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339 triplogs
Jan 17 2018
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2018
black_toes
Hiking5.26 Miles 807 AEG
Hiking5.26 Miles   2 Hrs   55 Mns   2.45 mph
807 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
From VC to summit, down to #100, looped back to TH via #306 and N dam.

No sooner had I found a flattish rock on the summit and bitten into a turkey sandwich than a man marched up from the steep National Trail hoisting an American flag. A large flag. We chatted for a bit. I shot several photos of him on a rock with my camera and with his. Said his name was Larry and described himself as "a flag man." He and a friend, he said, "maintain" the three American flags on peaks at Thunderbird Park. News to me. Last time I was at Thunderbird there were two. Larry said a flag now rests on the peak behind the amphitheater (Sunrise Pk?)

Since North Mountain is heavily traveled by Hispanics, I thought by parading his flag up and down the trails there, he was being confrontational. A right-wing vigilante making a statement? I asked why he was doing this. "God and country," he said, "for everybody."

Another surprisingly warm January afternoon.
Culture
Culture
Old Glory
_____________________
2 archives
Jan 08 2018
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Shaw Butte Trail #306Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 08 2018
black_toes
Hiking3.86 Miles 840 AEG
Hiking3.86 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   1.87 mph
840 ft AEG   1 Hour   36 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went up the north side from the VC. Took camera, two lenses, tripod and remote shutter release, all in hopes of catching a nice sunset from the summit. A promising sky turned into mush. Not enough sun for a dramatic shot. Set up my tripod, etc, anyway, and hoped for sunlight on the distant Flatiron. Didn't work out either. While waiting, I talked briefly with a young Navajo woman. She had a camera in hand but did not want to wait for the sun to set. Did not like walking in the dark and stumbling over rocks. I told her she should get a headlamp. That way she could shoot later into the evening. Here in winter, with a late start on the trails, I'm doing about half of each hike at night and enjoying it. Last night it was ideal. Wore only a wind-breaker. I could not believe how clean the night air was. Not a wisp of haze. And only a week after the so-called worst air in history. Amazing.
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3 archives
Jan 07 2018
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Papago Buttes - Papago ParkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 07 2018
black_toes
Hiking2.49 Miles 154 AEG
Hiking2.49 Miles
154 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A ramble with a camera, telephoto lens, tripod and remote shutter. Initial aim was to get up on a hill and shoot down on The Tree of Life, that stone and landscape art at the NE corner of the park. Yeah, that place where no one intentionally goes. Here in the cultural dregs of the desert, great art like this meets a blank stare, a stare somewhat like mine. Stood with my gear atop a nearby hillock for about 45 minutes and only a kid on a mountain bike passed, he on a whiz downslope, busting a pimple no doubt to reach the Tree of Life. Alas, the telephoto covered too small of an area, and I decided to shoot other stuff from there and two other locations.

