Category Archives: TripReport2010

12/24/2010 – Alder Flat – 574

Date of Hike: 12/24/2010
Location of Hike: Alder Flat Trail
Trail Number: 574
Weather during Hike: Cloudy and misty - no rain
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:00 AM  End Time: 10:15 AM
Hike Distance: 2.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I got up early to do this hike before too much happened on Christmas Eve. It has been about a month and a half since I have been out, and really felt the need to do a quick hike. The weather didn’t sound too bad, so I managed to squeeze this in. I hiked this trail several years ago with the whole family, but haven’t been on it since. We did it in winter time as well, but I don’t remember any snow when we did it last time. One thing that we missed last time was a side trail to the pond and beaver dam. This time I found the side trail and went to the beaver dam – I scared a big rabbit at the dam and he scurried away in the snow.

Hiked up to the river and headed upstream as far as the flood plain went to check out some rapids. The water was pretty high and running fast.

After looking around and soaking it in, We hiked back to the truck. It was a great morning, and I didn’t even get wet! I was surprised it didn’t rain at all.

11/3/2010 – Bull of the Woods trail – 550

Date of Hike: 11/3/2010
Location of Hike: Bull of the Woods trail
Trail Number: 550
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:00 AM  End Time: 1:30 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
With the (probably) last of the nice weather, I took a day off to do what is probably my last high elevation hike of the season. I went up to Bull of the Woods lookout on the #550 trail. I was very surprised at the lack of snow, especially since it must have gotten dumped on a few weeks ago. The only snow I saw was on north facing slopes or shady areas, and even there, it was only a couple of inches deep.

The trail was in great shape, with only a couple of downed logs. There are a few areas they get rather brushy, but since all the undergrowth had died, and all the huckleberry bushes had lost their leaves, it was still easy. I spent some time brushing the worst of the trail, up on the top end, but it still needs a lot more work.

One of my goals for this hike was to see how much damage had been caused by the fires this summer. I was rather disappointed that I couldn’t see much.

From what I could see, it looks like the damage is less than I was fearing. Big Slide Lake looks untouched, but I’m not sure why the Dickey Creek Trail is still closed. I didn’t see anything back that way that looked burned, but it must be beyond what I could see. You could see burn damage in the saddle between Big Slide Mountain and its neighbor peak (don’t know what it is called). The good news is that the burn doesn’t appear to have gone up the other side of the valley. The bad news is that I think the damage on the other side of that hill is extensive.

It was a beautiful day, and the wind going up the Clackamas gorge was as strong as I’ve seen it – the reservoir had BIG whitecaps on it! I didn’t have a whole lot of wind on the trail, just a little once I got up to the top. One thing: The lookout appears to have lost part of one of its shutters. I think it was sitting down on the ground below it. It looked like someone had weighted it down with rocks, I’m guessing to help keep it from blowing away.

A great day, and a wonderful way to end the high country season. After this weekend, I think it will be low elevation trails for a while…

10/13/2010 – North end of Bagby trail – 544

Date of Hike: 10/13/2010
Location of Hike: TrNorth end of Bagby Trailail
Trail Number: 544
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:00 AM  End Time: 4:00 PM
Hike Distance: 14 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a mid week hike down the north end of the Bagby trail. I wanted to complete my traverse of the entire Bagby trail. Earlier this summer my daughter and I hiked the lower 5 miles of the trail and I wanted to finish the trail.

Although the initial couple of miles is very heavily traveled due to the hot springs, the rest of the trail is more lightly used. As you get further down the trail, it gets a little more brushy in places

It was an absolutely beautiful day, although it was rather chilly in the morning. When I got to Bagby at about 9am, there was one car who looked like they were leaving, and another that had a flat in the parking lot. I figured the hot springs would be empty – I was in luck! The beginning of the trail is very well maintained, even being paved most of the way. If you look up the hill, you can see the “old” trail – at some point they relocated the trail nearer the creek – probably because they wanted it to be wider and didn’t want to cut into the hillside more I’m guessing. Crossing the Hot Springs fork you got the smell of fish – there were lots of salmon that were dead in the river – I’m guessing they died after spawning.

