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 Post subject: The (Angels & Devils) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 28th, 2010, 6:44 pm 
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Q: Describe today's hike in one word.

A: Drippy.

Q: Okay, two words.

A: Drippy, and... slippy.

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Q: What was the plan, then?

A: I still have a few longer-term hiking projects I'm thinking about, so with the arrival of wet weather (preceding, reportedly, a big storm on Monday), I decided to find a high-traffic trail -- Angels Rest:

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Q: Wait a minute -- Angels Rest? Isn't that the first Gorge trail when traveling east from Portland on I-84?

A: Yep.

Q: And isn't that the one everybody takes their great-uncle on when he's visiting from Nebraska?

A: Yep. [1]

Q: And a complete and total misanthrope such as yourself is going up it?

A: Well, bear in mind -- the weather is pretty grim, and projected to get worse. Also, I'm starting early.

Q: Like, first-car-in-the-trailhead early?

A: Well, no -- not that early. [2] But definitely ready to make some of the day's first tracks.

Q: Even then... don't you think that Angels Rest is kind of, well... boring?

A: As Gorge trails go, not especially. It has a bit of steepness to it, the terrain is interesting, and the approach to the summit area is pretty scenic stuff. [3]

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However, Angels Rest is not today's goal:

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Q: Devils Rest? Are you serious? You've been there so many times you might as well start offering to deliver the US frickin' Mail!

A: You are exaggerating, of course. At best, I could drop off UPS Ground parcels every now and then. And besides, I've never make the trek to Devils Rest from Angels Rest. There are new trails to explore.

Q: Such as?

A: Foxglove Way, a user-maintained trail through the forest below Devils Rest [4]. As it turns out, this is a really beautiful track through some lush, vibrant understory:

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Q: Ah, I see. That is a nice trail, actually. And if you want, you can make a dogbone out of this new route, yes?

A: That's true -- while the Angels Rest Trail (#415) proceeds directly to the Wahkeena Canyon, bypassing Devils Rest altogether, both Foxglove Way and the Foxglove Trail ascend to a common intersection, just below Devils Rest. These trails could be used in either direction to loop up and then back to the Angels Rest Trail. However...

Q: Yes?

A: The Devils Rest Trail (#420C) also descends to just above the Wahkeena Canyon.

Q: So there's another dogbone option for you.

A: Yep. And can you think of one more?

Q: Hm... not really. The only way to get to Devils Rest is via the Devils Rest Trail or the Foxglove trails.

A: Alright, let's look a a pretty crude representation of the trail system around Devils Rest: [5]

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Q: Okay, what are we looking at?

A: The blue lines are USFS trails leading up to Angels Rest (left) and Devils Rest (right). The red lines are Foxglove Way (left) and the Foxglove Trail (right).

Q: What's the green line? Another trail?

A: Nope. That's a road.

Q: Get out.

A: I'm serious. That's a road.

Q: I've hiked to Devils Rest several times, and I've never seen any roads. That's the middle of nowhere up there.

A: So it seems. However, this road is clearly visible on the Green Trails topo. There's even the suggestion of a short connector trail linking to the Devils Rest Trail.

Q: So you mean, you should look for a trail?

A: Or, if you feel like it, just start walking. I headed south after I was east of both footbridges on the Devils Rest Trail.

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Q: A bushwhack?

A: Barely. And only for a few hundred feet. Because before you know it, you'll arrive at...

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Q: A road!

A: Yep. Road 1520, also known as the Multnomah Basin Road. [6] [7]

Q: And you can make a dogbone out of this?

A: Absolutely. We'll have to do a little more hiking, but it's worth it.

Q: I'm not so sure about hiking on a service road. Usually, they're pretty boring.

A: I agree. However, Road 1520 feels more like a big hiking boulevard. There are three creek crossings on well-made bridges, and even a waterfall that probably doesn't have a name, since we're well away from tourist traffic. We'll have to take a bailout trail below this gate, but it's a non-issue:

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Q: Okay, that's pretty scenic for a service road. Where to next?

A: At some point, as long as we're going east, we'll have to hit the Larch Mountain Trail.

Q: That's right. I recall now that there's an intersection with the Multnomah Basin Road along there?

A: You are correct. And once we're here, all we have to do is figure out the best way to get back to Angels Rest.

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Q: This is kind of a long hike, don't you think?

A: Yep. The best way back is simply to take the full length of the Wahkeena and Angels Rest Trails -- all told, maybe seven or eight miles from here. [8]

Q: We've traveled at least seven miles so far?

A: Something close to that, yes. However, if you want to make a shuttle out of this hike, have somebody pick you up at Multnomah Falls. Just head downstream three miles. If anything, that last mile will make most days at Angels Rest seem a lot less crowded.

Q: Is there anything along the way here you think you missed?

A: Yep, lots. For one thing, there are lots of little bushwhack spur trails that sort of clamber away from the Angels Rest ascent -- likely because so many people have been along that scant 2.3 miles over the years. Also, while ascending Foxglove Way, I saw two well-maintained trails that were not the primary route, but they certainly seemed to go somewhere. And finally, Green Trails charts a disused/closed logging road that interesects Road 1520. This road would seem that it has to intersect, or cross, Foxglove Way. However, I saw no hint of it.

Q: Which means, of course...

A: Yes -- there is reason to return.

-----


[1] For "great-uncle from Nebraska," readers are invited to substitute, "new girlfriend," "pocket dog," "favorite sneakers," "cigarettes," "suntan lotion," "comic books," etc. Fun!

[2] I was vehicle #7 at 8:30 a.m. -- remarkable that six cars were already at the Bridal Veil parking area, considering that when I arrived at the same time, in similarly grim weather, last Sunday at the massive Multnomah Falls lot, I was vehicle #5.

