Category Archives: Vol2

12/24/2009 – Fish Creek – Calico Road

Date of Hike: 12/24/2009
Location of Hike: Going up the old road up Fish Creek - above the old road 54
Weather during Hike: Sunny but Cold
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:00 AM  End Time: 4:00 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a wintertime hike up Fish Creek on a decommissioned road. It is sometimes referred to as the Calico road since (I’m guessing) it goes to Calico Creek.

11/1/2009 – Olallie Lake Trails – 719, 723, 735, 733

Date of Hike: 11/1/2009
Location of Hike: Olallie Lake area Trails
Trail Number: 719, 723, 733, 735
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 8:00 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 11 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather for what may end up being my last outing this year. After asking some questions on some online sites, and some info from the new caretaker at Olallie Lake, I decided to try my luck and see how far I got. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to find, since it looked like there might be a fair amount of snow. The plan was to Hike the east end of the Red Lake trail, hike up to Timber Lake, then head up Red Lake to Potato Butte and then back down to Double Peaks and then back to where I started.

I got up early to do this hike, and left the house at 6:30. By 8:00, we were at the trailhead at Olallie Lake. I couldn’t believe the conditions. On the way in, I started seeing a little bit of snow at about 4200′. I figured I wouldn’t be able to get up to Double Peaks (almost 6000′). Once I got to the trailhead, there was VERY little snow on most of the trip. What was on the ground melted from the time I left to the time I came back. It was an absolutely GORGEOUS day.

To summarize the trip in a few words – Rocky, wet, chilly and totally cool. The trails were in good shape (thank you volunteers!), but due to all the snowmelt, the trails were under a lot of water. As many of these trails go through wet areas, the trail gets swallowed up, so it took some attention to watching the trail in order to keep following it. The trail would head into a wet area and you would have to hunt to find out where it exited on the otehr side of the wet area. Kept me on my toes. It was a rather chilly in the morning, and in the shade on some of the trails.

The lakes in the area are actually very nice. There are LOTS of them. Timber lake is a fair sized lake with some good camping opportunities around it. Next was Top Lake, which was another nice lake. Then there was Fork Lake, another named lake (there are LOTS of un-named ponds/lakes/bodies of water).

I wanted to head up to Potato Butte and find the “potatoes” that it was named for. My daughter and I were up there about 4 years ago, but we didn’t know about the potatoes, so we just went to the top for the view. This time, even though I was running late, I really wanted to see the potatoes. I found the side trail and snapped some photos. Since I was already running late, and since I had been there before, I didn’t go all the way to the top.

Back down the trail, taking the Top Lake trail which was a little bit of a detour from the way I came up. It heads up to Cigar Lake where you can take the Double Peaks trail up to the top of Double Peaks. When I got up to Double Peaks, there was a bit of snow on the trail, but not too much. I was able to stay on the trail all the way to to the top. The trail sheet says the trail is steep, and BOY were they not kidding! It basically walks up the side of the hill. With the snow, it made it doubly difficult. But, I made it up to the top and the view was astounding. Mt Jefferson was RIGHT in front of you and you get a 360 degree view. I could have stayed up there for a while, but I was still/already behind schedule, so after a few minutes, some water and photos, we left to head back to the truck. I will be coming back in the summer sometime.

To try and make up some time on the way back, we quickened our pace and since most of the trip back was downhil, it made it a little better. We made up most of the time we were late, and got back to the car a little after 2:00. A glorious day in the woods!

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…

9/12/2009 – Baty Butte Trail – 545 – North End

Date of Hike: 9/12/2009
Location of Hike: Baty Butte Trail - North section
Trail Number: 545
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:45 AM  End Time: 3:15 PM
Hike Distance: 8 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike to explore the Baty Butte trail. It was forecast to be very warm, so I tried to leave a little earlier hoping to escape the heat a bit. The trail was easy to find, however the road going to the trailhead was a bit of an adventure. Nothing my truck couldn’t handle easily, but a few rough spots along the way. The directions to the trailhead were spot on. Had no trouble finding the trailhead at all.

We started out about 9:45 and had a great view of Baty Butte. Once on the trail, we quickly came to the junction of the main trail and before we knew it, were right under the “white spot” of Baty Butte.

From there, we continued around the East side of the butte and then headed East to an old decommissioned road to head over to Skookum lake. The trail is well flagged, however there are a few spots that were a little confusing. Did some brushing of the trail in the worst spots, but all in all, this trail is in great shape. There were a LOT of buzzing/flying things (flies, bees, yellow jackets) around. Fortunately, I didn’t get stung like I did last week.

Didn’t see a soul anywhere until we got to Skookum lake,

and rounded the corner to the campsite, and ran into a BUNCH of people (probably 10-15 people). They were all very nice and were waiting for the campers to leave and then had planned to stay the night. There wasn’t much to see, so we turned around and went back the way we came. Got back to the trail junction and decided not to go south, since we were running low on water and there really isn’t any water sources on the trail to speak of. The south section will have to wait for another day.

It was a beautiful day up there, not too warm. Most of the trail is shaded, and there was a breeze most of the time which kept it comfortable. The trail is beautiful, with LOTS of open vistas of the area. I can’t think of another trail in this area that has so many opportunities to view the surrounding area so well. Although I don’t particularly like hiking on old decommissioned roads, that part isn’t too bad. The trail down the road has been smoothed out a bit.

From the description on the TrailAdvocate site: Officially only a mile long trail skirting Baty Butte this trail actually continues some six miles along the Molalla-Clackamas divide running south beyond the powerlines and then down to Joyce Lake. Sometimes it is referred to as the Boundary Trail. There are two access points north: Lost Creek Meadows and the northmost point on the 7010-160 spur. As you drive up the 160 spur watch for Baty Butte — a distinctive white “beard” on it’s south face* — and as you turn away from it there will be a long abandoned deck of logs on the right. The trail is just over this deck. There is no real parking spot except for squeezing in off the road. This is a segment of the old South Fork Trail, formerly a first class route from Estacada to Bagby Hot Springs. The Lost Creek Meadows trailhead is on the right in a level stretch of road shortly after the end of the climb up the hill. There is room for a few rigs to park on the left. Two south access points are the powerlines (a wild flower paradise) at the crest of the ridge and at Joyce Lake left at the entrance to the lake (not at the lake!) at Joyce Lake Road (BLM). A powerline access road leads up to the crest of the ridge. Trail runs both directions along the ridge from the clearing.