The rest of the trip up to the hot springs was uneventful. I got to explore a bit around the camp there, although there was a couple there – I found out later I think they were camped up the trail a bit. I did get to see the soaking “tubs” (hollowed out logs). Very interesting place.

Past the hot springs, the trail gets narrower, but is still in extremely good shape. The farther you get from Bagby, the less traffic it gets, though. After a couple of miles past Babgy, the trail is still easy to follow, but is VERY brushed in in places. On the way in, I got absolutely soaked from the dew/rain/moisture on the vegetation overgrowing the trail. Mostly huckleberries with some rhodies and a few tree branches.

You cross several creeks, and pass a really nice, pretty waterfall – it is called shower creek, and it looks like they literally used it as a shower at one point – there is a wooden deck under one section of the falls!

You continue on, crossing a bunch of small creeks until you get to a GREAT viewpoint, with a nice sitting spot and wonderful view of Whetstone Mountain.

There was one spot that I was a little curious about – most of the trail is mature forest, however one section is rather bare, with lots of rhodies and small trees. It doesn’t appear to have been logged, so I’m kind of wondering if there was a lightning strike or something in that area? The trail was easy to follow through it, though.

Once you get farther down the trail, you eventually cross the hot springs fork, but it is an easy crossing thanks to a log. The trail then starts to go uphill and climbs a bit until you get to “Howdy Doody Camp”, a nice little camp area just past a couple of creeks. This was my lunch spot and turnaround point.

I spent a little over an hour working on brushing the trail just North of that camp, but that trail needs a LOT more brush work. I decided to clear a LOT of brush in the areas I did, rather than just do a light trimming – once you start cutting out the overgrowth, it is hard to stop! I eventually ran out of time, but I ended up clearing several hundred feet of the worst of the overgrowth.

This is a WONDERFUL trail that goes through some incredible old growth forest and has the Hot Springs fork as company for most of the trip. If you can endure the sideshow at Bagby, it is a great trail to go on and needs some more friends farther down the trail.

10/3/2010 – Burnt Granite – 595

Date of Hike: 10/3/2010
Location of Hike: Burnt Granite Trail
Trail Number: 595
Weather during Hike: Cloudy, foggy and cool
Hiking Buddies: Don and Kirk
Start Time: 12:30 PM  End Time: 5:30 PM
Hike Distance: 8.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike to the restored Burnt Granite Trail, which goes around the east side of Burnt Granite. This area burned extensively in the 1930’s or so and is very rocky. The area had lots of rhodies! From reports, it is a popular cougar spot as well, since they seem to like the cover the rhodies provide. We didn’t see any cougars on our trip, however. The weather was cool, and a little foggy-actually a lot foggy at times, but still a good day. When we were at Tarzan Springs, there was a point we couldn’t even see across the meadow due to the fog! Due to the fog, we didn’t get to see any views from the top, but it is an interesting trail once you get up on top.

The beginning of the hike starts up an old cat/spur road and is rather steep, but then the grade levels out a bit. The lower section wasn’t too interesting, just some scrubby pine and lots and lots of rhodies. After you get to the mountain, you encounter a couple of big rock slides, which I’m guessing would yield some spectacular views on a better day, but we couldn’t see much. We hiked out to the other side where the trail pretty much disappears in an old clearcut (we didn’t take it down to the other end) and turned around. We hiked cross country up to the peak of Burnt Granite, looking for the location of the old lookout. All we found was some old phone line that looked like it was used as a guy wire for the pole and a place where a pole was for the old phone line.

Nothing that looked like a foundation or anything, but I don’t think we actually found where the actual lookout was.

After trying to find the lookout, we came back down and took the side trail to Tarzan Springs. I guess this is considered the beginning of the Tumble Creek trail. It went down to a road, which we walked a bit to find Tarzan Springs/Meadow.

I wonder why they called it Tarzan Springs? Not a whole lot to see there, but was interesting to see nonetheless. An interesting day, but one that requires a do over on a better/clearer day.

