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14 Photosets

2019-09-24  
2018-09-25  
Big Lake PCT Trailhead to Mt Washington, OR
mini location map2018-09-25
14 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Big Lake PCT Trailhead to Mt Washington, OR 
Big Lake PCT Trailhead to Mt Washington, OR
 
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking9.10 Miles 1,747 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   6 Hrs      1.52 mph
1,747 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had been on a car camping journey from my home in Phoenix to Big Lake, OR, starting on Sept. 10 and finally reaching my destination on Sept 24. The initial justification for this journey was to meet up with 8 friends from Oregon and Washington for a reunion of guys who had gone on a rafting trip together on the Owyhee River in south eastern Oregon in May 2017. [ triplog ] My Oregon friends had chosen the campground on Big Lake in the Oregon Cascade Mountains for the location of this reunion. Firmly believing that the journey is more important than the destination I started the drive north with a tour of 5 hiking trails in the Eastern Sierras off of HW395, then a stop in Reno to visit my Grandson, followed by revisiting some old haunts in NE California and Oregon. I arrived at the Big Lake campground 2 days before the others were scheduled to arrive. The plan was to secure 2 campsites with good views of the lake and encourage other campers to take campsites on the other side of the CG where a rowdy group of ex-Oregon State Univ football players from the late 1960s would not disturb them. I'm the only non-football veteran of the group but they need somebody to watch out for them and chronicle their gatherings. I successfully secured 2 prime campsites on the shore of the lake. A couple of campers in adjacent sites decided to move after I casually mentioning "far better" campsites some distance away while also talking about the group of boisterous ex-football players who would be showing up the next day.

While waiting for the others to arrive I went on a hike to nearby Mt. Washington. This hike starts on the Pacific Crest Trail where it crosses the Old Santiam Wagon Road (FR811)near Big Lake and enters the Mt Washington Wilderness. After heading south for 3 miles this hike exits the east side of the PCT on an unmarked climber's trail which goes up the NW side of Mt. Washington. The PCT section of the hike went by quickly. The smooth packed dirt and sand trail with a gentle grade makes for a fast pace. The trail passes through sections of mostly dead forest with the dead trees still standing. The trees were killed by a combination of beetle kill and wildfire. The beauty of the forest is recovering with a colorful covering of ferns, bear grass and new growth trees about 2-3 feet tall. Near the turnoff to the climber's trail you enter forest with mostly living trees and as you progress up the side of Mt Washington it becomes old growth forest. I had no intention of climbing to the top of Mt. Washington and ended up hiking 1.5 miles up the mountain side which was just far enough to get some good views. After taking some photos of the surrounding area I headed back to camp at a faster pace than usual arriving in time to greet the first arrival late that afternoon.


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