Trail is maintained by users. The north three miles of the trail are better maintained than the south end. There are no signs. Trail survives by virtue of its scenery, wild flowers, and views. There is usually a breeze. An historic trail well worth investigation. Frequented by hunters in the Fall. Biologists have some interest in the flora. The route is not particularly strenuous.

7/9 – 7/11/2009 – Elk Lake Creek, Welcome Lakes Backpacking

Date of Hike: 7/9/2009 - 7/11/2009
Location of Hike: Bull of the Woods Wilderness
Trail Number: 559, 554, 555, 558, 557
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Carly
Hike Distance: Approximately 30 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
A 3 day, 2 night backpaking loop in the Southern part of Bull of the Woods wilderness. I did this as a quick plan, since I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare. It was a little longer than I thought it would be, especially the first day. Here is how the mileage went:

Day 1 – 11 miles, plus about 1600′ of elevation gain in the last 2 1/2 miles
Day 2 – 10 miles – not too bad, but still a good day
Day 3 – 6 miles out (with backpacks) and then another 3 (without packs) up to the Gold Butte lookout.

This was a different trip than many I have taken with my daughter. In the past, we have backpacked in to a base camp, and then day hiked around to explore areas. This time, almost all of the mileage was with our backpacks on.

Day 1 was quite a killer day, especially since the last 2 1/2 miles was all uphill. 3 creek crossings (a new experience for me with a backpack),

unable to find lower Welcome Lake (where we had planned on camping) and major mosquitoes at the upper lake campground made for a tough day. We didn’t get there until about 7pm. It is a very pretty trail, however.

Day 2 – We started out by going back to look for the cutoff to lower welcome lake. We ended up finding it, however there wasn’t much of a place to camp, and you couldn’t see much of the lake due to the vine maple growing up around it. After eating breakfast and finding the lake, we set out on the West Lake way trail, bypassing the end of the Welcome Lakes trail. We saw a beautiful overlook, and saw West Lake,
which there is no trail to. It is several hundred feet below the trail.

After enjoying the view for a few minutes, we then headed over to the junction with the Schreiner trail, took that up the side of the mountain (a bunch of switchbacks) to the junction with what I think was the beginning of the Mother Lode trail. After a half mile or so, we dropped our packs and took the cutoff up to the Bull of the Woods lookout.

What a beautiful view from up there! The wildflowers were in full bloom, and most of the mountains were clearly visible.

We got a good view of Big Slide lake, where we camped a few years ago, as well as all the other peaks around.

After a half hour or so of resting and enjoying the view, we hiked back down, picked up our packs and continued on the Mother Lode trail. We came to the junction with the Pansy Lake trail, and continued south. We crossed a few more creeks, although none of these we had to get wet on (too bad, since the cool water felt REALLY good on some tired feet!). We came through a narrow canyon where Motherlode creek gets very narrow and deep. There was a cool campsite on the east side of the creek, but someone was camped there. We continued down the trail and the clouds started gathering and we were concerned that we would be getting thundershowers, so we ended up making camp at the last Motherlode creek crossing (right near the junction with the Geronimo trail). It ended up being a great idea, since it was a very nice campsite, and the creek lulled us to sleep.

Day 3 – We started out by having breakfast and breaking camp. Just past our camp is the Geronimo trail, an abandoned/unmaintained trail that is VERY steep, although it is a great shortcut through the wilderness area. We wanted to see the old Geronimo mine, which was only up the trail about a quarter of a mile. We found the site, and what we think was the old mine shaft, but after all this time, there really wasn’t much to see.

We continued on down the trail, crossing Battle Creek just before we got to the old Battle Creek shelter area where we were originally going to spend the second night. We passed through and took the trail back the lake and the truck. We got back to the truck a little before noon. We then ate a little bit and enjoyed soaking our feet in the lake before we left.

On the way home, we decided to stop and see the Gold Butte lookout, since it was right on the way home. It was supposed to only be a mile to the lookout, but it was a mile and a half each way, and it was several hundred feet up in the hot sun. Even though we were tired, we ended up making it to the lookout (which is available for rental).

The view from the lookout is one of the best views I’ve ever seen! It was absolutely incredible.

After enjoying the view for a few minutes and having a snack, we set back down the trail. We got back to the truck and ended up coming back through Detroit (rather than Estacada). We stopped at Dairy Queen in Stayton for a feast since we were both REALLY hungry.

A great and memorable trip, although I probably won’t go out of my way to go to Welcome Lakes again. I don’t know how they got their name…..

3/12/2009 – Clackamas River Trail – 715

Date of Hike: 3/12/2009
Location of Hike: Clackamas River Trail
Trail Number: 715
Weather during Hike: Sunny, a little breezy at times and a little cool (especially with the wind)
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 11.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Well, I finally forced myself to get back out in the woods. I’ve been so busy with other things, hiking has taken a back seat. It has been probably 3 or 4 months, but with the beautiful weather I took a day off work and decided to see how bad the winter damage to the Clackamas River Trail was. I started from Indian Henry (the east end of the trail), and went to Pup Creek Falls and back. A little breezy and cool at times, but it was a very nice day.

The trail was in pretty good shape, with almost all of the downed trees cleared, except for a couple of REALLY big ones. There were a LOT of trees cut off the trail. I didn’t count, but I’m sure it was more than 50 of them. One of the really big ones had a foothold cut into to make crossing it easier, the others could either be gone around or under (if you squish yourself). All in all, the trail is in pretty good shape. I had forgotten how much beautiful old growth is on that trail. It has probably been 3 or 4 years since I did this end of the trail.

I had also forgotten about all the little waterfalls and the “grotto” that you walk behind. It is kind of like the big falls at Silver Falls, just on a smaller scale.

The other really nice thing was that someone made a very nice new bench seat next to Pup Creek Falls-even better it was made out of a cedar log, so hopefully it will be there for a while. The bench is very comfortable, and makes a great place to eat lunch and watch the falls!

