Waespe Pt, Bickel's Pt, '31 Buick, Multnomah Basin Extravaganza

Too much Halloween candy?  Not enough candy?  No candy?  Well, then this hike is for you!

I had previously moved this hike out on the calendar due to ice caves, and now have moved it in based upon good weather Friday.

This Meetup is a mix of on and off trail hiking, scrambling, ridges, viewpoints, history, a lodge, a rock, a Buick, holiday ornaments, and a descent down a stunningly beautiful and rarely traveled ridge.  I expect it to be a lot of fun given the nice weather predicted for Friday.  

A unique feature of this hike is that we will scramble up to a ridge with little exposure.  Are you curious about whether you can do "The Island" or "Mystery Trail"?  This is a very good hike to get some experience with scrambling.

We are going to start at the Oneonta TH in the Gorge and head west on Trail #424 to Gorge Trail #400.  That is the last we shall see of a maintained trail for a while as we make a sharp left here:

...and head uphill about[masked]ft of elevation.  Our first destination is this neat looking cliff just barely visible in the center of the next photo, called Waespe Point:

The cliff is named after Henry Waespe - a Trails Club of Oregon President in 1950.  Henry Waespe helped build the Eagle Creek Trail, doing blasting, and the Salmon River Trail. He helped locate Nesika Lodge owned by the Trails Club, and built the rock wall at the viewpoint below which contains a plaque with his name.  Another view of Waespe Pt - this time from above (we will get here too):

We are going to gain this Waespe Pt ridge, from below?  Really?  Yes!  It is non-technical and will be a lot of fun.  We will be scrambling up a stable boulder field next to Waespe Pt and gain the ridge.  The boulder field looks like this:

Hmmm, what is that sticking out from the boulder field?  I am not telling - you will have to go find out yourself.  Walking out onto Waespe Pt provides a fantastic view - the photo doesn't do it justice:


We will walk the ridge up, up, up to Bickel's Pt (fantastic viewpoint) and find this:

Then let's stop by and say "hello":

While we are up on Multnomah Basin, let's go checkout this:

At one time, the Multnomah Basin contained a homestead, hosting farm animals and even an apple orchard.  Keen eyes may find a few of these remaining apple trees.  We will go looking for the '31 Buick located offtrail within the basin and, go for a drive?

Looks like the engine is missing.  Let's go try and find that too:

The engine block has its own story which we can discuss on the hike.   

We will loop back to find a little holiday cheer:

We will intersect with the Franklin Ridge trail only to head offtrail one last time down a rarely used ridge if there is enough time.  This last ridge starts out as a gentle sloping ridge and gets a little steeper:

It's still a non-technical scramble down this ridge that has a number of game paths to follow.  There are a couple of short ledges we will scramble around - no big deal.  We pop out from out of nowhere onto #424 and back to the cars a short distance away.   We may surprise a number of folks strolling on the trail at that moment.  They may ask, "where did you come from?"  You can point 1000 ft up to the ridge looming above and say, "we came down that way."  (UPDATE: Another route option would be to come down to Multnomah Falls if we are short on daylight).

Will we see more than what is described here?  I am counting on it.

Distance: 10(ish) miles 

Elevation gain: 2500 ft (may not seem like much, but it will be all off-trail)

Difficulty: DIFFICULT  (due to offtrail for the ascent and descent)

Permits Required: NW Forest Pass

No dogs.  

Bring the ten essentials.  It will be cool - you will need at least two layers.

Bring a headlamp or flashlight just in case.

Let's say $8 for the drivers.  

NOTE: Please do not ask me to put you on the meetup.  This is a change from my previous policy.  It becomes a slippery slope for me once I start adding folks, so I decided it is best to wait until the RSVP time.  

My Hiking Style:

I have three basic rules for hiking: 1) Be safe 2) Respect the environment and 3) Have fun!  I do not consider myself a "fast" nor "slow" hiker.  We will take a number of short breaks, as well as a lunch break, keeping in mind to finish the hike before dark.  At the end of the day, my hope is that the hiking group feels they have had an adventure for all the right reasons.

PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK; Northwest Wilderness Group organizers are volunteers. We come prepared to lead you on a trail or off trail hike but assume no liability for your safety getting to or from the trail-head or on the hike. In case of accident, illness, or other incapacity, hikers must pay for their own medical and/or evacuation expenses, whether or not the hiker has specifically authorized them.

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  • Craig G

    Greetings - Followup on an older hike.....I obtained the GPS coordinates to the old tires near the 1931 Buick found in the Multnomah Basin....we passed within 20 feet of the tires on our way out of the offtrail section from the engine block. Guess we gotta go back...