I was last here two years ago, so the newly completed 5k fitness trail caught me by surprise. Elevated, nicely surfaced. Was in use too. Beautiful day, park not too busy although the parking lot was full when I arrived. To where do these people vanish once I'm on the trail? Not complaining, however.
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Jan 05 2018
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2018
black_toes
Hiking4.02 Miles 748 AEG
Hiking4.02 Miles
748 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked up and back from the VC, and cheated at the end. Had only 3.99 mi on the GPS, but walked back down the trail to ease past 4 miles. Pleasant solo walk back in darkness at end of a near-perfect evening. Saw only one other hiker, a jogger, no less. Even with his headlamp, it seemed risky. Have not heard coyotes in the park for a while. Tonight, only an owl hooting me home.
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Jan 01 2018
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Goat Hill via Ranger TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2018
black_toes
Hiking3.88 Miles 1,073 AEG
Hiking3.88 Miles
1,073 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not a bright idea on the "worst" bad air day in Arizona history. But it was New Year's and there are 364 more days to make up for all the carcinogens now lodged in the lungs. Zillions of cars in the park -- Summit Highway, picnic areas and stables -- but few hikers on the trail. By time MJ and I reached the National Tr, we had seemingly rose above the muck which appeared to have pocketed up against the Phoenix Mtns to the N and the Estrellas on the W and White Tanks to NW. From atop the Goat, we saw summits of Four Peaks crusted with snow and guessed at some other visible summits Woolsey to the W and Black Mtn to the S. I estimated the bad air to be about 1,500 feet to 2,000 feet elevation, or 500 to 1,000 feet above downtown Phoenix which was fairly clear from Goat. The highlight was in finding two "forests" of elephant trees along the National. Had never seen one that I recognized before. The largest (3 trees) stood only 20 paces E of the side trail up Goat Hill. I marked both spots and the mine with GPS readings, and would like to accurately put those waypoints on the route. But, alas, I don't know how. I could guess. But in this day age it seems like waypoints should move effortlessly with the route to this site's Maps section. Maybe I'll figure it out before my lungs go south after today. On return, it was dark when we hit the Summit Highway, only 7/10 of a mi from the TH. Enjoyable hike from there with the supermoon rising and pockets of cool in the draws.
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1 archive
Nov 23 2017
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Bell Trail #13, AZ 
Bell Trail #13, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2017
black_toes
Hiking5.20 Miles 407 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   4 Hrs      2.31 mph
407 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our annual Thanksgiving Day hike but first time to Wet Beaver. The fall foliage was in near-full display along the creek. Could hear water running but only saw still water in sloughs. Brilliant yellow, orange and some reddish-brown from sycamores, alders and cottonwoods. Walked into the canyon until the wilderness sign, turned back, had our "big" meal along the trail and returned to the parking lot 30 mins after sunset. Busy. Parking lot about 2/3 full, 21 vehicles, when we arrived. Counted about 40 friendly hikers along this wide path, many of them with dogs, some unleashed. Sunny and almost hot day until we reached the coolness of the canyon shade. A great way to spend a holiday afternoon.
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1 archive
Aug 20 2017
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Groom Creek Loop Trail #307Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2017
black_toes
Hiking7.80 Miles 1,368 AEG
Hiking7.80 Miles   5 Hrs   43 Mns   1.95 mph
1,368 ft AEG   1 Hour   43 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Up and back to fire tower on Spruce Mountain the short way, clockwise from TH. Trying too late to get in shape for serious hiking next week in the Adirondacks, upstate New York. Legs strong enough but cardio sucks. Just leg presses and calf pushes in gym don't help. Beautiful day, temp at 72. After vista of Granite Mountain early on, thick forest hides almost everything. It's a boring hike unless you love the color green. Few landmarks. I'm out 1.78 mi before I get my one and only glimpse of the fire tower through a small clearing. About halfway there. Trail rises slowly in the beginning, then steepens. Thrashing through brush ahead is a small animal I believe to be a lynx. Huff and puff. Several rest stops before hitting the summit. Sign says I'm at 7643 feet el, 36' higher than what shows on my GPS. I arrive at a picnic area, several tables and a two-stall commode. On the N side of picnic area is the fire tower which I can barely see through the trees. It is manned, or womanned, I think. All I see is a car parked beside it. Too tired and anti-social to climb up there and chat. As I eat a light lunch, a car comes up from the E on Road 52A carrying a woman and a man. Obviously lost. They stop and use the toilet, and I later see them hiking up the trail from the #307 TH. The summit holds three parts: Fire tower on the N, and a cellphone tower on the S with the picnic area in between in a small saddle. I start down at 1535, and am thankfully back at the TH 1:58 later. If I learned anything today it is this. Tenacity, and little else, will help me in the Adirondacks.
Named place
Named place
Granite Mountain
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3 archives
Jul 24 2017
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Walnut Meadow Loop, AZ 
Walnut Meadow Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 24 2017
black_toes
Hiking5.40 Miles 150 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles
150 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I call this the Default Trail for those who have gone to Flag and for some reason, say injury or bad weather, are looking for a safe walk or bike ride in the woods. Walnut Meadow is a 3.9 mile loop in the southwestern part of the Campbell Mesa Trail System E of town. We tacked on extra mileage by taking a half-mile connector to the Arizona Trail at the bottom of the loop. We also counted the round-trip from the parking lot on a slightly-inclined service road to the TH and trail register.

Our original plan to do Schultz Creek fell through the previous day when heavy rain, thunder and lightning struck early and stayed late. Not forgotten was the recent tragedy of flash flooding near Payson.

