Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

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Don Nelsen
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Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » February 14th, 2017, 8:02 pm

I wanted to see what was going on at the (formerly) Bonneville Hot Springs resort and also to see if the Table Mt. TH I usually use is still open and un-signed.

--The resort was filled with workmen doing renovation for the transition to a re-hab center. No new signs in the parking area we used to use to access the Dick Thomas Trail in spite of recent reports that there is no access allowed. Nevertheless, once the lodge renovation is finished, I'll check back with them to see what they say in person.

--The Greenleaf Slough TH that goes up the power line road has a new gate but nothing indicating it is off limits for hikers. There is still a wide enough area to the side of the gate for hiker access.

We hiked up the power line road 4/10 mile and entered the forest at the end of the second spur. I call the beginning of this the railroad grade trail as it follows an old logging railway grade towards Table Mt. on what we know today as the Two Chief's Trail. Here is a 1920 map that shows the old Grade. It lacks in accuracy and detail but that's not too bad for the era it was made.

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As you enter the forest, this is the sign you will see:
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You can see you are on an old fill right after the sign: 30 or 40 years ago, you could still see spikes, nuts, bolts, and rail joining bars along this grade but I haven't seen any in years. They must have finally sunk into the earth or been picked up.
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The winter damage to the route is massive and it didn't get any better!
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Once out on the main trail/road it looks like this:
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As the route skirts Carpenters Lake on the west side it got even worse:
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We continued for another half mile past Carpenters Lake but this was really difficult going so turned around and called it a day.

4.1 miles and 747' vertical.

ps, the route we hiked today is covered the entire way (except the power line road) in about 12 to 18 inches of fairly compact snow and ice.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Peder
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by Peder » February 14th, 2017, 11:26 pm

Boy, what an obstacle course!
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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Chip Down
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by Chip Down » February 15th, 2017, 5:48 am

What does USFS mean by free-riding, and how do I avoid doing it?

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kepPNW
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by kepPNW » February 15th, 2017, 7:11 am

Shaping up to be a summer of discontent...? Yikes, what a mess! Hopefully, it's not so bad above the freezing rain level.

That old map is fun! Shows that other rail line along Hamilton Creek, as well as the trail up there, too. And the Hot Springs!? Had no idea establishments had existed at that spot for so long.

Thanks for the update!
Karl
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bobcat
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by bobcat » February 15th, 2017, 6:56 pm

The Aldrich Butte, Greenleaf Slough, and Dick Thomas Trailheads are "officially" off limits to hikers as they are all on private land. I suspect that Greenleaf Slough may continue unofficially, but who knows? Once the spa buildings have been remodeled, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) prevents the new occupants (alcohol and drug recoverers) from having any chance of contacts with the general public: no chance of getting Dick Thomas back.

Bonneville Trails Association has a large parking area in North Bonneville for a new trailhead. They (We - yep, pony up your time) will have to build a new trail to connect to the Aldrich Butte, etc., complex, but first get an easement on a section of private land. A hiker bridge also has to be constructed to cross Greenleaf Slough. This will all take time, money, and quite a bit of volunteer effort - maybe 3 - 4 years if we're lucky?

Officially, anyway, everyone's hikes into that area have been extended by 6 to 10 miles round-trip unless you want to drive around the back of Table Mountain and hike from there.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » February 15th, 2017, 9:54 pm

kepPNW wrote:Shaping up to be a summer of discontent...? Yikes, what a mess! Hopefully, it's not so bad above the freezing rain level.

That old map is fun! Shows that other rail line along Hamilton Creek, as well as the trail up there, too. And the Hot Springs!? Had no idea establishments had existed at that spot for so long.

Thanks for the update!
The old map is really off when it comes to the Hamilton Creek RR: The RR line is actually on the east side of the creek! Not unusual for maps of the era though. Still,not too bad.

dn
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Peder
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by Peder » February 16th, 2017, 7:28 am

Don Nelsen wrote:The RR line is actually on the east side of the creek! Not unusual for maps of the era though. Still,not too bad.
Ha! I was thinking "Oh there was a RR on the west side of Hamilton Creek before they built one on the east side."
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drm
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by drm » February 16th, 2017, 9:39 am

I get the impression that even once Gorge trails melt out, they may still be impassable to most of us mere mortal hikers until a massive maintenance effort gets done. Can Herman Creek and others be any better off this this once we can see them?

Well, spring hiking tends to focus on the eastern unforested hikes around Coyote Wall and Catherine Creek anyway. We may not have a lot of choice this year, except for those of you who actually get off on such torture.

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kepPNW
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by kepPNW » February 16th, 2017, 9:56 am

Don Nelsen wrote:The RR line is actually on the east side of the creek! Not unusual for maps of the era though. Still,not too bad.
Heh, yep, same thought I had... I've walked along it! :)
Karl
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Don Nelsen
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Re: Table Mountain - Two Chiefs Trail, Feb. 14th, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » February 16th, 2017, 11:48 am

drm wrote:I get the impression that even once Gorge trails melt out, they may still be impassable to most of us mere mortal hikers until a massive maintenance effort gets done. Can Herman Creek and others be any better off this this once we can see them?

Well, spring hiking tends to focus on the eastern unforested hikes around Coyote Wall and Catherine Creek anyway. We may not have a lot of choice this year, except for those of you who actually get off on such torture.
I hiked Herman Creek last Sunday and it is better than the Table Mt. area but still needs a lot of picking up. I'll do a TR later with photos.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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