Benson Plateau is a must see for all Gorge-lovers. It’s a 1x2 mile, high altitude plateau that stands out as a prominent feature in the Columbia River Gorge geology. This trip has been on my must-do list for some time, so let’s go check it out together. I have chosen this particular route so this trip is accessible to strong beginners.
We’ll meet up at Gateway Transit Center and head to Wahtum Lake via Hood River. From Wahtum Lake, we will jump on the Pacific Crest Trail 2000. After a couple of miles, we will reach the junction with Chinidere Mountain. We’ll drop our packs and take the approximate 200 foot elevation hike up to the top to catch the views. After we get back down to the PCT, we’ll continue for a few more miles past the junction with Trail 434 before hitting the final climb to the edge of the plateau on our way to our destination at Benson Camp. We’ll spend the night at Benson Camp and head out the same way we came in.
In order to assure we are all properly prepared for a safe and fun trip, there is a Mandatory Pre-hike Meeting on Wednesday 7/17/13, 7:00 PM, Lucky Lab, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland. I’m afraid if you are signed up for the trip and are not at the pre-hike meeting, you are considered a no-show for the trip. If you’re going to be late, you need to call me at[masked]-6065. Team safety is our top priority.
RSVP’s close when the pre-hike meeting starts. If you are on the waiting list and want to roll the dice, come to the pre-hike meeting. If there is an open spot, it’s yours first come first served.
• Dates: Saturday 7/20/2013 to Sunday 7/21/13.
• Meet Up: Gateway Transit Center, 8:00AM, Saturday 7/20/13.
• Total 2-day distance: about 14 miles.
• Elevation [Starting, Ending, Highest, Overall Gain]: 3960’, 4000’, 4340’, About 1000’
• Overall Difficulty per Rating Chart [1-6]:  Moderate to almost  Challenging.
• USGS Topo Maps: CARSON, WAHTUM LAKE
• Weather Forecast: [will update at pre-hike meeting]
• Dogs: Yes. Please bring a leash and see our Dog Policy on our Files page. Remember, your dog is a hiker too. Don’t forget to bring their essential equipment also. Just ask if you are not sure.
• Permits: Forest Pass for each vehicle at Wahtum Lake.
• Deposit: $15 deposit will be required as earnest money to discourage last-minute cancellations. Please be sure to read the refund policy. Remember, missing the pre-hike meeting is the same as missing the hike.
• $$$: Bring money with you if you would like to stop on the way home for a group dinner.
• Carpooling: We recommend a 10 cents/mile/person reimbursement to all carpool drivers to cover cost of gas. Total round trip driving distance for our drivers will be about 180 miles or $18 bucks per non-driving person. I will collect at the meetup location. Exact change is appreciated. BTW, if you cannot pay, you will not be turned away! Contact me before the meetup if this is the case.
Need to Bring:
• Sleeping bag
• Sleeping pad or air mattress
• One Breakfast, two lunches, one dinner, Trail Snacks
• Two liters of water (If a hot day, consider bringing more)
• Water resistant hiking boots/shoes
• Whistle around your neck for communication.
• A water-resistant hat
• Rain suit, poncho, or equivalent
• Two or three light layers of clothing that can be adjusted or removed as necessary
• Flashlight or headlamp
• First aid kit
• Insect repellent
• Cooking and eating utensils
• Sun Screen
• Personal Identification
• Pack Cover
• Toilet Paper and Other Toiletry Items
• Spare Socks and Undies
Items we can share as required:
• Water filters
• Stove and fuel
• Rope (to hang food)
• Forest Pass (if you have one)
• Trekking poles
• Sitting Pad
Leader will bring:
• Driving Instructions
• Fire Starters
• Witty banter
Note: If there are folks on the waiting list and a spot opens up, everyone on the wait list will get an email. The first person who RSVPs YES gets the spot.