Our amble along the gently undulating Walnut Meadow trail was enhanced by wildflowers and a predominance of the orange Indian Paintbrush. We counted more than 20 different species/varieties of blooms. The recent heavy rains left numerous, but easily evaded pools on the near rockless path. Saw numerous bluebirds flitting about in the forest of Ponderosa. No, not Steller's Jays. There are also some small Gambel Oak and Cedar. Found no good vistas, and only a peek at cloud-covered Elden through the pines. The San Francisco Peaks were hidden all day by heavy cloud. Had lunch about halfway out on a fallen log and sawed-off stumps. Saw only three humans all day on the loop, all bikers. This is only one of five trails on Campbell Mesa, and the second longest.
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Mar 15 2017
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ 
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2017
black_toes
Hiking
Hiking
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A short loop hike in search of desert blooms at the peak of wildflower season. Found oodles. Only the poppy-addicted would say the park is disappointing. The most dominant little bloomers I found were yellow Fiddleneck and purple Phacelia (aka Heliotrope, Scorpion Weed). The north dam as usual was loaded with bright colors.
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Jan 25 2017
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Shaw Butte Trail #306Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2017
black_toes
Hiking4.82 Miles 1,112 AEG
Hiking4.82 Miles   3 Hrs   19 Mns   2.10 mph
1,112 ft AEG   1 Hour   1 Min Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Loop from VC to summit and back, going c.c. Shot some decent photos of snowy Mount Ord riding high above clouds. Could even see the towers. What is it, 50 miles away as the bird flies? Flag missing from the summit rock pile. Many possibilities including the current political one. Stopped too long to talk to a hiker coming down southern slope near the Cloud Nine ruins. It pushed me into a night-time return with no lamp. Slowed me greatly, stumbling along the rocky parts. Got almost cold, about 48, and put on leather gloves. Temp had dropped 6 degrees from time I started.
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1 archive
Jan 10 2017
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2017
black_toes
Hiking4.03 Miles 737 AEG
Hiking4.03 Miles   2 Hrs   37 Mns   2.18 mph
737 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
One nice thing about this hike is that while there are dozens on the paved trail, only a few leave it to go up the short distance to the summit. Sometimes you will be all alone up there, and rarely will there be more than a dozen. Today I counted 10. Beautiful evening, moon nearly full. Heavy coat of smog banked up against the White Tanks. First time I've entered a route via Route Scout. Starting at the VC and doing a short zig-zag on the way back to cross the 4-mile mark, I used both the Garmin GPS (on belt loop) and Route Scout (phone in backpack pocket) with the Garmin registering slightly more distance at 4.09 and considerably more aeg at 885.
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5 archives
Nov 24 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Garden Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 24 2016
black_toes
Hiking6.09 Miles 660 AEG
Hiking6.09 Miles   5 Hrs   36 Mns   1.91 mph
660 ft AEG   2 Hrs   25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our annual Thanksgiving Day hike and first visit to First Water TH or anywhere else, really, N of the Massacre Grounds. Hiked with MJ, my usual partner if I have one at all. Took about 55 minutes to drive the 45 mi from our home in central Phoenix. Perfect day. Sunny, temps around 70 when we arrived at TH about noon.

Wondered on the drive out whether we would meet a holiday crowd or nobody at the TH. Surprised to count 26 cars in the parking lot. Not full, but . . . . Trail very busy until we passed Dutchman's Trail jct. Crossed rocky and dry First Water Creek and stopped at the jct of Black Mesa and Second Water Trails to look at the "Indian ruins," a disappointing hill of rocks about 50 steps N of the sign post. Who would give the pile of rocks a second glance without reading a trail description? My GPS measured the distance to this major intersection at 1.86 mi.

The best part of the hike began in Garden Valley and continued all the way to Hackberry Spring. Grand views of the mountains, a peek or two at Four Peaks to the N and the top of Weavers Needle to the S. Someone had recently drawn a circled pentagon in the dirt at the start of Garden Valley and burned a wood fire in the middle of it. The circle was perfectly drawn, but the star had jagged lines. Symbolic of something? Escaped me. Crossing this flat valley all the way to Hackberry Spring, the unmarked trail was clearly visible. In their Superstitions book, Carlson and Stewart call the path "a horse trail." Going down the steepest parts was a mite too rocky for my taste. Lots of loose stumble-rock.

At 2.95 mi out, we came to another trail jct, this one unmarked. Looking at a map, I was sure we made a right here, but I asked a man lolling atop some rock with his dog if this was truly a trail juncture. He answered, "Where you going?" I told him, to Hackberry Spring, and he pointed N the way we were going anyway.