4/5/2009 – The “other” Eagle Creek Trail – 501

Date of Hike: 4/5/2009
Location of Hike: The "other" Eagle Creek Trail
Trail Number: 501
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 1:00 PM
Hike Distance: 8 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Today was probably the best day of the year so far – The forecast was for temps in the 70’s and sunny. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take advantage of the nice weather. since it is still pretty early in the year, and we have had a wet, cool spring, the problem was finding a trail that was low enough to get to. In one of my hiking books, I found a reference to this trail – The “other” Eagle Creek trail – Not the one in the gorge. The book accurately detailed how to get to the unmarked trailhead, and also what to expect on the hike. The first mile or so of the hike is nothing to get excited about, since it goes down an old spur road, through a bunch of recently cut forest, and there are really no views or anything to look at. As you get farther down the trail, the better the view gets. At a little over a mile, you start hearing Eagle Creek, but can’t see it. Then the forest starts getting more mature. Finally, you get into some beautiful old growth cedar and hemlock (with a little doug fir), with LOTS of moss and lichen dripping from the trees. As I hiked along, lyrics from the old Beatles tune “Getting Better” kept coming into my head “Its getting better all the time”. The further down the trail I went, the more beautiful it was.

The trail moves closer and farther from the creek, but you can always hear it. We crossed several small runoff “creeks” along the way that fed down into the creek. There were a couple of nice camping areas as well. We finally got to an un-named creek crossing, and decided to turn around since the water there was deeper and faster than the other crossings. My feet were also feeling the effects of not being out too much this year yet.

This was a glorious day in the woods, on a beautiful, seldom traveled trail. It definitely deserves further exploration…..The trail keeps going another 4 miles or so up the creek. It would make for a good in and out backpack trip, as it connects with several other trails. It reminds me a lot of the Fish Creek area.

11/16/2008 – Cripple Creek Trail – 703

Date of Hike: 11/16/2008
Location of Hike: Cripple Creek Trail
Trail Number: 703
Weather during Hike: Mostly Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 8:45 AM  End Time: 12:45 PM
Hike Distance: 8  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I thought I had made my last high elevation hike of 2008, but so far, the snow has held off from removing access to the higher elevations. With the beautiful fall weather on Sunday, even though I had an extremely busy weekend, I managed to sneak in a quick hike on Sunday morning to the Cripple Creek trail. My daughter and I had hiked the lower portion of this trail almost 3 years ago (December 2005), but only got part way though due to the snow. It was also REALLY COLD that day, so we decided to turn around. Anyway, I had wanted to complete this trail to see what the higher elevation part was like.

The lower part of the trail is very well maintained, with a nice, even uphill grade. The trail is all uphill, but the grade makes it a pretty easy hike. Not too far after starting, there is a very pretty trailside spring/waterfall.

After about a mile, you come to a very interesting hillside meadow.

I’ve never seen anything like it before, but it looks like it might have been a rockslide that got covered with duff and eventually sprouted grass. The trail continues on, through some very pretty mixed age forest. Although I was not able to see the Cripple Creek, I certainly did hear it, and it sounded like it was running pretty high and fast.

After going through the first mixed age (virgin?) forest, you come to the first clearcut area. The dividing line was very noticeable, and one of the large trees looked like it had been used as a spar pole or something, as it had very definite cable gouges in it. you pass through this area, which goes between relatively young timber (20 years or less, I’d guess), and relatively open areas until you get to the 4635 road, which you cross and then continue to head up the hill.

This part of the trail gets a little rougher, with a some areas that would be tougher to navigate in the spring and summer due to the undergrowth. This time of year most of that had died, so it was easier to follow. There are also a few spots where the grade gets rather steep, however those areas are typically short.

One interesting note: After crossing the 4635 road, there was a couple of what looked like alder or vine maple sprouts that were hanging across the trail. I thought I’d trim them back – Well, I did, but they weren’t alder or vine maple sprouts. I’m not sure what they were, but they were very soft and lightweight. At first I thought it might be bamboo, but on closer inspection, it almost looked like balsa wood! Very light and easy to cut. I don’t know if balsa grows in these forests or not, or if there is a similar wood that grows here.

The trail crosses several roads, some still in use, and some that are old cat roads. For the most part, the trail is very easy to follow, however there are a couple of spots where you need to pay close attention. I had no trouble following the trail on the way up, however on the way back down, after crossing one of the roads, and passing a small camp (firepit), the trail went down a hill and I lost it. After a few minutes of looking around, I finally found the trail again. It did go down the hill, however it veered sharply left and a tree somewhat obscured the view of the trail, making it easy to miss. After that, I had no problems on the way back down.

All in all, a very nice trail that is well maintained. My favorite part of the trail was the lower section, since I enjoy the big trees and more mature forest. There were some nice old growth spots on the upper section of the trail as well, but they were smaller and fewer than down below.

The only negative of this trail is that this is quite a hill climb – About 2500′ vertical from west to east. The good part of that is the majority of the climb is well graded so it isn’t too difficult.

10/25/2008 – Cottonwood Meadows, Buck Lake

Date of Hike: 10/25/2008
Location of Hike: Cottonwood Meadows Trail, Rimrock Trail, Buck Lake Trail
Trail Number: 705, 704, 728
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Just me, Bodie had a hurt foot
Start Time: 10:15 AM  End Time: 4:30 PM
Hike Distance: 11 miles or so  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
After my experience a couple weeks ago on the Cottonwood Trail, I decided to go back and try the cross country route again. Last time, I went about halfway through the clearcut, and things didn’t “feel” right, so I turned around. When I got home and checked the GPS track, I was exactly where I should have been. This time, I was successful. I didn’t even need the GPS coordinates that were given to me to help navigate through the clearcut. I was very happy about being able to successfully navigate cross country. This was my first real test.

Once through the clearcut, picking up the trail on the other end wasn’t too difficult. I had to venture down the hill a bit before I saw the flagging, but once I saw it, it was easy to get the trail. I have to say, the southern part of that trail is an EXCELLENT trail. It has a fair amount of elevation change on it, but except for the very end, it is VERY well graded.

The trip through that part of the forest is absolutely beautiful! No really big trees, but some beautiful forest.

There were a couple of spots that had vine maple up and down the hill all blazed out in yellow with the sun shining through the trees. Other spots had moss covering the trail, and yet others had oregon grape growing about.

