Upwardtrails a Christian Activities Organization, Portland,Ore.USA
Welcome! | Home | Our Mt. Hood | Trail Hazards | Trip Reports|
Upwardtrails- meeting- locations - Maps !


March 15th:
7 people
Sloppy, wet weather--
We parked in the large, paved parking lot about a mile east of the Bonneville exit and hiked 2 miles up the gravel road which used to be open to cars, but it's now gated. The road is a moderate climb to the old trailhead for Wauna Point. Shortly before reaching, the switchback at the old trailhead, we found a "new" waterfall below the road on the right which is pretty good size. I think the other hikers got some pictures of it.

By the time we got to our destination at the 4 Falls, it was pouring rain and not much fun. 2 waterfalls can be seen from the switchback and a few of us went up the trail a little ways to take pictures of the upper 2 falls. I'm out of practice with my old film camera, so the exposures weren't very good in the pictures I took. I forgot to take a group shot before running out of film. We ate a quick lunch and beat a hasty retreat down the road to our cars.

From there, we went to Charburger for lunch, then some of us went to see Herman, the 650 pound sturgeon at Bonneville Fish Hatchery. By then the weather had cleared off. Then we went to the viewing room in the dam.

Since coming home, I've learned on the new website I sent you all that's there's a 6th waterfall I didn't know about above the others. Next time, I'll schedule this hike for April in hopes of better weather. We'll go a little farther and look for that last waterfall and the flower-filled viewpoint.

March 22nd - Buck Point Hike
10 people including 3 new people
Nice day, mostly clear

We parked in the first parking lot near the Eagle Creek Fish Hatchery. Most people drive by this lot to the Eagle Creek TH parking and don't realize there's some trails which begin here. We hiked up through the campground, then turned South on the Ruckel Ridge Trail. It starts out a moderate, steady climb, but not too bad with all the switchbacks. The short spur trail to Buck Point is obliterated, so we continued to the first View Point below a powerline tower where we could see Mt Adams & Table Mt. with fresh snow. From there, it's a short, steep climb to a flat, roomy spot which makes a good resting stop. There's good views here except for the powerlines in the way. Some of us explored a little side trail which seemed to die out, then we all went down a short, steep hill to a boulder field where some waited while the rest of us climbed a short scree slope to a natural bench below the pinnacles of Ruckel Ridge. There's several Indian Quest Pits in this area and a view down to Eagle Creek. Ron climbed the long, steep scree to the base of the Pinnacles while the rest of us waited below.

The guidebook I was looking at said it was a mile to the top of these Pinnacles, but according to our GPS, we had already gone a mile. Since I promised only a mile uphill, we turned back here. On the way down, Ron & I scrambled over the brush to Buck Point.

Back in the campground, we found a nice patch of purple violets at the base of a tree. That's the largest batch of those I've seen in the wild.

Then we went down to the paved Columbia State Trail from where we headed out through a field without a trail to the base of Ruckel Creek Falls. I took group shots and pictures of the falls, but they're all on film, so stay tuned for the pictures when I get them developed. All I have now are some old photos.

Nancy came up with the idea of walking from here to Cascade Locks and meeting the drivers at Charburger. It was a good way to get a little extra exercise and it was a nice day, so some of us walked while the others returned to the cars via the level, paved Columbia State Trail.
After lunch at Charburger, most of us went to see Herman again on the way home.
Next time, I'll list this as a 5 mile hike to the Pinnacles & back + extra for those who want. I'll have to get in shape for that; it gets very steep beyond the spot where we stopped.

Renee and Adam, do you have your friends' email addresses so I can send them pictures and add them to our list?


Triple Falls
April 5th, 2008
11 people.
Sloppy, wet weather, rained non-stop.

We parked in front of Horsetail Falls and headed up the moderately steep trail to the top of the falls. The trail levels out after 5 switchbacks, then ducks under Ponytail Falls. After another short climb, the trail heads east past a sprawling "Spider Tree" to Oneonta Creek where we switchbacked a few times down to the steel bridge above Oneonta Falls. Then came the long, steady climb to Triple Falls. We also found 3 lesser falls within sight of Triple Falls.

On the way down we passed the ruins of an old rock wall and another small waterfall.