Coming downhill from there and making a turn west, it was easy to identify the Spring area. Two large cottonwoods in the distance were sporting yellow autumn colors. And of course there was a forest of mesquite et al surrounding them. Campers appear to use this area often. We plopped down in some grass near dry First Water Creek, spread our jackets and had our Thanksgiving Day meal: Turkey sandwiches, cauliflower and carrot sticks and cranberry oatmeal bars for dessert. Our usual fare for the holiday. Never saw the spring. But did ID my first hackberry tree by a big fire ring at the south end of the area. I read up on the hackberry before the trip and knew the easiest way to identify one is the "warts" on the bark (see photos). The bottoms of the leaves usually have "bulbs" of parasites. But we saw none of the tree's edible berries. I have read one can survive for months just eating hackberries alone.

We steered back to the TH by going south through the narrow canyon of the creek. That meant clambering over boulders and rock for quite a distance. Did not know until I traced it that First Water Creek empties into Canyon Lake. Lots of tanks in here filled with water from rains of last week. We came across a huge pool that I estimated was 30x15 feet, and the water was deep (see photo). I imagine this pool will be available to hikers all winter if not longer.

Somewhere in the canyon we failed to pick up the trail when it emerged from the creek bed. So we plodded on to the windmill and the nearby metal canopy where an old homestead is protected at a point where the creek turns SE. The sun was fading fast, and we decided to head S along First Water Ck until we hit the main trail back to the TH. There was no clear trail there on the W side of rock-lined creek. Once in a while we came across a rock cairn, then lost the trail again in the tall grass and trees. Figured if we kept on this course S we would eventually end up at the right place, and we did. Reached the TH about 15 minutes after sunset at 1722. Only five cars left in the lot by then. For all the trouble getting back from Hackberry Spring, MJ called it "our most beautiful Thanksgiving hike ever." And that goes back many years.
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2 archives
Sep 05 2016
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
VOAZ Trail #1BPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2016
black_toes
Hiking2.98 Miles 699 AEG
Hiking2.98 Miles   1 Hour   49 Mns   2.08 mph
699 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
MJ and I left the Squaw Pk TH about 1700 and had shade most of the way. Needed it. Car gauge said 102. No hint of a breeze. I continue to admire the beauty of the VOAZ, particularly coming down NW of the high saddle. Always great views and not so steep and graveled you have to be looking down at your feet. In wildflower season the segment can be dazzling. Passed only 8 hikers/joggers but surprised to see no bikes. Parking lots as close to empty as I've seen them.
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1 archive
Sep 04 2016
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ 
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 04 2016
black_toes
Hiking4.01 Miles 323 AEG
Hiking4.01 Miles   1 Hour   41 Mns   2.70 mph
323 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Mostly a night hike, dam to dam. Felt I had the park to myself. After dark, I saw only the light of a biker far off on the 306 Tr as I returned on the 100. Perplexed to see empty parking lot at 7th Ave TH about 1930, and mine was the only car parked at the VC lot at 2000. Maybe everyone went N for Labor Day weekend. At 1833, about 15 mins before sunset, a coyote began yipping in the direction of Shaw Butte. It stopped, then howled, but got no response from kin. Saw two quail and a cottontail and got buzzed by several mosquitoes who seem to have taken up residence at newly-formed pond by the VC. Pleasant evening with light breeze. Temp 94 shen I started, 88 at finish.
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2 archives
Aug 28 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ 
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 28 2016
black_toes
Hiking1.29 Miles 107 AEG
Hiking1.29 Miles
107 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Doubt I'd written this one up if weren't for the coyote and where I saw it. I judged by its small size and curiosity that it was an adolescent. Just about sunset as I left the 7th Ave TH going N toward Shaw Butte, this nice-looking animal passed in front of me by about 25 yards. That put the coyote about 75 yards from the nearest house, and I worry about that. It stopped three times to look at me and then disappeared into the big ravine that leads down to the SW dam. First time I'd seen a coyote in that part of the park. My fear is that the North Mtn pack will someday be exterminated if homeowners complain loud enough.
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2 archives
Aug 14 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Salmon River - Mount Hood, OR 
Salmon River - Mount Hood, OR
 
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2016
black_toes
Hiking4.29 Miles 583 AEG
Hiking4.29 Miles   2 Hrs   37 Mns   2.36 mph
583 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A kayaker's nightmare far upstream in the gorge (Class V, V+, extreme), MJ and I hiked along a relatively mild and shallow 2-mile section of the 34-mile Salmon, which bears little if any relationship to its more famous, same-named river in Idaho. The easy walk in deep shadows through dense and moss-cloaked forests of mostly red cedar, alder and towering fir began at the TH about two miles south of the community of Welches, about an hour's drive east of Portland. We parked along a paved road with several other vehicles and descended on a clear dirt path to the river.

