10/5/2009 – Baty Butte Trail – 545 – South End

Date of Hike: 10/5/2009
Location of Hike: Baty Butte Trail - South End
Trail Number: 545
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 5:00 PM
Hike Distance: 11 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Well, I really wanted to hike the south part of the Baty Butte Trail (I did the north part a few weeks ago), and I know time is running out for high elevation trails. So, I used one of my few remaining vacation days and went up and hiked from the 7010-160 spur down to Joyce Lake on the Baty Butte Trail. It couldn’t have been a nicer day to do it. The views were outstanding, the temperature was nice-a little cool first thing in the morning, but as the day wore on, it was really nice. I got a special treat on the way up-I got a beautiful view of the Clackamas drainage that was all draped in fog. The trail was above the fog, and it was pretty cool to see.

The trail condition varies from really nice to very poor, depending on where it is. I was able to find my way without too much difficulty. The notes on the trail page were helpful, but the one place I had trouble wasn’t mentioned. It was a rock slide that had become overgrown with vine maple and it was impossible to see the trail. I did some trimming in that area to help with the problem, however I ran out of time before finishing the whole section. The section of trail from Joyce Lake up to the ridge has been completely re-worked. Sawing out logs, brushing and even tread work. That part of the trail is beautiful-someone spent a lot of time working on it. The section from the spur road to the junction, and probably the first mile of trail is in very good shape. It has has quite a bit of work as well. After that, the trail comes and goes, sometimes very brushy, sometimes very faint. I kept my eye on the blazes, cut logs, and tread and was able to find my way fine.

The trail runs along the divide between the Clackamas and Molalla basins, and the views alternate between the two. On the southern part of the trail you get a great view of Table Rock and also the Molalla basin. It also passes underneath power lines which was kind of interesting to see (and hear).

One thing I did see – SNOW. Not a lot, but it won’t be long before trails like this are gone for the winter…..

Another special thing I saw: Bear tracks in the snow. I also saw a couple of piles of bear and cat scat.

It was a long hike, and my legs are complaining tonight but it was well worth it. A very nice trail – glad I burned the vacation day…..

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