• Distance: 6.8 miles round-trip; Driving: 120 RT
• Elevation gain: 2260 feet
• High Point: 5,920 feet
• Difficulty: Steep climb on first part, but done at a moderate pace - poles recommended
The well-maintained Mazama trail climbs 3 miles in and out of forest to the Timerberline Trail where we'll go through through lovely meadows of lupine, paintbrush, monkey flower, arnica and other alpine wildflowers to reach delightful Cairn Basin. According to Tom Kloster, Cairn Basin was one of the basins "named by a Mazama Club expedition in the early 1900s, helping lead to the construction of the Timberline Trail." (This field trip was originally going from Vista Ridge Trailhead, but will leave instead from Mazama Trailhead (formerly Cathedral Ridge) because it is far easier to access from Portland.)
We'll take the time to soak in the scenery which has been called some of the finest on the mountain. Plan to photograph lush wildflower displays and impressive views of Mt. Hood as well as distant views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and the Hood River Valley.
As is common on my hikes, share your knowledge of local natural or cultural history--so do some homework--e.g., find a plant list and look up some plants ahead of time; better yet, find an insect list for the area. I'll share mine too, so this trip will go at a moderate pace with stops for interpretation and photos.
Dogs are not allowed--except for service dogs. PLEASE READ About Mary's Trips in this Meetup's Files under "More" BEFORE you sign up. Please call Mary at[masked] (land line) with questions. Do NOT email if you have a burning question.
Dress in quick-drying layers--no jeans or other cotton. Bring lunch, water, rain gear, polar fleece or other warm clothes (folks were cold at Chinidere) and the
Updated Ten Essential "Systems" for safe hiking.
- Navigation (map and compass)
- Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
- Insulation (extra clothing)
- Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
- First-aid supplies
- Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
- Repair kit and tools
- Nutrition (extra food)
- Hydration (extra water)
- Emergency shelter
Consider bringing binoculars for bird-watching. Bring money for drivers (suggested $.10 mile/person), $2-3 voluntary donation for Sierra Club's Leader Training program and money for an optional stop on the way home.