    December 6, 2013

    • Katya

      Man, I won't be able to sleep well at night, gotta go see them :P

      December 6, 2013

    • Craig G

      Agreed - I came to the same conclusion. A worthy endeavor indeed.... :)

      1 · December 6, 2013

  • Craig G

    Turns out we only explored the "top" portion of the Cougar Rock area. We did not advance far enough down to see the "main" rock. Andee and Gene explored further down to see part of this. I sense another offtrail Meetup here when it is dry enough.

    2 · November 5, 2013

  • Rick L. J.

    was the lodge open, good coffee hot chocolate and brownies, sometimes when they are.

    November 2, 2013

    • Craig G

      The first Trails Club members had just arrived at Nesika the same time we did. A gentleman named Glen from Trails Club was very kind to us: he gave us an extended tour of the lodge and opened the lodge so that we could eat lunch inside.

      November 2, 2013

  • Katya

    I swear Craig knew every boulder in the area, very well-thought-out hike, with exciting treasures hidden in the forest! Being able to visit the lodge was a nice addition. Thank you!

    1 · November 2, 2013

  • Janice A.

    Have fun for me everyone :(

    October 31, 2013

    • Rich

      Will do, you'll be missed. See you next time.

      1 · October 31, 2013

    • Craig G

      @Janice - we will do this hike again at some point.

      1 · November 2, 2013

  • Craig G

    Hiking stats:
    Distance: 8.7 miles
    Elapsed Time: 8:51
    Ascent: 2756 ft
    Max elevation: 1945 ft
    Avg Moving time: 1.7 mph

    November 2, 2013

  • Craig G

    While the Gorge allowed us to view one of its many mysteries (Buick), it also provided us a glimpse of something I did not expect. According to Andee and Gene who did a brief exploratory, there is a more extensive game trail system around Cougar Rock that I had ever imaged. I see another Waespe Boulder field adventure in the future (when its dry enough) to examine the Cougar Rock area expanse and the rumored history of the cougar den that used to live there.

    November 2, 2013

  • Craig G

    The Trails Club folks were arriving to Nesika for the overnight backpack seminar as we approached. Thanks to Glen from the Trail s Club in giving us the full tour of Nesika! We got to eat lunch (with hot tea!) inside the lodge.

    November 2, 2013

  • Craig G

    This group was so enthusiastic on a fantastic day in the Gorge! We hit all of our points of interest - Waespe boulder field, Waespe Pt, Bickel's Pt, Nesika Lodge, Cougar Rock (more on that), '31 Buick, Ornament Trail and Oneonta offtrail back down. Thank you all for allowing me to lead this extravaganza! We had a good mix of NW Wilderness "regulars", as well as a pair of folks new to the group - welcome to Donna and Tongbay! Everyone did very well!

    3 · November 2, 2013

  • Rich

    Thank you all for making it another fun hike. And thank you Craig for putting it together. Your hikes are awesome. They're both challenging and fun.

    1 · November 1, 2013

  • Tongbay

    Great hike with great people :)

    2 · November 1, 2013

  • Craig G

    Friday's weather looks good for this time of year. The current plan is to meet at the Meetup point then drive to the Oneonta TH. If you have a NW Forest Pass, please bring it along. See you tomorrow! I expect it to be in the upper 40s in the Multnomah basin.

    October 31, 2013

    • Tongbay

      And if we don't have pass? :)

      October 31, 2013

    • Craig G

      We just should have them for the cars. One per car. I have one pass. We just need somebody else with a NW Forest Pass. Usually not a problem.

      1 · October 31, 2013

  • Deborah

    Really wanting to do this hike with you all and realizing it's not the best timing. Another trip for sure. Changed my RSVP to "no". Have a great and safe trip, all.

    October 29, 2013

  • Katya

    Tentative 'Yes' from me

    1 · October 29, 2013

  • Craig G

    Just an FYI - bring gloves for the scramble. They minimize getting your hands cut when grabbing rocks. The $2-$3 garden gloves with rubberized palms work great.
    I recommend having long pants in case we come by poison oak. I saw poison oak in a couple of places when I explored up there a few weeks ago. The leaves may be gone, but the stems can still contain the oils. We will make every effort to avoid these areas should they come up.

    1 · October 29, 2013

  • charles

    Wish I could go but still recovering from surgery.....have fun

    October 28, 2013

    • Craig G

      Greetings - Don't worry about missing one particular hike. NW Wilderness plans to keep posting climate appropriate hikes throughout the winter. I hope your recovery goes smoothly.

      October 28, 2013

  • Tongbay

    Perfect timing for notification, was just checking emails.. Excited for challenge! :)

    1 · October 28, 2013

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