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
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.