9/27/2010 – Fish Creek Mountain – 541

Date of Hike: 9/27/2010
Location of Hike: Fish Creek Mountain Trail
Trail Number: 541
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:30 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 8 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a day hike to Fish Creek Mountain – After the tiring quad trip the day before, I wanted a shorter hike that was reasonably close to town. I had forgotten how much elevation this trail had, and it really tired me out! I was able to make the entire trail, including going down to the lake. Did some trail maintenance (brushing of the trails) on both the main part of the trail and also on the trail down to the lake. It needs more help, but I hope it helps keep things passable. I got soaked hiking down to the lake, since the huckleberries were so wet! Got some great views from some of the viewpoints, and got a nice GPS track with some good waypoints on it. One of the interesting things on the hike today – there were at least 8 very large ant hills that were either over the trail, or right next to the trail. I’ve not seen those before and wonder if the ants are busily preparing for winter?

The area is definitely transitioning to fall, as the fall colors were out in force. Many of the huckleberries were turning red, and the vegetation on the rock slide above the lake was yellow and red. It was beautiful!

Couldn’t ask for a nicer day in the woods!

9/26/2010 – Surprise Lake Quad Trip

Date of Hike: 9/26/2010
Location of Hike: Fish Creek Basin - Old decomissioned roads - leading to Surprise Lake
Weather during Hike: Cloudy and drizzly
Hiking Buddies: Mark, Chris and Brian
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 4:30 PM
Hike Distance: 21 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was not a hiking trip, but a very tough trip with 4 quads down old decommissioned roads to Surprise Lake in the Fish Creek Basin. The roads are very rough and becoming overgrown with alder. We were whacking young trees almost the whole way.

At most of the creek crossings the crossing was tough since all the culverts have been removed and going down and then back up the ravines was difficult. The weather sort of cooperated, but it drizzled off and on all day. It was definitely cloudy and overcast. It was interesting to see much of the area that was closed after the 1996 flooding.

Although it was a physically very tough day, it was a lot of fun, although I’m not ready to repeat it anytime soon.

9/12/2010 – Abbot Road and High Rock

Date of Hike: 9/12/2010
Location of Hike: High Rock and East end of Abbot (4610) road
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Mark and Andy
Start Time: 10:15 AM  End Time: 2:40 PM
Hike Distance: 3 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This wasn’t a hike, but it was an interesting adventure in the woods…..I had always wanted to explore the east end of the 4610 road up to where the slide destroyed the road. We were originally going to take the quads up the old Fish Creek road “trail”, but it has been washed out again, so this was the alternative I came up with. It was a fun day and was interesting to see the little used east end of the road. There are some huge trees and huge rock slides on that end and the road gets VERY narrow in places. I’m not sure a normal truck could get through all the way to the landslide.

High rocks was an amazing place and being able to go up to the old lookout location was pretty cool.

It is a VERY steep trail to the top, and on the way down I slipped and before I knew it, I was on the ground and scraped up my arm pretty good. It didn’t bleed too much, but sure hurt a lot!

A great day of exploration in the woods, and a great way to recover what could have been a wasted trip….

9/18/2010 – Signal Buttes

Date of Hike: 9/18/2010
Location of Hike: Cougar Creek Trail over to Signal Buttes
Weather during Hike: Rainy and windy on the buttes
Hiking Buddies: Kirk and Don
Start Time: 11:30 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a very short, very wet hike down a very short section of the Cougar Creek trail and then bushwhacking over to Signal Buttes. It was a very rainy day, but even with the rain, we were able to have a decent view from the top of the Buttes. There was also some very interesting rock formations between the buttes that we investigated. One of the most interesting things I found was how deceiving the distances were. The rock formations didn’t look that big, or that far away, but it took us quite a while to get down the butte and out to them. They had these interesting rock formations – Kirk decided to climb one of them:

They were considerably larger than we had expected. All in all a great day, even though we got wet.

We finished up the day by visiting Fearless Brewing in Estacada for the fall release of their “Strong Scotch Ale”.

