2/4/2012 – Upper Gipper Trail

Date of Hike: 2/4/12012
Location of Hike: Upper Gipper Trail
Weather during Hike: Sunny but windy in the morning
Hiking Buddies: Don and Kirk
Start Time: 9:00 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 7 Miles (not including the Hillockburn lookout exploration)  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This trip was an extension of a hike a few weeks ago. On that hike, we hiked down a previously found trail over the hill and down to the Clackamas river near where the old Oregon City water works buildings were. On that trip, we found a new segment of trail that we believe eventually went up to an old church camp up near Hillockburn. This trip was intended to try and find more of that trail, and maybe try and locate remnants of the old camp (even though we didn’t know exactly where it or the old cabin were located). We didn’t have too much luck locating the old cabin, but we did find the Hillockburn spring, which was most definitely used by someone. There were two pools, and upper and a lower pool. The upper pool had what looked like a concrete dam down the the middle of it with a spillway and the other 3 sides had concrete walls as well. Was this what they used for drinking water while the rest was used for swimming?

A little below the spring, Don found some old remnants – an old pail, some flashing, old glass and what looked like springs from an old (model A?) car.

We didn’t see too much in the way of remnants of a camp or cabin, but something was obviously there, and it would have made a good place for one.

We tried to find more tread coming up the hill, but we weren’t too successful. We started up top and then spread out down the hill, looking for what might be tread. We didn’t really find any, and decided to kind of cross hill south until we hit the road. On the way, we found what appeared to be more tread, in reasonably good shape. This really deserves more exploration to find out where the real trail went….

All in all it was an interesting day. Not quite what I was hoping, but it was really neat to find the spring and all the remnants there. The views from the top of the road at the clearcut allowed us to see parts of 4 mountains! (St Helens, Adams, Rainier and Hood). The start of the day started out REALLY windy, but that died down pretty soon, and most of the day we were in the big trees so we were protected from it.
After we completed the exploratory hike we decided to go up and try and find the location of the old Hillockburn lookout. We found what we think was the old location, however it has been all trenched up (to stop the off roaders from ripping up the area). We also went on a little journey to find the section corner. We eventually found it, but it was WAY downhill from the road.

A stop on the way home at Fearless with some good food and conversation made for a great end to a great day. A good day in the woods.

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