Once down at the southern end of the trail, I decided to hike down the 4635-120 spur to the “Collapsed bridge over Cot Creek” just to see what it looked like. Based on the construction of the bridge, it looks like that is a pretty old road. The bridge looks to have been collapsed for quite a few years, too. I had lunch there since it was a little after noon and it was a nice spot.

On the way home, I decided to check out the short Buck Lake trail. It is about a half mile into the lake, up a hill, but it was a rather interesting place.

There were a couple of cars at the trailhead, but I didn’t see the people when I was up at the lake, just their stuff. I was running late, so I didn’t hike around the lake, I just snapped some pictures. I may have to go back there any explore sometime.

All in all, a GREAT day. My only disappointment was when I hiked up the east end of the Rimrock trail, hoping to go up the viewpoint trail on Mt Mitchell. I had forgotten where the viewpoint trail junction was, and didn’t have time to go all the way up the trail, so I had to turn around and go back. That viewpoint would have been awesome on Saturday. The weather was pretty clear.

I can highly recommend the Cottowood Meadows trail. I’d love to get in there early in the season before the bugs. I would think that once the huckleberries and other ground cover start leafing up, and the meadows being very wet, it would be a little tougher to navigate the meadows, but I’m sure the diversity and color would be absolutely amazing.|}

10/12/2008 – Pyramid Lake, Cottonwood Meadows, Hideaway Lake Falls

Date of Hike: 10/12/2008
Location of Hike: Pyramid Lake, Cottonwood Meadows and Hideaway Lake Falls
Trail Number: 727,
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 11:00 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 6  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I decided this might be my last opportunity to get to the higher elevation trails, so I decided to get out and explore some new areas. My plan was to attempt the Cottonwood Meadows trail, all the way through (including the cross country section in the middle). Since I was near, I thought I’d also explore the very short Pyramid Lake trail. And, due to some discussions I’ve seen on, I decided to take a look at the Hideaway Lake Waterfall. I had also thought about taking the Rimrock trail up the viewpoint, but I ended up running out of time.

First, I have to say that the work done on roads 58 and part of 5830 (I wish they had gone further than Hideaway Lake) makes those roads MUCH better to drive on. Both roads have been brush trimmed on both sides. It makes the roads seem much wider, and they are much safer, since you can see down the road a lot further. It is too bad that they didn’t continue on 5830 past Hideaway Lake. It REALLY needs it. If they would brush these roads, and grade them (to get rid of the washboards), I wouldn’t care if they converted all of them to gravel!
I was surprised to see a 2-4 inches of snow, both on the trails and also on the roads, starting at about 3800′. It won’t be too long before these trails will be gone for the winter.

Anyway, I went up to Pyramid Lake. I mistakenly trudged up the “trail” at the first yellow sign I saw. When I was doing it, there was really no trail evident, and I didn’t go far before I realized I wasn’t in the right place. The yellow sign was a replacement for an old brown sign that just had an arrow on it (which was in the ditch) pointing further up the road. The real trailhead was about another half mile up the road. That road does get rather narrow and rough, but it wasn’t too bad in my truck.
The trail up to the lake is actually quite pleasant and in good condition, and it has a couple of very nice campsites, and even an outhouse!. A very short trail (.2 miles), with a little elevation gain. The trail was in great shape. Interesting little place….

Next was the trip to Cottonwood Meadows.

I found the trailhead with little difficulty and proceeded through the meadows. Between the flagging and the description here, it was easy to follow the trail through all the meadows. Although it wasn’t much to look at, mostly because all of the plants were buried under snow, I can see how that place would explode with color in the spring.
I’d love to get in there early, after the snow but before the bugs come out. I’m sure there would be TONS of bugs with all the wet areas. I got to the first road where the clearcut begins and attempted to follow the directions. I thought I was going in the right direction, but I started to get a little worried, and ended up backtracking.
When I got home and examined my GPS track, it appears as though I was just about exactly on track, so if I had kept going, I should have made it to the lower trail section. Oh well, that can wait until another day, maybe when there isn’t snow on the ground! I guess I just need to trust my gut a little more, but better safe than sorry. I’d hate to spend an un-scheduled night on the trail.
Lastly, I took a very short side trip down to the Hideaway Lake Falls. It is tough to get down to a spot where you can actually see the falls, but it is very pretty.

All in all, a beautiful late fall day in the woods with lots of fall colors….

9/29/2008 – Cache Meadow, Grouse Point and Trail X

Date of Hike: 9/28/2008
Location of Hike: Cache Meadow, Grouse Point and Trail "X"
Trail Number: 702, 517
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:15 AM  End Time: 4:00 PM
Hike Distance: 13  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
A fabulous day of fall hiking! After my successful “epic” trip last weekend (~19 miles and 5200+’ of elevation gain), I decided to do a little more aggressive day hike than I have done in the past. I decided to hike the other end of one of the trails we did last week (Grouse Point) and also explore a new trail (Cache Meadow). I had done parts of the Grouse Point trail about 4 years ago during a backpacking trip to Serene Lake, but I hadn’t explored the Cache Meadow trail at all. We went to Cache Meadow, but then went back to the lake.

It started out in the morning rather chilly, but it was clear. I missed the trailhead the first time I drove down road 4635, but found it on the way back. Bodie was very eager to get going (as usual). We started down the Cache Meadow trail about 10:15 or so, a beautiful trail through some nice forest, and relatively level going. It goes uphill just a bit before you get to Cache Meadow. Once there, there is a somewhat confusing bunch of trail junctions. I took the 517 junction, which essentially bypassed Cache Meadow “proper”.

From there we wound our way up to the ridge that the Grouse Point Trail follows. The trail is another very nice, very scenic trail that is mostly flat, with a little up and down along the ridge. There are a couple spots where you can look North and see the view across the Roaring River valley.