9/6/2010 – South Fork Clackamas falls

Date of Hike: 9/6/2010
Location of Hike: South Fork of the Clackamas River - Old Oregon City waterworks
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Kirk
Hike Distance: 8 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was another hike up the South Fork of the Clackamas to explore the old Oregon City Waterworks relics. I went with Kirk and the new objective was to get to the bottom of all 3 of the falls in the area (the two on the South Fork and one on Memaloose). We had tried to do the big falls on the South Fork earlier in the year, but Memaloose creek was rather high and we weren’t prepared to get wet. This time, we were able to cross Memaloose creek with no problems, not even getting our feet wet. The view from the bottom of the canyon on the big falls was quite impressive.

We spent about a half hour at the bottom of the big falls before returning to go explore up Memaloose creek. When bushwhacking down to the Memaloose falls, we started downhill too soon, and it was pretty rough going. On the way back up, we found an impromptu trail that has been forged by all the people who have been exploring this area.

It was much easier coming back up than going down. Nothing else significant on this trip, except that there was shooting debris on the road coming out. They haven’t had the “tank traps” in place too long, and already people have started shooting there, even though it is illegal on that stretch.

First Waterfall on the South Fork:

My upper thighs were complaining for a few days after this trip! It was a pretty good workout…..

9/3/2010 – Fanton Trail up to Squaw Mountain

Date of Hike: 9/3/2010
Location of Hike: Fanton Trail - up to Squaw Mountain
Trail Number: 505
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a short hike up the Fanton trail to complete my hiking of the trail. I had almost completed the entire trail, but lost the trail in the snow. It was a great hike up a beautiful part of the Fanton trail. Once up on Squaw Mountain there was some very interesting cloud formations on Mt Hood.

On the way back down, I found a VERY old trail number sign that was embedded within a tree it had been there so long:

All in all a great day in the woods.

8/20 – 8/21/2010 – Bagby – Whetstone – Battle Ax Creek Trails

Date of Hike: 8/20/2010 - 8/21/2010
Location of Hike: Bagby - Whetstone - Battle Ax Creek Trails
Trail Number: 544, 546, 3369, 3339
Weather during Hike: Warm, but not hot - no rain - In the 70s
Hiking Buddies: Carly
Hike Distance: 17.9 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
What a weekend! The original plan was to hike the south end of the Bagby trail, going up to Silver King Lake for night #1, then come down across the Whetstone trail and then down the Gold Creek trail down to Opal Creek. Then up Opal Creek to Battle Ax creek, camp somewhere along Battle Ax creek, and then down Battle Ax Creek back to Elk Lake and finally back to the truck. Day 1 was going to be a little over 5 miles, day 2 was going to be a long one, somewhere around 12 miles, and day 3 would be 4-6 miles, depending on where we camped on night 2. On day 1, my back started bothering me, and at camp that night, I started pondering alternatives. We could have just gone back the way we came, but I decided to opt to shortcut the route by taking the bypass trail, #3339. The trail names are confusing in this area, but I think its proper name is the Whetstone Mountain Trail (as opposed to the Whetstone trail, #546). The Gold Creek trail is (I think) #3369 and goes off the West end of the Whetstone trail, right after the junction to the trail to the top. So, instead of about a 25 mile backpack, we ended up doing about 18 miles or so, doing a little more sightseeing along the way. I think it worked out for the best, as it would have been a rough slog on day #2 if we had gone as planned.

Day 1 was a relatively uneventful day, driving down the rough 4697 road to Elk Lake and beyond, up to the Bagby (544) trailhead.

Headed up the trail, gaining elevation for the first couple of miles, but not seeing anything too unusual. The forest is beautiful, with lots of old growth. When we got up close to a ridge, we ran into a lone hiker who had just encountered a bear while eating lunch. He said he saw what looked like a big German Shepard dog, but when he saw the whole thing, realized it was a BEAR. He made lots of noise, and I think the bear was as scared as he was and the bear ran down the hill. My guess is that he was being rather quiet eating lunch and the bear didn’t realize he was there. We got to Silver King Lake mid afternoon and set up camp and just relaxed the rest of the day.

The lake was beautiful with lots of salamanders and LOTS of fish jumping. I really wish I had taken my pole….I saw a rainbow trout swimming in the lake, but when some of them jumped out farther, it looked like there might be some cutthroat as well. It was really neat to watch the fish jump. Some of them were jumping REALLY high! Had dinner, cleaned up and went to bed early.

