Here's an update on trail conditions in the Badger Creek Wilderness:
I spent the weekend hiking some lesser-used trails in the wilderness. I didn't see a speck of snow below 4500 feet. Actually, I didn't see a speck of snow anywhere other than up on the ridge that has Flag Point and Lookout Mountain. I'm sure there's a lot lingering up in the shade up that way but on the east side it's probably entirely melted out.
The Tygh Creek Trail is in decent shape but could use some maintenance. There are maybe 20 trees down over it and it is faint in meadowy areas but anybody can follow it. There is an unmarked junction 0.5 mile from the trailhead. DO NOT GO STRAIGHT
- this is an unofficial trail heading back to Tygh Creek that dies about 0.4 mile from the unmarked junction. When we figured out our mistake, we headed back to the junction where the trail turns right to climb the ridge and blocked off the wrong trail with timber. We even left some wood arrows and a cairn pointing the way.
Badger Creek 074.JPG [ 849.3 KiB | Viewed 795 times ]
The trail itself is beautiful, climbing through a park-like forest of ponderosa pines and up to a ridge with views of Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson and central Oregon. It's worth your time.
We also hiked the Little Badger Trail. This is another gem that appears to have seen some maintenance in the last few years. There are maybe 20 trees across this one too, most of them up on the ridge where the trail climbs away from the creek. There is one tough spot where a huge ponderosa pine fell right at a crossing of a small creek, which forces the hiker to climb over some debris above the tree for maybe 60 feet before regaining the trail. This should be cut out and maybe some boards put over the creek or something.
The trail was re-routed in the late 90s and is not where it shows on topo maps. It climbs away from Little Badger Creek after about 2 miles and does not return to the creek until it reaches Kinzel Cabin.
This is such a beautiful area.