When getting close to Grouse Point, the trail veers away in some very thick rhodies. Although there is supposed to be a side trail to Grouse Point, no one appears to be able to find it. I was determined to get to Grouse Point, but the rhodies just seemed to get thicker as you get closer to the point, and I finally decided to forget it. I looked at several possibilities for side trails, but all of them quickly disappeared in the thick rhodies. I didn’t have any loppers with me, otherwise I probably would have cut my own path to Grouse Point. I’m sure the view from there is probably spectacular.
I hiked down Grouse Point to the junction with the Dry Ridge Trail, the point at which we hiked last weekend. I had lunch there, and then turned around and came back. The forest once you come down off Grouse Point is much different. Very little undergrowth, just blowdown and dirt/duff mostly. One interesting note: Most of the way, it was rather breezy. So much so that the trees were creaking and groaning. But, when we got on the west side of Grouse Point, the wind disappeared and the forest was very quiet.
Once back to Cache Meadow, we took a different route home. The forest service maps show a Trail “X” on the south side of the meadow cut, so we came back that way. The trail was easy to follow, once we found the junction at the burned out shelter at Cache Meadow. We hiked past a nice rather large, shallow, un-named lake with a couple of campsites.

There is supposed to be a trail going north towards the end of the trail, but we missed it, and hiked out to the 4635 road and back to our starting point.
The only thing that could have made the day better was a little less haze in the air. The overlooks where a little hazy, but not too bad. The temperature was just perfect-not too hot, not too cold, and most of the day we had a nice breeze. The hike was great-Not too much elevation gain/loss, and some beautiful scenery. By the end of the day, I was tired, but still feeling pretty good. My feet held up well and so did my legs. I was very happy that I felt so good after a pretty long day of hiking.

9/21/2008 – Sounds, Huxley Lake, Grouse Point, Dry Ridge (epic)

Date of Hike: 9/21/2008
Location of Hike: Big Loop - Sounds, Huxley Lake, Grouse Point, Dry Ridge
Trail Number: 521, 517, 518
Weather during Hike: Cool and overcast - Occasional rain
Hiking Buddies: Paul
Start Time: 9:00 AM  End Time: 6:00 PM
Hike Distance: 19  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was what I called an “epic” hike, since it is the longest and toughest day hike I have ever done. It covered somewhere between 18 and 20 miles, and had over a mile (5200 feet) of elevation gain.
The hike started at an old, abandoned trailhead on highway 224 near Roaring River. We ascended out of the canyon up to the old Winslow gravel pit, took another abandoned trail segment up to Huxley Lake.

We ate lunch there, and then came back to the 4611 road, and made our way down to the end where the Grouse Point trail takes off down the hill. It drops down the hill to the Roaring River, where we had to ford. This was my first ever fast/high ford of a water crossing. The water was about two feet deep in the middle, and was running fast. We both made it across with no problems, and then wrung out our boots and socks on the other side.

We then started the very steep, very long ascent back up the other side. We gained about 2400 feet on the climb out from Roaring River, and that was TOUGH. The view part way up:

The trail is faint, and very steep in spots. Once up on top, we got to the Dry Ridge trail junction, and followed that trail back down to the Roaring River campground, and then back a short ways down 224 to our cars. It was quite a day, and by the end, my feet and knees were really feeling it. I was very proud that I was able to make the trip as well as I did.
Some highlights: The trip up the hill had some magnificent old growth doug firs scattered here and there. Huxley Lake is a beautiful small lake with lily pads. There were a couple of ducks there when we ate lunch. It is too bad the ATVs have ripped up the trail around the lake, but it is still very pretty. Finding the old trail from Winslow Pit up to Huxley Lake was an interesting exercise. It took a few minutes, and a little searching, but we found it. The crossing of Roaring River was a first for me, and it went very well. I learned a lot from Paul, and will make use of some of those skills in my future hikes.

8/28/2008 – Table Rock

Date of Hike: 8/29/2008
Location of Hike: Table Rock
Weather during Hike: A Little overcast, but warm
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 8.5  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a day trip to the Table Rock Wilderness area, to hike to the top of Table Rock. I haven’t gone in this area before, and it sounded interesting. It was a relatively tough trip for me, especially the traversal over the talus slope on the north side of Table Rock. The trail there isn’t too good, and goes up and down and has poor footing.

The trail starts out on an old road closed by two landslides. You walk up the old road a little over a mile to the original trailhead and enter the forest. It is a nice trail that is well maintained and goes through some pretty forest. Even though you are gaining altitude, the grade is pretty easy . After about another mile or so, it exits the forest and you do the traversal across the north face of Table Rock.

After that, you re-enter the forest for another half mile gently going uphill most of the way. A small clearing and a junction takes you the last half mile or so to the top of Table Rock.

It is a rather windy path, but it does eventually take you to the top, where you see wonderful views. To the north there is a fair amount of clear-cutting visible, but to the east and south it looks very nice. This day, only Jefferson was clearly visible. Mt Hood was in the clouds, and 3 Sisters, 3 Finger Jack and Mt Washington are visible, but a little hazy. On the way back down, we passed a couple groups of hikers, and Bodie decided to get too excited and pulled me down the trail after they had passed, which made me fall and get a big raspberry on my arm…..No harm done, but he does get a bit excited about going hiking!

On the way home, I wanted to try and see the Pechuck Lookout, but my directions to it were not very good, and I later found out that it still requires a pretty long hike to see. I’ll go back and do that hike another time, possibly from the Rooster Rock trail.

7/29-7/31/2008 – Twin and Silver King Lakes – 546, 544, 573, 558

Date of Hike: 7/29-7/31/2008
Location of Hike: Bull of the Woods Wilderness - Twin Lakes and Silver King Lake
Trail Number: 546, 544, 573, 558
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Carly
Hike Distance: Approximately 30 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was our “annual” 3 day backpacking trip with my daughter. The plan:

Day 1:
Trail 546 (Whetstone) to Trail 573 (Twin Lakes) to Twin Lakes – Camp
It time available, Take 573 to end and explore up and down 558 – Motherlode
At junction of 558 and 559, remains of Elk Lake shelter
Off 558, trail down to porcupine mine
North on 558, proceed near Mother Lode mountain

Day 2:
Back 573 to 546 and camp at Silver King Lake
If 573 trip not done, do that before leaving Twin Lakes
After setting camp at Silver King Lake, explore up Bagby Trail 544

Day 3:
Back to Whetstone trailhead

We started out on Tuesday, 7/29 about 10:30am at the trailhead for the Whetstone trail. The weather forecast called for rain, and it was getting increasingly cloudy, so I was worried about getting setup in the rain. We talked about it, and thought about camping at Silver King Lake on Tuesday night, but decided to press on and make it to Twin Lakes.

