TOTAL MILES: 8.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2700 ft
PACE: “Moderate” (2.0 mph)
DIFFICULTY RATING: Difficult due to distance and route.
ESTIMATED HIKING TIME: 4.5 hours
PERMITS: NW Forest Pass
CARPOOLING: RT mileage is 80 miles, give or take; we suggest a mileage donation of 10 cents/mile/person, or $8.00. Exact change makes it easier to divide among our drivers. No one will be turned away for an inability to contribute. Thanks!
Indian Point is a great conditioning hike that begins in the Herman Creek drainage area and takes you to a unique stone pinnacle overlooking the gorge. We Will begin this hike at the Herman Creek Campground trailhead. If the campground is gated for winter we will need to park outside of the gate which will add a short distance to this hike. We will follow the Herman Creek Trail for a short distance, and then take the Nick Eaton Ridge Trail as is climbs aggressively toward the ridgeline in a series of steep switchbacks. Along this route we will be treated with some great views of the gorge and the Herman Creek watershed. There is a good spot to take a snack break close to gaining to ridgeline if we choose. When we are close to the ridge we will take a connector trail north and intersect with the Gorton Creek Trail. Here we have the option, weather permitting, to traverse a short distance down the trail and drop to the stone lookout known as Indian Point. There is a narrow traverse out to the point that you will have as an option if the conditions are not icy. Great care needs to be taken on this narrow ridgeline due to considerable exposure. Even if you choose not to do the traverse to the point the views can be breathtaking if the weather cooperates. Following the stop at the Point, we will return to the Gorton Creek Trail and follow this all the way back down to the Herman Creek trail and then out to our vehicles.
NOTE: While this is a fairly aggressive route, we will set a moderate pace.
It is winter in the gorge and you should be prepared for winter hiking conditions including wind, rain or snow, and be prepared for trail conditions that are muddy or icy depending on the temperatures. I highly recommend that you carry trekking poles and Yaktrax or other traction devices on this hike.
Please note that there is a MANUAL waiting list for this hike. What this means is that if a spot opens up everyone on the waiting list will automatically receive an e-mail notifying them of the opening. The first person (whether on the waiting list or not) to RSVP gets the spot.
NO DOGS, please.
What to bring:
• Sturdy hiking boots/shoes with at least one change of socks
• Two or three light layers of clothing that can be adjusted or removed as necessary (NO COTTON!!!)
• Trekking Poles / Yaktrax / Rain gear
• Safety whistle, preferably on a cord around your neck (highly recommended)
• The 10 essentials*
• Lunch, snacks and plenty of water
*Navigation, Sun protection, Insulation, Illumination, First Aid, Fire, Repair Kit/Tools, Nutrition, Hydration, Emergency Shelter. For a more detailed description, check out “The Ten Essentials” on the Portland Hiking Meetup Group’s FILES page.