Portland Hiking News and Conditions for September 27, 2013

Every week I try to update folks on what’s happening in the world of hikes near Portland. Here is this week’s entry.

First, as for conditions, I am sure we have some muddy trails out there, after all the rain we got last week. But the cool temperatures will also be bringing on the fall colors, and that’s the next thing to watch for on the hiking calendar. Can’t say the Government Camp forecast looks all that super, though.

Serene Lake – how long til it all goes golden?

The first glimpses I’ve seen online were from this Jefferson Park backpack report. Otherwise, just think about doing hikes with an emphasis on older forests, like Opal Creek Wilderness or this week’s “Hike of the Week” on my blogRoaring River Wilderness. That’s where the above photo of beautiful Serene Lake came from.

trapper creek wilderness
Trapper Creek Wilderness

Trapper Creek Wilderness is another great place to hike this time of year. As Sean on PortlandHikers pointed out, it’s a fine place for a cloudy or rainy day, since there aren’t many far-off views anyway – because of all the massive old-growth trees!

Saturday is National Public Lands Day, which means fees are waved on federal lands like national parks, US Forest Service, and BLM sites. This means entrance fees and hiking fees, not campgrounds. Washington State is waving its Discover Pass for State Parks, as well.

If you care about such things, Timberline Ski Area plans to open for weekend skiing on October 4!

And I just thought I would throw this in: A “Portland Hiker” went up to Mount Rainier National Park and saw 19 waterfalls in a few days!

McNeil Point is one of the best hike near Mount Hood.
Mount Hood from Bald Peak.

New Mount Hood Hiking Map

I have just seen this for the first time, but it looks pretty cool. A self-described map geek on PortlandHikers.org has created a clickable online map of trails on the Mount Hood National Forest. Check it out! He has a post on the site describing how he did it and asking for feedback. That’s right here.

This could be you!
This could be you!

My Upcoming Hikes: Portland Area, Corsica, and Italy

That’s really about it for hiking news this week. No major developments, the weather doesn’t look that great, fall colors aren’t here yet … but I’m sure going hiking! I am working on the 5th Edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland, which means I am spending a lot of time on the trail. Please read on for a few invitations to join me.

One way I get out is by leading trips for the Mazamas, a Portland hiking group. You can see a schedule of my hikes here; you don’t have to be a Mazama to show up, but there are some things to consider if you want to hike with us:

  1. It’s $4 for the hike ($2 for members), plus a little something for your driver (usually $10 or less)
  2. When we say “Gateway at 8 a.m.,” we mean leaving Gateway at 8 a.m. Get there about 15 minutes before departure time.
  3. The letters are levels of difficulty, from A to C, and the number is average hiking pace. So B-1.5 means moderate hike averaging 1.5 mph.
  4. If it’s a wilderness hike, you need to contact me ahead of time to reserve your spot.
  5. More info on their website.
Roam the Chianti hills.
Roam the Chianti hills.

2014 European Adventures

Another thing I do for the Mazamas is lead Outings, five-day or longer trips that can go all over the world. Just got back from the Amazing Trinity Alps Wilderness in California, and next year I have two super cool trips planned for Europe.

June 14-30, 2014: The GR20 Trail Across Corsica

I am the assistant on this one. The GR20 is one of the toughest trails in Europe, a rocky route along the spine of Corsica’s mountainous center. We’ll go hut-to-hut, carrying only day packs, with scramble options, sleeping in refuges or tents, and eating local cuisine in group meals. Group size 8 to 10, cost of $3,000 plus airfare. More information on the trip leader’s website.

August 31 to September 12, 2014:

Hiking and Touring in Tuscany and Cinque Terre

This will be my third Mazamas outing to Italy, and I think the best one yet. I’ve increased the hiking levels just a bit, but you can still think in Mazama terms of “A and B hikes with C meals.” I’ve also added hikes in the Apuane Alps north of Lucca plus two or three days to hike all of the amazing Cinque Terre coastal villages — all while staying in 3-star hotels and having tour and dining experiences the average tourist can only dream of.

Cost for this one is about $4,000 plus airfare. Details and pictures are right here on my website.

Alright, hikers, that’s it for now! See you out on the trails.



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I don’t just hike, though: I’m also the Portland Breakfast Guy. Check out BreakfastinBridgetown.com.