Back on the highway, after passing under some awesome cliffs, we could see the progress of digging out the old road tunnel which has been closed for nearly 50 years. They’ve also added a new pullout on the east side of the tunnel and it looks like they’re planning to add a paved walkway. When it’s finished, it’ll reduce having to cross the highway from 5 times to 3 in this short stretch back to the cars. I’m looking forward to that.

After the traditional Charburger stop, Pat lead us on a treasure hunt up the PCT a little ways where we found a Geocache. Geocaching is where people stash little treasure boxes full of trinkets such as small toys all over the country, often behind a tree or under a rock. Then they register the cache on a website where others can look it up and get directions and clues to find them. When you find the box, if you take a treasure out, you’re expected to put one in, then write in the log-book and register on the cache website.

Other than the dumping rain, we all had a good time.

After the hike Dave & I, and the girls we had with us went out dancing to big band music at the high school where Dave surprised us with his hidden dancing talent. I never know what he’s going to surprise me with next.


Shellburg Falls

APRIL 26th, 2008

11 people including 1 new Really nice weather
1 dog About 4 easy miles

After we met up with fellow hikers in Oregon City and Molalla, Colleen suggested we exchange cell phone #s so we could keep track of each other. That’s a good idea to keep in mind for the future.

We drove out to see Oregon’s oldest covered bridge, the Gallon House Covered Bridge which is over Butte Creek on the Clackamas/Marion County Line where we exchanged our combined knowledge of the history of the area. On the other side of the bridge, we found some black & white geese, then drove through Silverton to Hwy. 22 and on to the Shellburg Falls Trailhead.

The route begins on a gravel road, which is gated except in the summer. We walked up a gentle grade through green pastureland, past a small pond, till we reached our first waterfall at 1.2 miles. Shellburg Creek forms a layered cascade above the road then drops over Lower Shellburg Falls below the road.

After a short break, we headed up the narrow canyon which holds Shellburg Creek, first on a staircase, then a well-graded trail to a split in the trail where we went down to a viewing platform for 100’ Shellburg Falls. The main trail passes under the falls in a large cavern similar to the ones in Silver Falls State Park then up a long, newly built staircase. At the top of the canyon, Shellburg Creek takes on a completely different personality as a placid stream meandering among moss-covered trees and Skunk Cabbage.

Where the trail meets the road, there’s an old hand operated water pump that services the campground, which is open in the summer. The water here tastes a little metallic, but it’s drinkable. From here, we hiked down the gravel road to a barricade of boulders blocking an old dirt road which heads east about 1/4 mile to a view overlooking Stasel Falls. The little side trip to this split falls is well worth it.

On the way back, we saw some "Oreo" cattle in the pasture.

Some hikers parted company at the trailhead while the rest of us drove into Molalla where we explored a couple of antique shops, then had dinner at a very popular restaurant in Marquam. From there, we said our good-byes and went our separate ways. Our group was home before dark. This new hike for Upward Trails is a real keeper; expect to see it on future schedules.


