested trails, or just enjoy the breeze and the view from the picnic area, you'll head back to work feeling better than you have all day.

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