We will do this hike, regardless of the weather, short of snow and ice. If it’s really rainy and slick, we might go up and back on the Gorton Creek trail instead of going up Nick Eaton Ridge, although that’s not likely given the forecast below. If the weather is truly nasty, we might substitute the moderate 4.4 mile round trip hike to Pacific Crest Falls.
Be advised, Nick Eaton Ridge is not, as they like to say, for the faint of heart. While not quite a knuckle-buster, it has its moments. “Unrelenting” is a word that might be applied to the 2 mile section going up the ridge, although if you take it at a reasonable pace, those who are in shape will be able to do it. This hike is a little tougher than Dog Mountain, which we did last weekend.
This is a difficult 8 mile loop up the formidable Nick Eaton Ridge with 2,600’ of elevation gain to reach the “airy” Indian Point overlook and its Indian vision pits. Leaving the Herman Creek trail head parking lot, we will go 1.6 miles and turn off at Herman Camp to take the strenuous Nick Eaton Ridge trail 2 miles up the ridge to the cut-off trail (did I mention this is a steep ridge?) The cut-off trail leads 0.6 of a mile over to the Gorton Creek trail and then down a 0.1 of a mile to Indian Point.
We will eat lunch at the overlook, contemplate the “frightening, final 30-foot scramble up an exposed rock pinnacle" per Sullivan's description in his guidebook (this would be 4th class rock climbing, and no, we are not going to try that), and enjoy the view of the Gorge from our rocky aerie. After lunch we will take pity on our knees by returning via the mellow Gorton Creek trail back to Herman Camp. From there we will pick up our original trail that takes us back to the trail head parking lot.
If you have questions about the hike or what to bring, call me at[masked] or Bob Rowton at cell #[masked]-2210. These cell numbers will work for communication purposes on the day of the hike.
Preview the hike:
See the link below for a view of this hike.
Weather forecast (at 2,194' altitude, the high point of the hike):
Sunday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57.