We got a little drizzled on, but made it to the lake before the rain got too bad. After dinner, we made a short trip down to the Lower Twin Lake to see what it was like. It had a fire late last summer and it had destroyed part of the trail and possibly the campsites there. The lake is smaller than Upper Twin Lake, but was still very pretty.

It drizzled most of the night and it was pretty wet when we got up on Wednesday, but the sun was starting to come out. We then hiked down the Twin Lakes trail to the junction with the Mother Lode trail (558), looking for the porcupine mine.

We didn’t end up finding it, but did find an old campsite. We also got VERY wet due to the brushy trail and everything being so wet from the rain. Since we had a long day of hiking ahead, we turned around, went back to camp, had lunch and packed up. We then went back up the Twin Lakes trail, up a section of the Bagby trail to the Silver King Lake cutoff. Silver King Lake is a little unique in that we had to hike UP to it. Typically, lakes are at the bottom of a hill, but this lake was set up on a high “ledge”. We had to hike about 200′ up from the Bagby trail, on a rather tough section of trail. We got camp setup and started hanging up wet stuff when 3 other hikers showed up.

Since there really was only one campsite there, we offered to share with them. We talked a bit and they started a nice fire. Carly instructed me on how to solve a rubics cube after dinner (freeze dried lasagna-yum!), and then we had chocolate pudding for desert. We played a little 5 card rummy and then turned in after hiking about 12 miles that day. We were pretty tired.
The third day, we got up early, made breakfast and broke camp. We were on the trail by about 8:00, wanting to hike in the cooler weather of the morning. The hike back up the trail up to the junction with the Whetstone trail is pretty grueling. It is a narrow, steep and brushy trail that gains about 700′ in a mile. That first mile took up about 45 minutes, and we were huffing pretty good when we finally got to the top. After that, the trail was a little more forgiving, doing gentler up and downs. We hiked to the junction that goes to the top of Whetstone Mountain, dropped our packs in the woods, and hiked up to the top of Whetstone Mountain. The view from the top is absolutely spectacular, having an unobstructed 270 degree view.

The top of the mountain is a large rock outcropping, so there are no trees up there to block the view. You earn the view, however. The trail is pretty steep, and gains something like 900′ in a mile. It was also pretty tough due to the many downed trees over the trail. I have to say it was worth the hike, however. The view is one of the best in the area, I think. Looking out over the uncut sections of the forest is simply beautiful. After enjoying the view for a few minutes and taking some pictures, we descended back down, got our packs, ate a little lunch, and then finished the hike at the truck about 12:30. Since it was still pretty early, we decided to take a detour on the way home, looking for the “bridge to nowhere” that I had recently heard about. Apparently, the story is that the USFS wanted to log the trees in one area, and they were trying to get the roads into it before the area could be designated a wilderness. The built the bridge, but before they could build any roads, the area was designated wilderness and no logging could be done. So, the bridge sits and goes straight into a hillside.

It is a very odd sight! Due to the road closure (road 63 washout), we had to take the long way around and it took about 1 1/2 hours to get to it. It was worth the drive, though!

All in all a great 3 days through some absolutely gorgeous country. Most of the area we hiked in was old growth and/or virgin forest.

7/18-7/20/2008 – Fish Creek Backpacking

Date of Hike: 7/18-7/20/2008
Location of Hike: Fish Creek Basin
Weather during Hike: Sunny and warm during the day, cool at night
Hiking Buddies: Larry, Andrew, Alex, Gabe
Hike Distance: ~25 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike that I planned for quite some time, and it demonstrated the need to be able to adapt to current conditions. I have hiked up Fish Creek on the old 54 road several times, especially during the winter, since it is a relatively low elevation hike. I have only been able to hike up the road about 5 miles, getting to the second bridge. After some discussion and investigation on the website, and hearing others talk of exploring the southern part of the Fish Creek basin, I decided to do a backpacking trip to do some real exploration.
The plan was to head up road 45, and make our way down to the point where the road was closed, and make that the starting point for the trip. I guess it was not to be, since we didn’t get more than 1/2 mile off road 45 (close to the Memaloose Lake turnoff), and there was a HUGE boulder blocking the ENTIRE road. I wish I had gotten a picture of it, since it couldn’t have been more perfectly placed to close the road. Well, this is where the adaptation comes in…..We talked about it, and decided to hike in from the North (the same way I have hiked before), and we hoped that we could get in far enough to see some of the southern areas. We ended up hiking in a little over 6 miles, and camped on the 3rd bridge that crosses Fish Creek. It was about the only place we could find that was reasonably flat. It actually worked out really well, and it was a very pretty area with plenty of water close by.

We ended up making that our base camp, and did a couple day hikes to explore the area a little more. We hiked about another couple miles up the road, and found a beautiful waterfall. It was difficult to see due to the heavy undergrowth, but we did get a pretty good glimpse of it. We went up a little further and decided to turn around.

On Saturday afternoon, I tried to explore the old road that went down Wash Creek. WOW was that a tough hike! The old road has been quickly reclaimed, and lots of it is VERY overgrown and tough to navigate. I only hiked a couple of miles, but I was BEAT. Sometimes I wonder if not being able to get to the southern “trailhead” was a good thing. Maybe it would have been a very difficult bushwhack up from that side. The reports I have seen from people that have been that way say that it isn’t too bad, and that the Wash Creek road is the worst of it. Someday I’d love to see for myself.
On Sunday morning, we decided to hike up the creek from our base camp, trying to get to the falls. It was an interesting trip, with some gorgeous views that you can’t see from anywhere else, but we didn’t make it to the falls. The creek kind of falls into a canyon, and continuing hiking would have been very dangerous, so we turned around and then headed for home.

It was 3 days of hiking in a beautiful area that looks very close to wilderness now. The only reason that the hike up old road 54 is still passable is that ATVs use it, and there is a narrow path they have created. Normally, I don’t like ATVs, but in this case, it is the only thing that is keeping that road open, and I can’t say that is a bad thing.

