How does "mostly sunny and upper 70's" sounds for a day hike in Mt Hood?
This loop combines the Cast Creek trail and the Horseshoe Ridge trail in Mount Hood. My original idea was to do a car shuttle but it seems the forest road to the Horseshoe Ridge trail is blocked. We can still do the loop if we hike the road as it only adds about a mile to the entire thing. This loop can be done in either direction so it's very probable that we'll do the road first to hike up via Horseshoe Ridge to enjoy the amazing views of Mt Hood, Adams, Helens and Jefferson while we navigate thru fields of beargrass. We'll then hike down via Cast Creek back to our cars.
This loop is about 11 miles and 3000' of elevation gain. Under our hike rating system, it's considered difficult with an estimated hike time of 7 hours. I will like to maintain a steady pace of about 2.5 miles/hour on this one so please consider your abilities before signing up
What to bring:
- Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
- Trekking poles
- Hat - sunscreen - sunglasses
- A warm layer
- Rain gear (just in case)
- Food and water
- Drivers will need a Northwest Forest Pass
Carpooling: We'll meet at gateway to organize carpooling. Total driving distance from Gateway to trailhead and back is about 100 miles. We suggest a gas donation of 10cents/mile/person or $10. exact change makes it easier to divide among drivers. Nobody will be turned around for their inability to contribute
A word about my hiking style:
I'm never in a rush to get somewhere fast so my pace is usually between 2 and 2.5 miles/hour with frequent stops to take pictures. I also like to make a stop for lunch, preferably somewhere where we can sit down and enjoy the surroundings. I like exploring and checking out viewpoints or other interesting things while sticking to the plan. In some of my hikes (specially if the word "adventure" is included in the title) we'll go off-trail which requires some navigation, route finding and bushwhacking. When doing so, I take routes that I have researched, have waypoints on my GPS and/or have a map. I can get a bit disoriented but unless I say we're lost, we're not. Be patient and I'll find a route.
While hiking, unless I say otherwise or we are bushwhacking, I like to keep a loose point and sweep system where anybody can be upfront (point) or behind (sweep). When doing so if you are ahead you are point and should stop at every fork or intersection to regroup. If you are last, you are sweep and should maintain awareness that nobody is behind you. Nobody has to be point or sweep for the entire hike.