Little Hamilton Mt.
May 17th, 2008
About 5 steep miles
Very warm & clear 3 people
Our goal today was not the popular summit of Hamilton Mt. but a little- used path to a lower meadow called “Little Hamilton Mt.” situated in front of Hamilton. Ron, Dave, & I drove up the road past the popular trailhead to Hamilton Mt. to a short road off to the left which took us to a little-known overlook of Beacon Rock. While up here, we were informed that there were no parking spaces left in the lower lot. No problem for us as we had other plans anyway.
After enjoying this view, we drove to the upper trailhead in the campground where we could follow the “Hadley Trail” which starts from a higher elevation. This knocks off 160’ of climbing. We soon passed a large, petrified stump, then a recently restored side trail to “Little Beacon Rock” which we’ll save for a future trip. Under the powerlines at the half-mile point, we came to a bench at a junction with the lower trail from where we got our first good views of both very imposing summits – Little Hamilton Mt. with Hamilton behind it.
As the day was rapidly heating up, the shady forest was well appreciated as we strolled the easy trail another half mile to an overlook of Hardy Falls which is more obscured by foliage with each passing year.
Rodney Falls was amazing at flood stage, the highest I’ve ever seen it. The power of it looked as though it could sweep a careless hiker over the edge if they’re not paying enough attention. Even so, I couldn’t resist cooling off a bit before starting on the long, steep trek up the hill.
From the lower bridge, the falls were a bit intimidating thundering just a few feet above us.
Our easy hiking was over now as we began the climb up the steep hill. After another 1/3 mile, a sign informed us that we had a choice between “Difficult” or “More Difficult.” We chose “More Difficult”, but with frequent photo stops and pacing myself, I was able to hike up the hill at a comfortable pace which kept me from feeling overwhelmed.
A long staircase was our introduction to the steep stretch ahead of us.
Tucked among the trees are these impressive pillars which are easily missed as you have to strain your neck to see them.
We managed to stay in the shade most of the way till we found the trail leading off to Little Hamilton Mt. where we came onto a phlox-filled open meadow.
We watched a biplane pass overhead and we could just make out the tip of Mt. Hood peeking out from behind Tanner butte.
From here we had extensive views above and below.
If it weren’t for the constant breeze up here, this exposed hill would have been intolerable in the heat. As it was, we were cool & comfortable but mindful of the potential for burning.
The summit of Hamilton Mt. is much closer now, but still well above us. We could see hikers enduring the heat as they switchbacked numerous times up the face of Hamilton without the benefit of any shade. We all agreed that Little Hamilton Mt. was a worthy goal on such a hot day, especially since we had it all to ourselves.
Heading back down, we were heating up more the closer we got to the valley floor. On the way home, Ron’s car thermometer registered 98o. Later, he informed me that he got a mild case of poison oak.

Biking Columbia Gorge State Trail
July 26th, 2008
14 paved miles
Very warm 2 Bikers
It was a beautiful day for biking in the Gorge. Dave & I started under the Bridge of the Gods and rode west on gently rolling hills and curves. Once we passed under the freeway through a tunnel, we were on Gorge Trail 400 which is part of the Old Scenic Highway.
We climbed a gentle hill, then blasted down a long hill to the crossing of Ruckel Creek where we could see the top of the falls.
When we got to Eagle Creek, we turned up the road to ride to the trailhead. When we returned, we crossed to the north side where we found an old trail heading up to the overlook. That’s a new trail for me; I’ll have to check it out on a future trip.
There were plenty of flowers along side the road here.
Across the Eagle Creek Road Bridge is a long set of stairs with a trough for pushing the bikes up.
Beyond this, we came to the viaduct over Toothrock Tunnel from where we had nice views across the river to Table & Greenleaf Mts.
At Tanner Creek, we turned upstream to follow a gravel path to Wauna Falls.
From here, we rode north to Bonneville where the fish may be the main attraction, but I like the gardens and fountains, too.
Restrooms are conveniently spaced at Charburger, Eagle Creek and Bonneville, so you never have to wait very long.
We continued on the south side, across historic Tanner Bridge, where we were soon stopped by a major rockslide blocking the path. It looked like hikers were able to climb over it, but we could see it was too much to haul our bikes over, so we turned back here.
On the way back, past Toothrock Viaduct, there’s a Stop sign on the side of the trail. It may seem like a strange thing to put on the side of a hiking trail, but if you’re riding a bike, you’d definitely better stop, because a few yards later, you’re at the top of the stairs.
The ride back was a little more uphill with a couple of stretches of hot sun, but mostly in the shade, so it was a perfect day for riding.


Latourelle Falls
Aug. 02, & Aug.17, 2008
Very warm
8 Hikers
Combined Report
About 2 moderately easy miles Warm & Sunny
I didn’t get any pictures from the August 2nd trip, so I don’t have much detail. While on that hike a few of us decided to come back for a Sunday afternoon hike on August 17th. These pictures are from that trip which had 8 hikers including 2 dogs.

The trail above the lower falls to the upper falls and back makes a loop. Clockwise from the parking lot, there’s a very short, but very steep, paved path up to the first lofty viewpoint of the falls across the basin. We continued up an unpaved trail at a more moderate grade for a far ranging view from the top of 249’ Latourell Falls (Pronounced La Tourell – think French).

