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Cool Creek Trail, OR

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,760 feet
Elevation Gain 3,307 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,307 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 23.64
Interest Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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4  2014-07-08 keepmoving
author avatar Guides 34
Routes 249
Photos 2,197
Trips 592 map ( 4,584 miles )
Age 35 Male Gender
Location Portland, OR
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Aug, Jul, Sep, Jun → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Winter
Sun  5:08am - 7:15pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Wheres the Creek?
by keepmoving

 Likely In-Season!
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Cool Creek Trail climbs a ridge from Still Creek Road to Devils Peak Lookout Tower. It is one of the 3 routes that access the old lookout. While the other routes either require a 4x4 to access (Devils Peak Trailhead near Kinzel Lake) or a full day hike (16 miles round trip using Hunchback Mountain Trail), Cool Creek Trail requires neither.

From the trailhead along Still Creek Road, the trail plunges into the forest and begins to ascend the ridge. The trail is fairly unrelenting and follows the same grade for almost its entire length to the lookout tower. If the trail feels too steep for you, you may want to turn back now. Fortunately, the trail is shielded from the midday sun by a thick canopy of trees that helps keep you cool.

As the trail climbs the ridge, you are treated with occasional views of Mt Hood to the north and the surrounding Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness. And as you reach the higher elevations, there are a couple of side trails to viewpoints that can show Mt Hood, Adams, St Helens, and even Rainer on a clear day!

As you work your way up the mountain, you will be treated to several false summits before finally reaching the Hunchback Ridge Trail at mile 3.6. Turn right here and follow the trail for another 100 yards to another junction with the Hunchback Ridge Trail where you will now turn left and wind the final 100 yards to the summit. Take in the views and enjoy the abandoned lookout tower, before making the steep descent back to the trailhead.

Water Sources
While named after a creek, the trail is dry for much of its length. I encountered two small creeks running over the trail about halfway to the lookout, however it looks like they may dry up during the summer. A sign in the lookout tower mentions a spring a 1/4 mile down the Hunchback Ridge Trail, but I have never personally checked it and don't know how reliable it is.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2014-07-15 keepmoving
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Mount Hood Forest
    more info

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Sandy, follow Hwy 26 east for 18.5 miles to Still Creek Road outside of Rhododendron Oregon and turn right. If you reach the Dairy Queen in Rhododendron, you have driven too far. After about 100 yards Still Creek Road forks to the right and you will follow it for 3.5 miles until you reach the trailhead on your right. The last mile of Still Creek Road is a graded gravel road and the trailhead is only marked by a small sign on the right and a wide dirt shoulder on the left that you can park at.
    page created by keepmoving on Jul 15 2014 3:36 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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