Like many of our Oregon hikes this summer, this one was a dream for those who like to identify trees and other plants. But it had of course no high vistas and got monotonous after a while. All that green and the stream with its small patches of whitewater. Found several places leading down to the cold waters of the Salmon, which originates from the Palmer Glacier on Mount Hood. It was fishing season for steelhead and brook trout, but you would never know it. Saw not a single angler. Chinook and Coho salmon spawn in these waters, I read. Neither did we find signs of black bear or mule deer. The Salmon eventually empties into the Columbia via Sandy River.

At the Green Canyon Campground at the end of the trail, we found several trailers and two friendly guys in one of them. We had passed several tenters camping in the woods downstream, mostly young couples with a baby or young children. The Forest Service is considering an elimination of scattered camping sites and consolidating all into one big campground. Too much trash left behind. The end of this trail is the beginning of another going upstream to the high country, the gorge and at some point a juncture with the Pacific Crest Trail. A nice relaxing hike, while thinking none too fondly of the Arizona heat that awaits us in a few more days.
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2 archives
Aug 12 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mirror Lake Trail, OR 
Mirror Lake Trail, OR
 
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2016
black_toes
Hiking3.17 Miles 833 AEG
Hiking3.17 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   2.16 mph
833 ft AEG      36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Unlike many of our hikes in Oregon, under an emerald dome of conifers, this short hike provided a vista at the end. That vista is a grand view of magnificent Mount Hood which at 11,250' el is the highest point in the state and rises far above any other peak in the area. Not only that but many hikers like us travel up to see Hood's reflection mirrored in the lake. And to photograph it, adding another cliche shot to the ol' vacation album. I have seen similar photos of Hood posted all over the Internet, some even from other lakes.

Hood, which hovered over us in snow and sunlight from the northeast, can only be seen from a few places at Mirror because of high trees. And without the boardwalk at the far end of the lake's "swampy" side, it would be even more difficult to take a photo. The Forest Service answered by building a special boardwalk from the main one right to water's edge and in perfect position for a shot. So just about everyone taking an unobstructed reflection photo more or less shoots from the same place.

The battle in getting up to the lake, at least for MJ and me, was dodging herds of other hikers coming down in late afternoon after a dip in the lake or lying on rocks in the sun. One guy shouldering a large backpack was apparently taking his two boys for a camping overnight. We encountered 54 in the first mile, most of them teens and pubescents. Some in swimsuits. Some running. All cheerful and friendly and loud. Only on the lake's east side did we find tranquility and an abundance of strange wildflowers and other plants. Mirror also offers a route to the much higher ground of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain to the south. Mirror Lake is probably one of those hikes you say, "Once is enough."
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2 archives
Aug 11 2016
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Maple Trail, OR 
Maple Trail, OR
 
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2016
black_toes
Hiking3.48 Miles
Hiking3.48 Miles
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Right place, wrong season. In autumn this deeply-shaded trail would be a foliage heaven of brilliant color. Zillions of maples, some with leaves like the Oregon or Big Leaf Maple large enough to hide a face (see photo). All mixed in with towering fir and alders in Forest Park. This large park rests in a small range of verdant mountains on Portland's NW corner, along the western shore of the Willamette River. Never heard of Forest Park until watching a nature show on TV a few days before. A bird researcher described his findings after years and years of studying Pygmy Owls in the park. The little owls are reclusive and hard enough to see in broad daylight much less in a dense forest like this one. Not so for bicyclers who pedal around the asphalt paths in good numbers. They however are forbidden on the dirt paths like the Maple Trail which is a loner's paradise. In two hours came across only a pair of young runners plying the trail separately. Good for exercise if not vistas. We started out on Firelane 4 from NW Saltzman Rd to reach the Maple Trail. It got our attention, rising 350' in .28 of a mile. For a hike next time I'd shoot for higher peaks to the south.
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Aug 05 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Cascade HeadNorth Coast, OR
North Coast, OR
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2016
black_toes
Hiking4.12 Miles 1,150 AEG
Hiking4.12 Miles   3 Hrs   8 Mns   1.96 mph
1,150 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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I read this was a must hike if you want to see a piece of the Oregon coast at its glorious best from a place on high. This appears no great secret since the easily accessible TH parking lot at Knight Park was nearly full of vehicles when we arrived in early afternoon. We had turned off the 101 four miles N of touristy Lincoln City at Three Rocks Rd and driven asphalt pavement another 2 1/2 mi to the park. A middle-aged couple returning from the "Lower Viewpoint" waxed on and on about the tremendous views, but advised not going on up to the "High Viewpoint" which is sometimes in cloud and is reached by steep-stepping it up a series of switchbacks. Sounded great and off we went from an elevation of about 50 feet. Cascade Head rises more than 1,000 feet above the sea and the Lower View Point is around 500'.

