Category Archives: Vol1

12/17/2006 – Dry Ridge Trail

Date of Hike: 12/17/2006
Location of Hike: Dry Ridge Trail
Trail Number: 518
Weather during Hike: Clear and Cold - 20-30 degrees
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Hike Distance: 4
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Took an exploratory hike to see if this route is possible for cross country skiing on top of the trail (taking the side trail to road 4635 and skiing the road). Got stopped at the Grouse Creek crossing due to fast running water, and Bodie being a little scared.

Lots of downed trees, a couple of root balls took out the trail tread, and lots of down limbs. Got into snow about half way through, and saw cat prints on the trail for a while. All in all a beautiful winter hike.

10/22/2006 – Thunder Mountain and Skookum Lake

Date of Hike: 10/22/2006
Location of Hike: Thunder Mountain and Skookum Lake
Trail Number: 542
Weather during Hike: Cool and overcast
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike to Thunder Mountain and then down to Skookum Lake. I see why they say Skookum Lake is “spooky”.

It just has a strange feel to it. It is hard to explain, but once you go there, I think you’ll understand. There was some burn damage to the area just below the summit of Thunder Mountain, wiping out part of the trail. I didn’t actually go to the summit of Thunder Mountain on this hike, as I was running low on time and wanted to make sure I had time to get down to Skookum Lake. Very interesting varied hike, but you are always going up or down.

9/29/2006 – Rho Creek Trail – Lower half

Date of Hike: 9/29/2006
Location of Hike: Rho Creek Trail - Lower half
Trail Number: 560
Weather during Hike: Sunny and warm - 70-80
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Hike Distance: 4
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Rho Creek trail (#560): I got to the trail head about 10:30, and finally found the trailhead marker, an orange blaze and the old USFS marker with an aluminum T on it (placed there by the guy who has been trying to restore the trail).

Very interesting trail, that is very faint in places, but reasonably well blazed. Between the flagging tape and the old trail blazes, I was able to stay on the trail pretty easily.

The trail goes up, probably 1100 feet or more in its 4 miles, so you are going up all the time, but it is usually a pretty slow, constant up, rather than steep switchbacks. There is one section of switchbacks on the trail, though. It parallels Rho Creek, which is a beautiful little creek. There are a few spots where you can get down to the creek to get a better look at it. Most of the trip you are 100′ or so above the creek, and you can only hear it, not see it. It was a glorious day, with beautiful blue sky and relatively warm temperatures (70s probably). One of the most interesting things on the trail is where the trail just disappears beneath a carpet of moss. The trail hasn’t been used for so long that it just got overgrown with moss. Other parts of the trail had oregon grape or salal growing right in the middle of the trail tread. I ended up hiking about 2 miles up the trail, up to the point where I hiked on the 17th. After that point, the trail seems to get less interesting. The lower half of the trail is much more interesting than the upper half. Probably hiked 4 miles or so.

9/29/2006 – Pansy Lake to Dickey Lake

Date of Hike: 9/29/2006
Location of Hike: Pansy Lake to Dickey Lake
Trail Number: 551
Weather during Hike: Sunny and warm - 70-80
Start Time: 2:00 PM
End Time: 03:30 PM
Hike Distance: 2.6
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Pansy lake trail (#551) to Dickey Lake (#549) – I wanted to explore this area since this was recommended by someone when Carly and I backpacked into Big Slide Lake this summer. He said there was one campsite on the backside of Dickey Lake that was nice. The Pansy lake trail is very nice, with lots of big trees and a well maintained trail. The trailhead looks like it could be crowded sometimes, but there was only one group camping at the trailhead, and one woman who came in right after me (but she hiked to the lookout). About a mile up the trail, it split off to Dickey Lake, kept climbing, and finally made it to the lake. Dickey Lake is a small, pretty shallow lake, with not much trail around it.

I walked all the way around, but it was pretty difficult to make it (tough cross country). I found the campsite, but it wasn’t too big. I doubt I’d camp there unless I couldn’t find something else more suitable. It was a nice hike, but I was in quite a hurry to get home before 5:00. – I MADE IT!

9/17/2006 – Rho Creek Trail – Upper half

Date of Hike: 9/17/2006
Location of Hike: Rho Creek Trail - Upper Half
Trail Number: 560
Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 4
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:

Tried to hike the Rho Creek Trail (#???) based on some postings on the trail advocate website. Apparently, this trail has been officially abandoned by the USFS, but there is at least one person who thinks it is worth trying to salvage, so he has been working on restoring the trail. According to the USFS description, this trail is about 4.2 miles long. It goes between FS roads 4671 and 4672, and gains about 1100′ in elevation over the 4 miles, and parallels Rho Creek.
I started at the bottom end of the trail, and tried to find the trailhead based on the descriptions. I tried a few things, and got a little disoriented, and decided that was enough. I ended up going up to the top end of the trail, and finally found the trailhead off road 4672 at the top of a relatively new (10 years old or so) clearcut. Travelling down through the clearcut was interesting, it was tough to follow the trail. Once I got to the bottom of the clearcut, I followed the edge, looking for a trail into the woods. I ended up following a creek to try and find Rho Creek, which the trail was supposed to go along.

It took me about 45 minutes of cross country hiking to find the trail, and it wasn’t right next to the creek, but up a hill a bit. I knew that if I followed the creek I wouldn’t get lost because I could always follow it back out. I was just about reaching my “I’m done” threshold when I saw what looked like a trail. I ended up hiking down the trail about 2 miles or so. It follows the creek, but is far above it most of the way. The hillside/canyon is very steep down to the creek. The trail goes in and out of forest, mostly with a thinner canopy, and also through a couple of sidehill clearcuts.

Lots of downed trees (understandable since the trail is no longer maintained), although one downed tree had a “94” carved in the trunk, so I’d guess that was the last time it was cleared. All in all an interesting and adventuous day of hiking. Probably hiked 5 miles or so, but over a mile was cross country, so it was a pretty good workout.