On the morning of day 2, we got up, ate breakfast and then packed up and headed out about 8:00. We went back down the hill from Silver King Lake and then went a little farther north on the Bagby trail to investigate “Howdy Doody Camp” as mentioned on the trail sheet. Not much to see, just a fire ring and a crude bench, but was somewhat interesting.

It also sparked a discussion with my daughter about who Howdy Doody was….Filled our water bottles from a small creek (rather than the lake, which tasted funny) and then proceeded back south along the Bagby trail, back up to the junction with Whetstone. Hiked across Whetstone, taking in the beautiful views from some of the rocky outcroppings along the way. When I looked south and told my daughter where we were going she asked “all the way down there?”.

It was a ways down to the creek…. We then continued losing elevation down to the junction with the 3369 trail which was the one where we lost a lot of elevation and eventually ended up at Battle Ax creek, which we crossed.

We ended up stopping there for lunch, and trying to dry out my boots – my daughter had one of those new “Off” doo dads to keep the mosquitoes at bay and it ended up falling in the creek when we were crossing. When I went to get it, I slipped and one of my feet fell in and got soaked. Oh well…We ate lunch, enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the creek, then packed up and started the long road back up. We had about 1800 feet of elevation to gain back….Right at the creek there were two really nice campsites.

Would make a great place to camp someday…Headed back up to the junction with the Battle Ax Creek trail (3369? – I don’t know) which is a really old road that was abandoned long ago and has reverted to a trail. We went west a bit to see the Shiny Rock mining company gate.

Going further it would take you all the way to Jawbone Flats, the old mining town which is still occupied with an environmental center now. We didn’t see much except for the gate and a sign – I guess there is a mine somewhere in there, but maybe we didn’t go far enough to see it. We didn’t want to go too far, since we knew how much elevation we had to make up. So we turned around and went back up the road, heading south. The road did a pretty consistent uphill all the way, gaining elevation at a reasonably gently grade most of the way. As we got closer to Beachie Saddle, the road got steeper. It was interesting that parts of the road still looked like a road, and parts were barely a trail, being very overgrown. We got to a point just short of Beachie Saddle, which offered a great view and we could see the point where I told my daughter where we would be later in the day.

Got up to Beachie Saddle, rested a bit after the long climb and then headed back to the truck (which was all downhill). I was absolutely amazed that they had cut a road through that area so long ago. It must have been a terrifying road to drive, especially in a truck!

After getting back to the truck, we found two other vehicles at the trailhead. We took our boots off and headed home. A short stop at Dairy Queen in Stayton for dinner and then home. It was a long day, a little over 12 miles and quite a bit of elevation.

All in all a good trip, however I was a little disappointed we didn’t see more interesting things – I guess that is what I get for doing a quickly planned trip. The trail from Battle Ax Creek to Beachie Saddle isn’t a great trail – there isn’t much to see, and on a sunny day would be quite warm. It is pretty open most of the way. I very much enjoyed the south end of the Bagby trail and Whetstone is always an interesting place to be. It would be interesting to see what that Gold Creek trail is like and the section between Jawbone Flats and Battle Ax Creek – That will have to wait for another day…..

8/13/2010 – Elk Lake Creek – Welcome Lakes – Geronimo – Motherlode Trails

Date of Hike: 8/13/2010
Location of Hike: Elk Lake Creek - Welcome Lakes - Geronimo - Motherlode Trails
Trail Number: 559, 554, 557, 558
Weather during Hike: Sunny and warm
Hiking Buddies: Carly and Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:15 AM  End Time: 6:45 PM
Hike Distance: 14.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a rather long hike, one I like to call an “epic” hike. Essentially, it is a long hike that is rather challenging for me. I invited my daughter to accompany me, and to my surprise, she said yes.

I was a little worried about the distance, coupled with the heat that was forecast for the day. We tried to get an early start, and got to the trailhead at about 9:15 and started off. I’ve had not been on the upper section of Elk Lake creek and it was beautiful, just as the rest of the trail is. We got up to the climbing section of Welcome Lakes and I thought we were going to have to turn around because my daughter wasn’t feeling well and had a headache. A short stop with water and some food and she felt better and we continued on.