Mistake No. 1. I assumed the Lower Viewpoint, so often mentioned in articles, was a real thing, with a real sign, a real wall above a cliff and an interpretative sign. A real destination. Hell, even a Nature Conservancy sign at one high point mentioned the Lower View as being 6/10 of a mile away. But if there was such a thing we missed it completely. After an easy hike through heavy forest and over five metal bridges, 3 boardwalks and two paved roads, we entered onto an open area, aka The Grasslands. Dazzling views south emerged of the coastline, a mix of ocean surf, cliffs, coves, hills, lakes and verdant forest. In the distance a portion of Lincoln City shimmered. Almost anywhere in the Grasslands is the "Lower View." But not knowing that at the time, we pushed on. And on. Then upward steeply. Very steeply, at least for me in my Arizona mid-summer shape which can be described as something slightly above pathetic. Finally, with calves turning soft, we halted and took a side path into some woods to rest. I should've known when a sign warning "steep trails" ahead appeared that we had ventured onto the Upper Viewpoint trail. It was there at 850' el with worsening views, halfway between the summit of Cascade Head and the invisible Lower Viewpoint, that we turned around and came back.

Coming down the nice but nasty exposed-root dirt trail and scissoring through hip-high grass dotted by wildflowers, we spied a "pink triangle" in the distance. My first thought was, "that's it." The "Low Viewpoint." But as we closed in on the triangle, the triangle became human, a young woman decked out in a pink jacket, sitting motionless, meditating I suppose on some deep sorrow, and facing out to the sea. "We've been seeing you for a long way off," I said to her. She forced chuckle and said something, and MJ and I moved on at a quick pace. It was late afternoon, and we had not yet checked in to our motel in Lincoln City. Coming up from the parking lot, it had seemed a zoo. We counted 50 hikers before hitting the Grassland. But now there was only a handful. Back down at the parking lot, only a couple of cars remained. Had I to do it over again, we would've stopped somewhere in the Grasslands and before the switchbacks, unpacked and, like the woman in pink, sat there and looked out on the calm Pacific. It is truly one of the amazing sights along what has been a windy coast this week.
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Aug 04 2016
black_toes
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82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
St Perpetua TrailNorth Coast, OR
North Coast, OR
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2016
black_toes
Hiking2.88 Miles 759 AEG
Hiking2.88 Miles   1 Hour   22 Mns   2.40 mph
759 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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This short trail rises steeply almost 800 feet through dense forest to an overlook of the central Oregon coast three miles south of the smart little beach town of Yachats. But how could MJ and I vouch for the view? It was so foggy that only snatches could be seen below of US 101, the smashing ocean surf of Devil's Churn or the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center at the start of the trail. But the weather was cool, in the upper 50s, making Arizona, the inferno I left behind several days ago, a distant memory. And the forest protected us from the piercing north wind that has plagued this part of the coast for two days now. The clouds and the swirling fog had a beauty of their own, and it proved an immensely satisfying jaunt.

The overlook rests behind a small stone wall atop a steep drop-off with an unobstructed view west to the Pacific. Truth is you don't need to hike up to this point. We noticed several people drove up on Overlook Road. The upper trail opens up into a meadow with wildflowers, some prolific like Queen Anne's lace mixed in with a few lupine and Indian paintbrush. Five switchbacks running east and west begin about half-way up and offer vistas at their west ends of increasing quality as you ascend. The path is dirt but with lots of lava rock and exposed tree roots to keep you honest. Passed six people, all young women, one hiking alone in sandals.
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average hiking speed 2.19 mph
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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.

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