Every week Whenever I can, which I hope is pretty much weekly, I am going to post information helpful to people planning hikes near Portland. I’ll call it the Portland Hikes Conditions and Schedule Page, or maybe something more clever.
The idea is that if you want to go hiking this weekend, you might want to know where the snow is melting, the flowers are blooming, and the bugs are biting. And you might want some folks to go hiking with.
So let’s try this. I am totally open to feedback on this; post a comment below.
Trail Conditions as of July 4, 2013
Full disclosure: Much of this comes from the wonderful site PortlandHikers.org, where I post as OneSpeed. They also have a great Field Guide where you can look for hike descriptions. Other sources are my own experiences, reports from friends, and maybe you.
Hikes Close to Portland:
- Beargrass and other flowers are starting to rock on Silver Star Mountain. This is one of our great annual flower shows.
- The flowers are out on Saddle Mountain, off US 26 near the coast. I was there July 3 and saw them myself.
- Yocum Ridge (a tough hike up above Ramona Falls on Mount Hood) is “snow free to 5,800 ft.”
- The Muddy Fork section of the Timberline Trail — that would be going beyond Ramona Falls but not up to Yocum Ridge — is still an adventure of downed logs and mudslides. Don’t try it alone.
- There was actually a bear sighting above Angels Rest!
- The road to Cloud Cap — like to do the Cooper Spur hike on Hood — is closed (see below) but there’s another way to do that hike.
- McNeil Point was reported as virtually snow-free on June 30 — and somebody posted a video of it here.
- Vista Ridge, on the north side of Hood, was snow-free to about 5,400 feet on June 30 and easy to follow on the snow above that. No word on bugs.
A Little Farther Afield:
- The Strawberry Mountains in Central Oregon are melted out but buggy.
- Quartz Creek (a great old-growth area up by Lewis River) is getting a full log-out from the folks at Washington Trails Association.
Random Bits of News:
- There is a new bus pass system on the coast that lets you buy one pass and use regional transit systems in multiple areas. Awesome idea for traveling the coast or hiking the Oregon Coast Trail.
- The Mount Hood National Forest has a new Hood River office — and they announced that the Cloud Cap Road is closed until “later this summer.”
- There’s a new blog called Explore Portland Nature that has some interesting stuff on it, much of it family-friendly — and they’re looking for writers.
Love a Trail
The fine folks at Trailkeepers of Oregon will be maintaing a local favorite, the Mirror Lake Trail, on July 13. Sign up here to show some love and affection for the trails we all love so much.
Join a Hiking Group
Maybe you want to go hiking but either don’t know where to go, don’t have a car, or don’t have a crowd of hiking friends? Check out one of these groups for weekend, and the occasional weekday, outings.
- I am leading one for the Mazamas on Saturday, July 6, to Cape Lookout State Park. Departure time is 8:30 a.m. from the Tanasbourne Target, over by Starbucks. Contact me if you’re interested.
- Mazamas also have hikes this weekend to Hamilton Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Herman Creek and others. Here’s their schedule.
- The Trails Club is going to Aquila Vista up the Mollala River. They also have regular Wednesday hikes, including to Angels Rest July 10. Details here.
- The Sierra Club is going to Lookout Mountain (maybe they’ll throw down with the Mazamas!) and Burnt Lake / ZigZag Mountain.
- The Oregon Nordic Club — yes, they go hiking, too — next outing is July 17, the big loop at Trapper Creek Wilderness.
- The Friends of the Columbia Gorge are headed for Grassy Knoll on Sunday July 7. Say hello to my buddy Jim, who’s leading it.
- The Mount Saint Helens Institute has field seminars starting August 3 but also offers guided hikes; the next one is a July 21 “doggie hike” on the Toutle River.
- Oregon Wild has hikes all over the state; the next one is July 13 to Tidbits Mountain, leaving from Eugene.
- I won’t even try to keep up with all the groups at Meetup.com, but here are some hiking-related ones around Portland: