Home  •   Field Guide  •   Forums  •   Unread Posts  •   Maps  •   Find a Hike!  •    Register  •   Search  •  
Jump to:  
Login  | 

Board index » Trips » Trip Reports




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13/17
 Post Posted: May 14th, 2017, 6:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am
Posts: 773
Paradise Park Trail
"A Winter Wonderland"

5/14/17

Miles: 12.1
Time: 7 hrs, 15 min
Avg MPH: 1.7 (1.4 on the climb up)
Elev Min: 2,915'
Elev Max: 5,330'
Total Ascent: 3,405'
Elev Change: +2,840'
Temp Low: 30
Temp High: 35
Other hikers: 0
Longest time without seeing a hiker: 7:15
Wildlife: Birds, Squirrels, California Barking Spiders??

Opening Shot: At the junction of the Pacific Crest Trail/Timberline Trail and the Paradise Park Trail
Image

Up and out of the house at 4am I was to meet my friend Daryl in Sandy to head up to the Paradise Park Trail which is near the Kiwanis Camp. It is a left turn on the road at the end of the long and straight chain-up section as you approach Government Camp from Portland.

We knew it would likely be a wet one as we arrived to a "wintery mix" in the rustic campground next to the Zigzag River which comes from the canyon we would be hiking next to today along its southern ridge. It does require a NW Forest Pass to park here.
Image

We started up the trail at 6am with pretty much no drizzle in a land of green magic.  The trail was so beautiful through here like someone had rolled out the red-trail carpet.
Image

We didn't see many wildflowers which was no surprise at this higher elevation point in the early part of our heavy winter spring.  We saw the ubiquitous Western Trillium, 
Image

Steam Violet, 
Image

and Fairy Slipper.
Image

After switchbacking up to the ridge we got one of our few viewpoints for the day.  This looks over to the east towards Ski Bowl.
Image

It began to snow lightly and the tree canopy mostly acted as our umbrella. There were spots of snow getting in and it was very pretty and serene as it just floated in with not a breeze to be felt.
Image

This was our primary viewpoint on the lower part of the hike.  I was glad I got this picture on the way up as it was completely socked in on the way down. This too looks over to Ski Bowl on the right side of the picture across the top of Zigzag Canyon.
Image

At 3,700' we started to get light snow and then at 4,100' we were in continuous snow. Daryl informed me that he had heard the elusive California Barking Spider back where he was. (Often heard, seldom seen) I was not familiar with this species.  After he told me about them I realized that I too had heard them quite often, but never knew their proper scientific name.  
Image

We heard a creek that had a snow bridge over the top of it which I didn't really want to cross.  I checked my GPS track and saw that the trail was a bit higher than where we were.  I suggested we find the exact trail in case there was a bridge. And there it was! It was a bit of a high-wire act crossing the crest of the snow on top of it but I was glad it was there.
Image

If you do this hike in the early spring of 2017 with snow still in place (or maybe even without snow), I'd recommend hanging a left and going straight up after crossing the bridge mentioned just above. We did not do that going up and attempted to roughly follow the trail that was from the GPS track I had downloaded.  The trail was a WWIII of tree blowdown.  It took us an hour to go 1 mile as we zigzagged (appropriately I guess next to the Zigzag river) back and forth and up and down to get over and around a mess of blowdown. (Note my GPS track to get through this section...stay left) It probably goes without saying that there is no way I would have done this hike without GPS. It's very hard to keep your bearings in the forest and to know where you're going as the trail was not apparent most of the time. Of course the canyon was to the north so that helps, but the trail isn't in sight of the canyon for most of the hike.
Image

We finally got left of the blowdown and felt like we were in heaven in the clean and open forest. We went on a bee-line straight up.  This is the one time when I cut switchbacks...particularly when I can't even find them.
Image

We did our fair share of post-holing as we tried to navigate those trees I mentioned. Daryl almost needed my help to get out of this one up to his hips.
Image

Let's just say we saw a lot of fresh exhibits of these...
Image

Most of the snow was reasonably consolidated, but the last push to the top was sinking through about a foot of fresh snow to the consolidated snow below...it was some work to be sure.
Image

We crested at the top of the Zigzag Canyon at the PCT/Timberline trail at 10:30am and had a bit of a cloudy view to the river below. It took us 4.5 hours to get to the top. (It was about 2:45 to get back down)
Image

We had some element of hope that we could follow the PCT/Timberline Trail down and up out of the Zigzag Canyon to connect and go down the other side of the ridge on the Hidden Lake Trail. We started out down the canyon, but it was quite steep with no trail cut in the side of the slope with all the snow on it. We were a little concerned with possible avalanche danger in exposed areas and not knowing how difficult it would be to get across the river.  I've done it many times in the summer, but this is of course a whole new ballgame. We also didn't want to get to a point where we felt we needed to turn back but be passed a point of no return.  We hemmed and hawed and ultimately decided that we had accomplished our primary goal and headed back. Here is Daryl at our top-out point.
Image

We also realized that we could continue up to Paradise Park, but with the low visibility and my memories of that being a steep climb, and being on somewhat unconsolidated snow, we decided that the payoff for that effort would be no more than the ego of being able to say we did it.

On our way down we skirted the tree fall to the left of the track below.  It was a beautiful route that we completed in probably ten minutes compared to our hour up that segment.
Image

Here is our route and our elevation profile.
Image

Image

Here is a link to my GPS track if you'd like to download it.
http://gpsfly.org/a/7123

Favorite experience of the day:
Meeting up with the PCT in the gorgeous snow. It fell so lightly and not a breeze to be had. The weather was SO much better than I thought it might be.

Least favorite experience of the day:
Navigating the tree fall, I was so happy to be through that as it was a dream hiking after that...so much easier.

-Mike (aka GoalTech)
www.GoalTechHikes.com
@goaltechhikes (Instagram)


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13
 Post Posted: May 14th, 2017, 10:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Posts: 2509
Location: Portland, OR
Quote:
The trail was a WWIII of tree blowdown.


That's discouraging to hear. After such a rough winter the Forest Service is going to be stretched super thin with trail maintenance projects this summer, and they'll probably be getting started much later than normal because of the high snowpack.

_________________
Cheryl

"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home." -- Gary Snyder

My adventure blog
Hiking videos
justpeachy on Instagram


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13
 Post Posted: May 14th, 2017, 10:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am
Posts: 773
It was a tale of two trails. That upper loop on my GPS track is where we had to dodge them. The entire rest of the trail was pretty darn good with no significant blowdown.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13
 Post Posted: May 14th, 2017, 10:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Posts: 2264
Location: Vancouver, WA
Wow - that looks almost like mid-winter there still. Well done getting to Paradise Park Trail, quite a workout in these conditions.

This much snow is good in some sense, because they promise hot start of summer, so flowers won't get fried in a week up there, like back in 2015.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13
 Post Posted: May 15th, 2017, 8:30 am 
Offline

Joined: May 26th, 2013, 12:53 pm
Posts: 263
Nice in-and-out trip and great pics. Definitely a great example of the spring-time retreat of the winter's snow from the slopes of Mt Hood.

Did you both bring snowshoes for the upper part, towards Paradise?


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13
 Post Posted: May 15th, 2017, 9:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am
Posts: 773
Chazz wrote:
Nice in-and-out trip and great pics. Definitely a great example of the spring-time retreat of the winter's snow from the slopes of Mt Hood.

Did you both bring snowshoes for the upper part, towards Paradise?


No I didn't...part of that is due to my not owning any. :)

I don't speak from experience but it seems that all our dodging of trees might have made them more trouble than they were worth? Although we did have several post-hole surprises, but most of the time it wasn't that bad. Mainly the last 100 yards to the top.

Mike


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13
 Post Posted: May 21st, 2017, 1:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: May 21st, 2017, 12:54 pm
Posts: 1
Hey GoalTech, I was checking out the trip reports and saw someone whose name and face appears familiar from the PCT in 2015. If you, it was good to see you are still getting out and even better to see your trip report. Thanks.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: GoalTechHikes Paradise Park Trail-Winter Wonderland 5/13
 Post Posted: May 21st, 2017, 5:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am
Posts: 773
Pinestick! Great to hear from you! Casa de Luna all the way! ;-)

Out on the PCT now at Splinters Cabin tonight.

Happy trails!

GT


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

Board index » Trips » Trip Reports


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot]

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Disclaimer: This is a free, private forum and opinions posted by its members do not necessarily reflect those of Trailkeepers of Oregon. Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this forum is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this forum. All content posted on the forum becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.
cron