6/16/2015 – Whetstone Mountain Trail – 546

Date of Hike: 6/16/2015
Location of Hike: Whetstone Mountain Trail
Trail Number: 546 (and 3369)
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 11:00 AM  End Time: 1:30 PM
Hike Distance: 4 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Today’s hike was a chance to do a quick hike with the dog (while he still can), and to unwind a bit. It was a very busy weekend.

After looking at some trails, I decided on the Whetstone mountain trail. I have not hiked this trail in almost 9 years – at least not from this trailhead. I did hike to the lookout with Carly several years ago.

The goal was to just make it up to the lookout and return to the truck. Figured ~ 4.5 miles or so based on the trail sheets. Turned out to be just over 4 miles round trip. Perfect day for the dog.

Ended up leaving the house a bit late – slept in and really didn’t decide to go until later in the morning. Left around 9:30, so got to the trailhead about 11. The first thing that happened was I forgot where the trailhead was! The sheet says it is at the end of road 7020 – well, that isn’t quite correct – it is at the end of the 7020-020 spur road, which is right near the end of the 7020 road. Anyway, after a bit of searching, I found it:

We then proceeded down the trail thru a recent clearcut where we found this empty Wilderness box:

We proceeded down the trail, and shortly entered uncut timber:

The trail goes thru some beautiful old growth:

And had some rather “vigorous” brush along it, although the trail was never hard to follow:

With its own small rockslide:

We continued up the trail, to the intersection with the 3369 trail, which will take us up to old lookout location. Once back in the trees, the trail takes on a more “normal” look:

We stopped for a drink and a rest at a small viewpoint, and spied our eventual goal:

After one more trail junction, we finally made it to the top – the old lookout location. It is on the top of a rock and is mostly clear. The views were outstanding, although it was a bit hazy today:

We ate lunch on top, enjoyed the views, and then started our way back down. We made good time on the way back down, and while descending, I noticed this interesting blaze pattern:

It kind of looked like this double blaze was on trees near potential water sources – I probably saw 3 or 4 of these blaze patterns and all of them were near potential water sources (although almost all were dry today). Someday, I’d love to know all the different blaze patterns, although maybe it was up to the person doing the blazing. Maybe there never were any true “standards”.

We continued down the trail, making great time, enjoying the beautiful forest along the way. Shortly, we were back at the truck. We loaded up and headed down the hill for home. I stopped at A&W in Estacada on the way home for an ice cream. A great way to end the day. Short and sweet!

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