Indian Point, 3rd Gully Scramble (offtrail adventure)

On a clear day, Indian Point has fantastic views of the Gorge, which include hair-raising drop offs on each side.  Let's do something different and scramble UP to Indian Point from below.

Exactly what does below look like?  Well, something like this:

You really can't really see below, but is rather steep.  You will have to trust me on this, but there is a steep and not-very-wide gully, perfect for scrambling up.

WARNING:  This is a scramble, meaning an ascent on all fours, steep rock scrambling and the potential of rock fall (on you).   A climbing helmet is highly recommended due to potential rock fall.  A ice axe or mountain axe will also be useful.  I should probably bring a 30m rope.

WEATHER PERMITTING: If there is too much snow and/or ice, we shall reschedule this Meetup.  Right now, the long term weather forecast is looking pretty good.

Rick and I plan to host a scramble that shall start at the Herman Creek trailhead (trail #406), and head over to Gorge trail #400 going east.  On our way, we may take a look at the infamous "Shooting Gallery".

We won't be taking the Shooting Gallery up, at least not this day (grin).  It would be interesting to scout it out though.  Getting back onto #400 east, we will head offtrail at Grey's Creek and head up, up, up:

Up into and through  a steep talus field:

Up to the top of the talus field:

More up - possibly a ridge:

Our view to climber's right will be that of the headwall directly below Indian Point:

Continuing up, more steep landscape to scramble:

Success will be when we reach the Gorton Creek #408 trail where things level out at around 2600 ft elevation.  

PLEASE READ:  This scramble has loose rock, loose dirt, potential erratic rockfall and steep thin sections.  Because of this, we must limit the number of folks on this adventure.

Of course we will go check out Indian Point and return gently on the #408 Gorton Creek trail back to Herman Creek #406 and then to the Herman Creek trailhead.

Total Mileage: 10 miles

Elevation Gain: 2700 ft

Estimated Hiking Time: 8 hours 

Permit Required: NW Forest Pass

Dogs: No (not even Rigby)

Guests: No

$8 for the drivers 

Things to bring:

Gaiters are a good idea. 

Gloves are a very good idea

A climbing helmet is a very good idea.

Traction device (microspikes, boot chains, yaks)?  It shall be muddy.

Bring the ten essentials.

We will likely stop someplace to grab a bite to eat on the way back (Think: pie).   We cannot promise to back at any specific 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 try and finish the hike before dark (unless otherwise noted).  At the end of the day, my hope is that the hiking group feels they have had an adventure for all the right reasons.

THE FINE PRINT: 

- The 'ten essentials' to always have in your pack generally include: Map/compass (and advance understanding of where you're going!), sun protection, extra clothes, extra food, extra water, headlamp/flashlight (and spare batteries), first aid kit, matches/firestarter, knife/tools, and a whistle if you need to signal for help.  You should always be prepared in case you get separated from the rest of the group and/or have to spend a night on your own in the wilderness. 

- As a Meetup organizer, I'm an unpaid volunteer.  While I always try to ensure a safe and enjoyable outing for everyone, by signing up for this event you assume full responsibility for your own health, safety, and well-being for its entire duration, including while traveling to and from both the meeting place and destination.

- I welcome other NW Wilderness Organizers to sign up for and join my events; it's always great to have you guys along.  I do, however, reserve the right to move you to the Waiting List if I decide to move qualified and Waitlisted non-organizers to the YES list.

- I also reserve the right to remove anyone from my events if I'm concerned that their ability or fitness level will slow down the rest of the group.  If there is a waiting list, I may remove anyone with multiple past 'no-shows' to the 'no' list to make room for those who may be more reliable.


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  • Svetlana

    Thanks Craig for putting a fun scramble together. We were really lucky with the weather and the company. Looking forward to more adventures like this one!

    1 · February 25, 2014

  • Sam L

    I have moved Oregon from Phoenix for less than two months. I want to thank everyone for creating so much fun for me here. I enjoy to hike with all of you.

    2 · February 23, 2014

    • Sam L

      I am waiting for you to host a 41 mile day hiking though.

      1 · February 24, 2014

    • Sam L

      Barbara, next time I will move fast... and bring enough clothes to keep you warm :)

      1 · February 24, 2014

  • Chatchay Ramone de la M.

    Fantastic day doing on and off trail adventure. My first time in that area. Indian Point is awesome and got a magnificent view of the gorge, Wind Mountain and Columbia River. Of course, Kickitat. I love challenges. The people are wonderful and enthusiastic. Thank you Craig G for putting this together and everyone for making this adventure wonderful. I will see you on a next outdoor adventure.

    Chatchay est sur la course. Merci beaucoup.

    February 24, 2014

  • Kirsty

    Hope this scramble gets posted again sometime after your successful summit. Looks like you all had a blast! I'd love to join next time!

    1 · February 24, 2014

    • Craig G

      Already planning another offtrail in that area - stay tuned...