Near the top of the falls is a junction. The right branch descends quickly to the site of an old bridge which used to cross the creek for a shorter loop. We stayed left, and in the next ½ mile, crossed 4 side creeks on bridges, then rounded the corner where the 100’ Upper Falls comes suddenly into view. Some of us explored behind the falls.

We followed down the other side of the creek at a gentle grade till we reached a new junction in the trail. The path leading down (right), is the original trail which leads to the site of that previously mentioned bridge. It has deteriorated over the years. I remember standing on it above the big falls. A few years later, it was listing drastically with signs saying to stay off. A few years later, it was gone – washed over the falls. This time, there was no trace of it.

From here, the original trail goes up a steep section to a bench and an overlook for the brave who dare to step behind the cable. Then a switchback and an even steeper section (the hardest part) up to a junction with the new trail which bypasses all this. So, here’s the good news, the new section isn’t nearly as steep.

We switchback at this new junction for a short climb to the highest point and the last of the climbing till we get to the base of the main falls. We find a bench at an overgrown viewpoint, then switchback and descend gently to a unique Maple tree arching over the trail at another switchback. Passing under the tree we descended to the highway.

Across the highway, is an old set of steps leading down to a park. From here to the parking lot, the trail is paved. We turned right at the junction to follow the creek, passing under the scenic bridge then rounded the corner for a full view of the Lower Falls and the chartreuse, moss-covered cliff beside it. Across the footbridge we proceeded to the parking lot.

In all the times I’ve hiked this trail, I’d never done it counter-clockwise, so 2 weeks later, that’s what we did, and I found that I like it better that way. I know the grade is the same, but it just seems easier.

On the home stretch, is a nice side-view of the lower falls.

A vintage car passed our way as we were admiring the stone structure of the bridge.

Lost Lake..........

August 16th, 2008
About 8 moderate miles
6 people

Nice day; clear & warm
After changing a few trips this year due to snowpack, this one was relocated because of forest fire. All the trails on the east side of Mt. Hood were closed this summer due to the Gnarl Ridge fire on that side. For a map of the extent of the fire, check out this website: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1465/

I did a last-minute scramble to come up with an alternative in the Mt. Hood area. We had a request for "some place shady with water", so I thought Lost Lake would fit the bill. The road up is so long and winding, we had to stop a time or two, so people wouldn’t get car sick. Once we finally got there, we were told to turn left away from the store to find a parking spot. We didn’t have a map of the campground, so I wasn’t exactly sure where we were when we parked, but I figured we’d find the lake eventually.

We hiked up a road, turned through someone’s campsite, and down a steep hill to connect with the lake trail. We turned left and walked along several boardwalks, passing several places where the lake could be accessed. Every single one of them was full of people. When we got to the south end of the lake, we turned left to start up the Huckleberry Mt. Trail.

It was good to leave the crowds behind as we headed up the hill. After a couple of switchbacks, we were able to look back down on the lake which had a few boats on it. Lost Lake Butte loomed high across the lake. As we approached the ridge, we could see the Gnarl Ridge fire to the north of Mt. Hood. The fire was hot enough to give the smoke a red glow thousands of feet in the air. Our destination was the Pacific Crest Trail where

Dave fixed the sign with his trusty multipliers. On the way down, as we stopped to watch the fire a little more, we said a prayer for the safety of the firefighters.

Back at the lake, Dave & I crowded in amongst the other people and managed a short swim. At the north end, we found more boardwalks among

the feeder creeks and wetlands where Seth found a geocache near a bench.

Another short swim for me as the others explored the store. After 25 years of guiding, it finally happened; I got the group lost. Where? At Lost of course. After leaving the store, we walked back on the boardwalk a ways, then turned up the right trail through the right campsite, but we took a wrong turn at the top of the hill. This is where I was wishing I had a map of the actual campground which the guide books and forest service maps don’t have. As I said earlier, I didn’t exactly know where we were in the parking lot in relation to the store and by now I was too tired to think correctly, but after wandering in the wrong direction awhile, we turned around and went back to the car.

We stopped for a hot meal at Zig Zag Inn on the way home.

I’ve since found a map online so I’ll know where we are next time.

campground map Site Meter

|Monthly Schedule |Hiking |Biking |Crosscountry Skiing |Snowshoe trips |Our Guides |Home|