7/7/2008 – Memaloose Lake and South Fork Mountain

Date of Hike: 7/7/2008
Location of Hike: Memaloose Lake and South Fork Mountain
Trail Number: 515
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I wanted to do a little recon for my Fish Creek backpacking trip in a couple of weeks, so I thought I would go and see how much snow had melted out. I was pleasantly surprised based on how much snow has fallen this year. There was not much snow. The lake at about 4100′ had a few patches here and there, but it was basically clear. The trail up to South Fork Mountain was basically clear with a few patches of snow-enough to make it tough to follow the trail in a few spots.

I had forgotten how beautiful of a hike this is. It is pretty short, but goes through some wonderful old growth and a very pretty creek and waterfall on your way up to the lake. The creek was running pretty fast due to all the snowmelt.

The hike up to South Fork Mountain was interesting, mostly due to the trail being unclear at points, and snow covering some areas where it was unclear. All in all a great day of exploring! The weather was beautiful, with warm temperatures and very few bugs.

6/14/2008 – Fanton Trail – 505

Date of Hike: 2008-06-14
Location of Hike: Fanton Trail
Trail Number: 505
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:15 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 7  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I got out yesterday and went and hiked most of the Fanton Trail. The 4614 road (Squaw Mountain rd) is impassible a little ways past the 4613 turnoff due to snow, but 4613 was clear to the trailhead. The snow is really odd this year. It seems to be deepest in a pretty specific elevation. Either higher or lower it is clear, but from about 3400-3600′, it can still be 18-24″ deep or more. The weird thing is how quickly the snow comes on. The trail is basically clear, and then all of a sudden it goes from nothing to over a foot deep. This was the first time I hiked the lower section of the trail, so I wasn’t quite sure where it went, but it was pretty easy to follow, until the snow came.

Fortunately, at the lower elevation, someone had gone before me, so I followed the old footprints through the snow. After that stretch, the trail cleared for a while, and it was easy going. Then the snow returned, however there were not any footprints to follow, and I couldn’t find the trail. Couldn’t see any obvious paths, and couldn’t see any blazes. I probably could have keep going in the general direction, but I decided to turn around. I made it probably 3.5 miles up the trail.

The lower section of the trail has been cleared, however there are still a couple of downed trees over the upper section I hiked. None of them are difficult to traverse, and the trail is in very good shape. I did some trimming of vegetation and threw some branches off the trail to help a little bit. I was hoping to make it up to Squaw Mountain, but that will have to wait for another day. Someday that snow will melt! The trip was pretty uneventful, except for the “locals” who were shooting near the trailhead. I was worried that my truck was going to get broken into, but when I returned to my truck, all was well. All in all, a nice hike through some interesting, although well harvested areas. Some of the clearcuts are not recovering too well, and some are recovering VERY well. Lots of viewpoints to see some beautiful areas, though. The trail had a reasonably good uphill at the beginning, but the middle section is very flat. I’d love to be able to take the trail all the way up to Squaw Mountain. I’ve taken this trail from the last road crossing up to Squaw Mountain (a few years ago), which was a very interesting hike. Maybe later this year!

5/31/2008 – Milepost 3 Trail

Date of Hike: 5/31/2008
Location of Hike: Milepost 3 Trail
Weather during Hike: Partly Cloudy and in the upper 60s to low 70s
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 11:30 AM  End Time: 3:30 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I woke up this morning, the weather was cloudy, and the forecast was for probable rain. Since I wimped out the weekend before, I decided that I was going hiking no matter what. Then I was half way to Estacada, and it dawned on me that I forgot my rain gear! That didn’t deter me, however….I decided I would make do with what I had and was determined to hike today. Anyway, I found the trailhead for the infamous “Milepost 3 Trail” after a bunch of looking. I was a little farther up the road than I should have been. Everywhere I looked, the hill went almost straight up! Anyway, after a bit of searching, I finally found the trail. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL TRAIL! I wonder why it got abandoned? It is a bit steep in places, but it has a lot of beautiful points on it.

What looks to be genuine first growth old growth, some wonderful views from the talus slopes, and a very calming feel to it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures since the battery in my camera died part way through the trip. I missed getting pictures in my favorite part of the hike where it meanders through the beautiful old growth. There are a couple of pretty rough spots in the trail, but overall it was easy to hike. Most of the tread is easy to spot, however there is a lower section where it gets a little sketchy, and an upper section that is pretty nasty due to downed trees/branches and a bunch of overgrowth. I hadn’t planned on spending a lot of time tending trail, so I just brought my clippers and no gloves, and I clipped until I got blisters on the way up. On the way down, I tried to throw branches off the trail. It could still use a lot of TLC, but the hike is most definitely worth it, and pretty easy to follow as long as you pay attention to where you are going. Since I didn’t see flagging or a rock cairn at the trailhead, I stacked several rocks at the trailhead hopefully to make it a little more apparent for people to find. My GPS differed from the posted coordinates by a little bit. I was up the road a few hundred feet too far. It is just before the 3 mile point on 4635, probably no more than a tenth of a mile. My GPS recorded about 5.1 miles roundtrip, but it also recorded a bunch of searching in the beginning, so I think it would have recorded 2.4 miles up to the intersection of Rimrock. I couldn’t find Rimrock due to the snow, (it was a couple feet deep on the top of the hill). Anyway, a very enjoyable day up in the hills….. The trail is on Road #4635… The UTM coordinates at the trailhead are 10T 577761mE 4994293mN The trail starts out at 2742′ and tops out at 4256′ in 2.7ish miles where it T-bones the Rim Rock trail.

4/3/2008 – Clackamas River Trail

Date of Hike: 4/3/2008
Location of Hike: Clackamas River Trail
Trail Number: 715
Weather during Hike: Partly sunny to cloudy
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 8.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
A very nice day for a spring hike. I finally got out to go hiking, and ended up deciding on the Clackamas River Trail, since I figured that there wouldn’t be any other trail free of snow, or free of snow very far. I thought about Cripple Creek, but didn’t think I’d get too far before snow. Anyway, I ended up going from the fish creek end, and it was a very nice day. I ended up doing 8 or 9 miles, going to Pup Creek Falls.