      February 24, 2014

  • barbara s.

    What a great adventure!!! gentle level paths, scrambling up rocks, slipping on snow and trying to gain purchase with branches and of course the various bruises that attest to type of terrain we crossed. I enjoyed doing this trip with a strong group of hikers and also enjoyed the various conversations I had. Thanks Craig!!!

    2 · February 24, 2014

    • Katya

      Excellent review, Barbara! My freshly bruised legs can attest that it was a fantastic, thrilling adventure!

      2 · February 24, 2014

    • Craig G

      I know where The Shootin' Gallery is now. Remember that talus/rock field we passed on #400 trail just before the offtrail turnoff? If one goes up that rock field to the Indian Pt headwall and turns right/west, you will find a (very) thin and steep gulley. That be "The Shootin' Gallery". Thanks everybody - bruised up, but rather content.

      February 24, 2014

  • Craig G

    Looks like some of my photos got duplicated within the photo gallery.

    February 23, 2014

  • Craig G

    I wrote a brief trail report on portlandhikers.org: http://www.portlandhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18218

    3 · February 23, 2014

  • Janice A.

    I can't believe I overslept :( I'm still bummed

    February 23, 2014

  • Craig G

    I tried to upload my photos, but the site seems to be "dropping them". I will try again a little later.

    February 23, 2014

  • Craig G

    Hike stats:
    Distance: 11.5 miles
    Elapsed Time: 7:20:03
    Moving Time: 5:31:05
    Stopped Time: 1:48:58
    Avg Speed: 1.6 mph
    Avg Moving: 2.1 mph
    Elevation Max: 2703 ft
    Ascent: 3371 ft

    1 · February 23, 2014

  • Craig G

    Thanks to all for making the Meetup and being prepared. We hit the gulley right on and continued up thru loose rocks, loose dirt and then through snow at 2300 ft up to 2600 ft. The top portion of the gully had debris we had to work around. Found the Gorton Creek trail and headed over to Indian Pt. Excellent views off Indian Pt. Thanks to all for making this a fantastic day!

    1 · February 23, 2014

  • Jovian

    Really fun off-trail adventure! Thanks to everyone for creating such a fun day.

    1 · February 23, 2014

  • Jovian

    Yes indeed! See you at the Herman Creek TH in the am.

    February 22, 2014

  • Craig G

    See you all tomorrow morning 7:30am at the Meetup spot. We will get to Herman Creek TH at around 8:30am. I believe Mark will drive separately and meet us at the TH. Svetlana will also meet us at the TH. See you tomorrow!

    February 22, 2014

  • Craig G

    I will need qty=3-4 drivers and NW Forest passes. I have a pass and will drive. With this motley crew (grin), I know there are a few passes in ya! ;)))

    February 20, 2014

    • barbara s.

      Janice, does your liking my post mean it's a deal?

      1 · February 22, 2014

    • Janice A.

      of course. pass for seat :)

      February 22, 2014

  • eli

    Woke up not feeling great and I don't know if I will get better by Sunday so giving my spot up. Have a great time

    February 21, 2014

    • Craig G

      Hope you feel better Eli. It means you will have to sign up for "The Shooting Gallery". :)

      1 · February 21, 2014

  • Craig G

    FYI - I moved the Meetup time to 7:30am at Gateway. 15 minutes later.

    February 20, 2014

  • Craig G

    Indian Point weather for Sunday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 44.

    February 20, 2014

  • Craig G

    While there will be a lot of rain Monday and Tuesday. The weather will start to clear on Thurs and Fri, according to the weather forecast. Temps during the week should stay above freezing, meaning this should all be rain -a very good sign. Forecast for Sunday - partly sunny and high of 50F. Perfect! Hope it stays that way...

    February 17, 2014

    • Craig G

      I am hoping for interesting (but no too hard) obstacles on the way up.

      February 18, 2014

    • Craig G

      Thanks for the report Henry! I may send out a recon team later in the week to checkout the Herman Creek area. I don't know yet.

      February 18, 2014

  • Craig G

    Added two more spots - weather is looking good for the weekend.

    February 17, 2014

  • Craig G

    Given the rock/land slides seen around the area recently, I want folks to strongly consider bringing a climbing helmet. We will be in a steep thin gully for sections of this hike. I am bringing a climbing helmet.

    February 14, 2014

  • Craig G

    I might open more spots as we get closer. We shall see about the weather coming into next week. I also don't want too many folks on the rock fields at the same time == more rocks potentially rolling down.

    February 12, 2014

    • Rich

      More spots would be great :)

      1 · February 13, 2014

  • Tongbay

    Of course.... it's full :)

    February 12, 2014

  • Craig G

    Good group! I will provide updates on the weather going forward. This is a 2200 ft elevation gain scramble - should be good. The top elevation should be low enough to avoid snow/ice.

    February 12, 2014

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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