Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Use this forum to report and discuss trails in need of maintenance. This will help organizations like TKO and agencies like the Forest Service get the most recent on-the-ground trail conditions.
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-Q-
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Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by -Q- » March 30th, 2012, 3:49 pm

Hi All,

Last Saturday (3/24/12) I hiked the Wygant-Chetwoot trail loop. Actually hiked it in reverse starting with the Chetwoot trail as I knew from previous experience that the trail was in rough shape.

Unfortunately both trails have been totally destroyed. There are thousands, no probably hundreds of thousands, of trees that have fallen in this part of the forest.

At this point, most of the trail is invisible under piles of debris. At most I was able to locate a 10 foot patch of trail surface. Then came hundreds more yards of downed trees & debris to negotiate before the next patch of trail. Spotting the trail surface was difficult as best, almost impossible at worst.

Then there are the places where the entire hillside has eroded along with the trees. Many sections of trail have completely fallen into the canyon, leaving very dangerous sections of unstable land to cross. This occurs on both trails.

Honestly, I don't think this loop is fixable. There is just so much damage that it would take a crew a solid month or two to clean it up.

Be careful if you venture here. The damage is still very unstable.

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Peder
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by Peder » March 30th, 2012, 6:16 pm

That is indeed sad news. The trail already had a number of places where the thread had slipped downhill, but this sounds like damage of a far greater magnitude. That is unfortunate, as it is/was a pleasant loop with great views and a couple of historic trail signs. Thank you for the (depressing) update.

As I recall the bridge was already severely damaged in November 2010, so I hope that nobody wasted resources on repairing it in the interim.
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Guy
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by Guy » March 31st, 2012, 5:10 am

Peder wrote:That is indeed sad news.
Yeah sad news indeed, the Chetwood was already on the fading into obscurity list, sounds like this might be the death nail :^(....
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bookem
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by bookem » March 31st, 2012, 12:32 pm

Bummer.... I'm not too familiar with this particular section of the Gorge but I always hate to hear news like this.
Last edited by bookem on March 31st, 2012, 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grannyhiker
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by Grannyhiker » March 31st, 2012, 2:56 pm

I'm really sorry to hear this; I hope something can be done! I know the Chetwoot section was built and maintained by a private citizen (which is why it hasn't been maintained for a long time), but isn't the Wygant trail a USFS trail? (Edan, are you there, could you please respond when you get a chance?)
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by windmtnpete » March 31st, 2012, 5:09 pm

Seems all the family friendly, non-system trails were hit the hardest this time around.

Wish it were different, glad I'm not dealing the cards here.
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Splintercat
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by Splintercat » April 2nd, 2012, 6:51 am

Thanks, Q. Sad news, indeed. I've updated the Field Guide entry with a conditions note. Though it sounds pretty bad, I'm hopeful that the prospect of actually losing the trail might spur some interest from an organization "adopter" -- though it sounds like USFS sawyers will be needed on this one (it sounds a lot like the Starvation Ridge trail).

The Chetwoot Loop was largely conceived and built by Basil Clark and other volunteers from the Mazamas. I've got an article on Basil posted over here. Maybe the Mazamas would like to re-adopt this one in Basil's memory?

Tom

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CuriousGorgeGuide
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by CuriousGorgeGuide » April 3rd, 2012, 9:17 am

Thanks for the sad update Q. I'll have to update this years' books...but I'm glad you mentioned it here because I probably wouldn't have thought of checking it out this spring. The big blow-down is a nightmare everywhere near Hood River--yikes!
And Splintercat, thanks once again for the perspective you always seem to overflow with....on the pix I posted on GoogEarth I credited Basil Clark with the Chetwoot signage, but I never knew the story behind my lil factoid that I lifted from the Lowes. Once again the internet comes thru...I love it!
cheers, scott

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Ryan Ojerio
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by Ryan Ojerio » April 14th, 2012, 2:09 pm

thanks for the report, I'll check in with Edan and see what the plan is for this area. Maybe TKO could field a work party there or series of work parties. I bet if we teamed up with the PCTA we could do it. I wonder if they are not allowing any maintenance on the Chetwoot, could it be because it isn't an "official" trail?

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Guy
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Re: Wygant-Chetwoot Trail loop... totally destroyed

Post by Guy » April 14th, 2012, 5:36 pm

I'm betting that the FS will say that the Chetwood trail is unofficial and so will not be cleaned up.

If that turns out to be the case I will happily donate a few days labor & join a group of Gorilla trail restorers to open it up again.
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