Badger Creek trail conditions

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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mattisnotfrench
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Badger Creek trail conditions

Post by mattisnotfrench » May 22nd, 2012, 7:54 am

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
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.
Author of 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region.

Also available: Off the Beaten Trail: Fifty Fantastic Unknown Hikes in NW Oregon and SW Washington

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romann
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Re: Badger Creek trail conditions

Post by romann » June 4th, 2012, 10:27 pm

That is a beautiful area indeed, I enjoyed backpacking there. I hiked Little Badger and Ball Pt trails, but not yet Tygh Creek. The trails were partly cleared last summer, but from your description it looks like more blowdown than back in the fall.

If only summer weather returned for one more weekend :?

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romann
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Re: Badger Creek trail conditions

Post by romann » June 18th, 2012, 9:45 pm

Edit: hiked from Ball Point TH all the way to Flag Point, then all way down on Tygh Cr. trail. Blowdown starts soon above the Helispot (all cleared before that, none cleared above that from last year) and gets heavy for about 2 miles. Some blowdown on Tygh trail as well, though not nearly as bad (for the little-used trail as it is). That trail gets faint in grassy areas, esp. where it by-passes downed trees.

It worth to note, if you're backpacking, there's very little water besides some (soon to be gone) snow near Flag Pt - on trail #468 there's one well-hidden spring soon after Helispot junction (go downhill through the campsite and you'll see a trail to the spring); on the way back there's Sunset Spring running across Tygh Creek trail, and then half way down you come to within 30 yards of Tygh Creek (but cannot see it from the trail so have to pay attention). Just before the trailhead you come at Tygh Creek again but it's not really useful source at this point.

Barb Adams
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Joined: October 20th, 2008, 4:21 pm

Re: Badger Creek trail conditions

Post by Barb Adams » June 25th, 2012, 1:18 pm

Thanks for the reports and including the number of logs down. Badger Creek Wilderness is a favorite "local" wilderness for us.

barb

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