When we got to the lower (larger) Welcome Lake turnoff, we went down to the lake and hiked around the backside where you can actually see the lake. I had not gone that far around the lake before, and it is very pretty, although the lake is rather brushed in and it is hard to get to the water.

The other big item of the day was hiking the old abandoned Geronimo trail. Quite honestly, based on the descriptions of the trail, I didn’t think I would like it all.

I only wanted to say that I had hiked that trail. I was actually very pleasantly surprised! Although the trail itself is in rather rough shape (lots of downed trees, very brushy and difficult to follow in places), it is a really nice trail.

The comments about the trail make one think it is exceedingly steep, however I found most of the trail to be pretty reasonable. It was only the last 1/2-3/4 mile of the trail that was rather steep, and I’ve been on trails in other areas of the Clackamas district that were easily that steep. (at least according to my rusty memory). The trail starts out walking a ridge, then descends through a nice meadow where the trail is a little difficult to follow, but is very pretty. It then descends down the hill at a reasonable grade until the last bit, which drops much quicker. The trail does have little mini switchbacks to make it a little easier. The biggest challenge we had on this particular trail was keeping on the trail. There were several sections that required us to find the trail. Downed trees, brush and general lack of use are allowing this trail to disappear in places. It is pretty well blazed which helped a lot.

Once we got back down to Elk Lake trail, the two creek crossings were relatively easy, and the cold water felt good on tired feet.

We ended up getting back to the truck about 6:45, so it was about 9 1/2 hours of hiking! I was very surprised at the temperature all day. Even though it was 93+ in town, it never felt that hot on this trail. Most of the day we had a nice breeze blowing and most of the trail was in the trees, so it really helped keep things tolerable.

All in all a wonderful trip! My muscles are going to complain tomorrow, though….

7/21/2010 – Rimrock Trail – 704

Date of Hike: 7/21/2010
Location of Hike: Rimrock Trail - Viewpoint
Trail Number: 704 (Rimrock) /705 (viewpoint)
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 11:00 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a very special hike for me. My father died on July 14th and his funeral/memorial service was on July 20th. One of the things he loved to do was to live vicariously through me in looking at pictures of my hikes. When he was a little younger and more able, I took him and my mom on some short hikes. In memory of him, I asked my mom if it was OK if I took a few of his ashes and scattered them in the woods. I chose this trail because the viewpoint trail is one of the most dramatic and beautiful places I’ve seen in this area. The actual task of spreading his ashes only took a few moments, but it is a memory I will treasure and one that helped bring closure for me.

When I got to the viewpoint, there was a hawk circling overhead, but I didn’t get a chance to get a photo or video of it since I was so enthralled with watching it, I forgot to get my camera out until it was too late. Later on, I saw 3 or 4 hawks that were riding the thermals in the canyon below. It was mesmerizing to watch them. It was a beautiful day with wonderful views of all the mountains and the surrounding valleys.

And finally, the video of me spreading dad’s ashes:

7/19/2010 – Plaza Trail – 783

Date of Hike: 7/19/2010
Location of Hike: Plaza Trail - Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness
Trail Number: 783
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Don
Start Time: 10:15 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike up the old Plaza Trail off the 4610 (Abbot) road just before the Twin Springs campground which is now all bermed off. We first stopped at the remnants of the old Plaza Guard station, which is mostly just an old fireplace and foundation for a garage now, but was interesting to see.

Farther up the trail we stopped at Sheepshead rock, which offered a beautiful view of the terrain, most of which is untouched (not a patchwork of recovering clearcuts).

In addition to the trail, we did a bit of offtrail travel to find the site of an old plane crash. It was interesting to see how little the area of the crash has recovered. Even more somber to think that quite a few people died in that crash.

The trail is pretty well graded, and was in really good shape. All in all a nice day.