The trail was clear of snow, with only a couple VERY small patches in the trees. The trail was in GREAT shape, with only a couple of down trees and a couple of slide areas that weren’t very bad. A good hiking day. I saw two other groups of hikers on my way out, but no one on the way in, except for some kayakers at the parking lot. I then went up to Ripplebrook and beyond to see how much snow had melted. The good news was that a LOT of snow has melted since January. Road 46 past Ripplebrook is clear now, with only some snow on the sides as you get up farther. The Riverside trail is accessible once again. The bad news is that there was still a LOT of snow in places. I think you can get to Bagby now, although I didn’t go that far, I only went to where road 63 meets 70, where they closed it. At that junction, there is still over a foot of snow on the road. My GPS said the elevation there was about 1700′, so we still have a ways to go before we can get to the higher trails. I hope we get some warmer weather to start melting off some of this snow! The other thing I noticed was there there are a LOT of downed trees and slides this winter. It was a tough winter for the roads…..

2/18/2008 – Riverside Trail – 723

Date of Hike: 2/18/2008
Location of Hike: Riverside Trail
Trail Number: 723
Weather during Hike: Sunny but cold
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Hike Distance: 5?  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a wintertime hike up the Clackamas River on the Riverside trail. I didn’t record it immediately, so I don’t have too many details on it. I remember it was a cold, clear day and there was a foot of snow on parts of the trail. It was beautiful, though!

1/13/2008 – Fish Creek – Old FS Road 54

Date of Hike: 1/13/2008
Location of Hike: Fish Creek - Old FS Road 54
Weather during Hike: Sunny and cool
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 6 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
What a beautiful January day for a hike. The weather was cool (high 30’s, low 40’s), but it was sunny with very few clouds. The plan was to go up fish creek, on what used to be FS road 54 and hopefully get to the second bridge (about 5 miles in). I wanted to be able to test out my new hiking boots (Salomon) and GPS (Garmin 60csx) that I got for Christmas. Well, I didn’t even get to the first bridge, which is about 3-3.5 miles from the start. There was LOTS of snow! anywhere from 4-10″ of pretty soft snow, and I didn’t have snowshoes, so it was pretty tough going. Couple that with the water flow in some of the creeks you have to cross, and it was a difficult day for me and my dog. We ended up turning back at the second creek (the name of the creek-it is actually the 3rd creek you have to cross) crossing. It was running pretty fast and deep. Normally, I take a large tree over the creek, which works great. This time, it was covered it about 6″ of snow, and I didn’t want to slip off of it in the middle. It is about 8′ or so down to the creek. I was getting tired, I had Bodie with me, and my better judgement told me it was time to turn around. So, we ended up doing about 6 miles. It was still a VERY nice trip, and it was wonderful getting out in the woods again. I have to say my boots performed very well (although they were a little stiff), and the GPS did very well, too. You can see the two maps with the overlaid track on them in the pictures. After the hike, I thought I would see if I could get up to see the damage on road 63 where it is closed. Short story – I couldn’t. There is a LOT of snow up there! I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much snow this low. Highway 224 was plowed to Ripplebrook, and road 46 was semi plowed for about a mile or so. After that, it was kind of plowed. There was one lane, with two tire tracks, with about 2 feet of snow on either side and about 6″ of snow between the tire tracks. I drove up this until just about the Riverside trailhead, and had to turn around. There were 5 or 6 cars and trucks, and it looked like there was either an accident or someone was stuck. I honestly don’t know why someone in a car would go on a road like that. I’m guessing they were trying to get up to Bagby Hot Springs. All in all a very enjoyable day.

11/4/2007 – Old Baldy

Date of Hike: 11/4/2007
Location of Hike: Old Baldy Trail
Trail Number: 502
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Hike Distance: 7  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I did not keep a description of this hike, however I do remember parts of it. It was a trail with LOTS of up and down. Several nice viewpoints along the way, however the view at Old Baldy has been overgrown. All you see at the top is trees now.

10/28/2007 – Rimrock Trail – Mt Mitchell

Date of Hike: 10/28/2007
Location of Hike: Rimrock Trail - Mt Mitchell
Trail Number: 704
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This is the same hike I took about a month ago, however this time, I hiked the real trail, starting at the real trailhead. The weather was also much better this time, as it was clear. The beginning of the hike is probably the best, since it goes through some older trees, and passes by a small “seasonal lake”. The trail then joins the viewpoint trail, which used to be called the Mt Mitchell Trail (705). The views from Mt Mitchell are absolutely incredible. It has some of the most beautiful views of any of the peaks I’ve been on in the Clackamas area. This is definitely a hike I’ll want to do again!

10/23/2007 – Huxley Lake

Date of Hike: 10/23/2007
Location of Hike: Huxley Lake Trail
Trail Number: 521
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 9 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a difficult, although interesting hike. You start at Lookout Springs campground, hike about a half mile down the Corral Springs trail, there is a junction with Huxley Lake. Then you DROP down about 1000′, with most of it VERY steep. I never did find the lake on this hike, however in discussions after I got back, I found out where I went wrong. The junction at the bottom of the hill is actually the trail. I should have gone left and followed that trail, instead of going straight, which is an old road. I think I ended up coming out on road 4612, and walked down that for a while. We followed the actual trail for a bit, thinking it was the trail to the lake, however we turned around since the trail to the lake was only .2 mile, and we walked quite a bit farther than that, so figured we must be on the wrong trail. We ended up walking a lot further than we planned, but there were some very nice areas on this trail. It has been somewhat ruined by the ATVs on the trail, however. In some areas, you can’t even tell where the real trail goes, since there has been so much off trail excursions by the ATVs. This would be an interesting trail to hike again, however next time I would start from the bottom end and come up, which is a lot less vertical climb. It sounds like the best part of the trail is the lower half, anyway.

10/6/2007 – Lost Lake

Date of Hike: 10/6/2007
Location of Hike: Lost Lake Old Growth Trail
Weather during Hike: Overcast, COLD and windy
Hiking Buddies: The whole family, including my parents
Hike Distance: 1.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:

This was a short hike to the Lost Lake Old Growth trail.

It was the weekend before my mother had hip surgery, and I thought it would be good for her to have some nice pictures in her head while she recovered. The trail is mostly a boardwalk through some magnificent old growth douglas fir and cedar trees.

It was a very nice day, however it was VERY cold and VERY windy. Luckily, we were spared most of the wind when going on the trail. We had lunch down by the lake, and it was really cold. The store was still open when we were there, but it was the last week until they closed up for the winter. Lost Lake is a beautiful lake, however it is a rather long drive to get there.