9.4 Miles Hard
The loop hike is a great early season hike, melting out sooner than many other areas in the Mount Hood National Forest. Because it is so far east, it is much more likely to be sunny on a cloudy day in the Willamette Valley or the western Cascades. There are a few views along this hike. The first part of the hike follows Little Badger Creek. At the middle of the hike is an extremely steep section of trail climbing out of the Little Badger Creek valley. The trail starts climbing steeply past the old mine and collapsed cabin. Once at the top, take the School Canyon Trail to the right. This will lead down to the School Canyon Trailhead, where a cross country route is required to keep the loop under 10 miles.
To complete this loop in under 10 miles, you will need to do some cross-country (off-trail) hiking down a steep grassy slope to rejoin the Little Badger Creek Trail near the trailhead. You will need to hike down the road from the School Canyon trailhead along FR-27 to a point that you can head downhill. Use a GPS or a map and compass.
If you do not want to do this option, you can hike down the road from the School Canyon Trailhead and take Road 2710 (on your right coming down from the School Canyon Trailhead). FR-27 to FR-2710 will take you back to the Little Badger Creek Trailhead. It will add a few miles.