5/30/2010 – Eagle Creek Trail (off the Clackamas)

Date of Hike: 5/30/2010
Location of Hike: Eagle Creek Trail (off the Clackamas)
Trail Number: 501
Weather during Hike: Cloudy and cool
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 11:00 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I have wanted to get out hiking again for quite some time, but with everything going on, and having a wet spring, it has been difficult. I thought I could get out on the Memorial Day weekend, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. My wife finally encouraged me to go out on Sunday, since the weather was supposed to be OK. I’m very glad she did, for this trip was good for my soul. The weather was OK, with a few small sunbreaks, but mostly overcast. It wasn’t too cold or too hot, just about perfect for hiking.

This is the second time I’ve done this hike, and once you get past the initial clearcuts, it is a beautiful hike. I went a little farther this time, going past the big creek crossing, but I ended up turning around a little ways up the trail since it started to mist and I didn’t really want to hike in the rain. It worked out OK, and I had a great time. This area has LOTS of REALLY big trees and the creek is a constant companion, either by seeing it, or by hearing it. This day, the creek was roaring due to all the rain we have had.

A beautiful day in the woods!

2/20/2010 – South Fork Clackamas and Memaloose Creek Falls

Date of Hike: 2/20/2010
Location of Hike: South Fork of the Clackamas and up Memaloose Creek
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Don and Charles
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was another trip up the South Fork of the Clackamas where the old OC Waterworks was. This time we wanted to get to the base of the falls to get a better look at them. We also did a little scouting of some other abandoned trails in the area. The scramble/bushwhack down to the base of the falls wasn’t easy, but it gave a totally different view of the falls than what you get up above.

The falls on Memaloose you can’t even see without scrambling down to the creek. It is a very interesting falls in a very interesting bowl with almost vertical walls.

The only fall we didn’t get to the base of was the big falls, because we would have to ford Memaloose creek and we weren’t prepared to do that. It was still a great day with some beautiful scenery that very few people have seen.

2/9/2010 – Dickey Creek – 553

Date of Hike: 2/9/2010
Location of Hike: Dickey Creek Trail
Trail Number: 553
Weather during Hike: Partly Cloudy
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike into the Bull of the Woods wilderness area. Normally, this trail isn’t open this early, but since there has been very little low elevation snow this year, the trailhead was still accessible. Actually, there was NO snow at the trailhead, and the only place I saw snow was at the high point of the hike, about 3000′. I hiked to the crossing of Dickey creek, ate lunch and turned around. It was a glorious day in the woods which I had all to myself. I had forgotten how beautiful the large trees are at the bottom of the first hill. It is a tough climb back up, but it is the price you pay for the beautiful old trees.

1/10/2010 – Oregon City Waterworks – South Fork and Memaloose Creek

Date of Hike: 1/10/2010
Location of Hike: Up the South Fork of the Clackamas River and up part of Memaloose Creek
Weather during Hike: Mostly overcast and cool
Hiking Buddies: Don
Start Time: 9:30 AM  End Time: 1:00 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles?  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike I had on my list of “to dos” for quite some time. It was hiking up the South Fork of the Clackamas to explore the remains of the old Oregon City waterworks. From what I’ve been able to find out, it was decommissioned in the early 1960’s. I have not been able to find out when it was built, but for a number of years, it was the water source for the city of Oregon City. It would appear Oregon City was trying to duplicate what Portland did with Bull Run-piping in high quality water from high in the hills where it was much purer.

We crossed the South Fork near where it dumps out into the Clackamas-over a logjam which was pretty easy.

We then explored down near the river where there used to be a house of the caretaker. We found an old cable crossing point, some foundation for a small building, and even an old fire hydrant!

From there, we proceeded back up the “road” that parallels the river.

The pipeline is buried under this road and it is visible in a few places. We passed through several tunnels, saw two beautiful falls-the

higher of which has to be over 200′ tall and rivals anything you can find in the gorge. Then at the end of the trip we saw the dam and collector where the pipeline started. Back down the trail and across an old bridge just North of where Memaloose creek joins the South fork and up Memaloose creek.

Saw some more old stuff, including what looked like a settling box.

Continued up the creek, through one last tunnel and then climbed up out of the canyon to an old road and back to the car.

It was one of the best days hiking for me, since it combined two of my passions – hiking and history. It was really cool to see all the old stuff, and the waterfalls were absolutely gorgeous. I’m planning on making a return trip……