[3] Reportedly, much of the timber leading up to Angels Rest was burned in a 1991 forest fire, giving that last part of the climb a slightly spooky feeling. Old Gorge salts may be able to tell you what the terrain looked like before '91, but I am not one of them.

[4] I believe that upkeep on both Foxglove Way and the Foxglove Trail are handled by the Mazamas.

[5] I made the crude representation, while Google made the terrain map.

[6] Green Trails may suggest that this is in fact Road 129, but Google insists the Multnomah Basin Road is 1520. A spur from this road may be the Road 129 Green Trails is referring to.

[7] As it turns out, there is a "trail" from #420C to Road 1520, but it's really more like a flat, open area that looks like a spot for improvised camping. Since you can't see the road from the trail, it would seem few people bother to walk 500 feet and see what it gets them. All signage (two that I found) along this short connector faces Road 1520 -- none of it faces the Devils Rest Trail.

[8] I did the full 15 (or more) miles today, which, if I'm being honest, started to suck a bit at the end.



Last edited by CherokeeDriver on March 29th, 2010, 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The (Angel's & Devil's) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 28th, 2010, 7:10 pm 
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Funny you went to the road. I was up there on Wednesday and was looking at my GPS and saw the road...and thought "it is right there, not far away" and you can see there isn't far to walk, from the trail. Maybe I'll head up that way sometime!

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 Post subject: Re: The (Angel's & Devil's) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 28th, 2010, 8:53 pm 
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Yes, I noticed the roads near Devils Rest just recently on the Green Trails topo, and I really wondered if using them for hiking was a feasible option. As it turns out, my little bushwhack was pretty unnecessary, since I was only about 100 feet west of the actual connector trail. (Still, not a bad guess on my part, I suppose.)

I've been thinking about hiking w/ a GPS, but I'm not certain yet if I will. I still like making hand-drawn maps and stuffing them in a cargo pocket, and then seeing how much of the plan comes together in my head. This was a pretty minor "discovery" for me, but I always enjoy finding a new way to get places and back again.

Road 1520 is a pretty neat place to hike. Too bad it forces you out all the way over near where the Larch Mtn Trail joins the Franklin Ridge Trail. It's a haul from Angels Rest, but I think I'll find other ways to use this option when I'm hiking in the area. Among other things, because it isn't documented as part of a "hike" on this site or in the hiking books I've seen, I don't think you'll run into a lot of folks there.

-Robert :)


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 Post subject: Re: The (Angel's & Devil's) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 28th, 2010, 11:40 pm 
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A couple of days ago I've been to Angels Rest too - it's easy but I think is very scenic. Never getting bored of it. Last year there was exceptional larkspur bloom in lower part of the trail, this year looks like it's going to be even more flowers - maybe in 2-3 weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: The (Angels & Devils) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 29th, 2010, 10:25 am 
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Robert, another fine job with your unique trip reporting!

Actually, the 1520 road, also known as the Palmer Mill Rd. is farther to the south, a little over 1/3 of a mile from where you came out after your short trip from the Devil’s Rest Trail. It is a spur road that leads off the 1520 road and into the Multnomah Basin.

That area is one of the most complicated in the gorge and it's plenty easy to get lost. Here's a bit of a map that shows everything in the area:

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As a historical note: According to one of the newsletters published by the Crown Point Country Historical Society, the spur was originally built in the middle 1890’s by George Pau, one of the original settlers of the Multnomah Basin. It led from the logging railroad grade and the Bridal Veil Lumbering Co’s road network and gave access for the five families who tried to farm and make a living there.

BTW, exactly ¼ mile south of where you found the spur road is where the logging RR crossed and to the east you can still see a few decaying remnants of a trestle the railroad used to cross a low point in the terrain.

-Don

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 Post subject: Re: The (Angels & Devils) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 29th, 2010, 10:30 am 
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Hehe, love the US Mail comment! :) Way to get out there given the conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: The (Angel's & Devil's) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 29th, 2010, 11:33 am 
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Basin Road can be helpful hiking, but I'm not too much of a fan. It's actually a lot busier than you would think. Due to its connection with Palmer Mill Rd, and *its* weird appeal to runners and such. It's also the easiest route to Nesika Lodge.

I suppose you could use it as a shortcut if you wanted to do an Angels to Devils to Larch summit

It's worth noting that on every topo I've seen, once basin road crosses 441 and actually enters the basin, the map is *not* accurate after the first corner.

As usual Don's map is better, but I'll throw in too..

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 Post subject: Re: The (Angels & Devils) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 29th, 2010, 11:47 am 
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Quote:
Don: Actually, the 1520 road, also known as the Palmer Mill Rd. is farther to the south, a little over 1/3 of a mile from where you came out after your short trip from the Devil’s Rest Trail. It is a spur road that leads off the 1520 road and into the Multnomah Basin.


Wow, Don, that's nothing like how the area looks in my head. I can see how the Devils Rest Trail (#420C) runs near the service road I was on yesterday, and where the Angels Rest Trail (#415) is to the north. However, I can barely pick out how Foxglove Way and the Foxglove Trail intersect, at least not as I have seen it depicted (or how I envision it). I'm also not familiar with the Primrose Path, and how that descends from Devils Rest. Is that different than the Foxglove routes? Or part of the descent to the Foxgloves? (Lurch's Map is much closer to the Foxgloves as I think of them.)

In any case, if that's indeed Road 129, then that would be the Multnomah Basin Road, since it's the only double-track (that I know of) that allows Trails Clubs members to drive to Nesika Lodge with plenty of firewood and supplies. Google suggests that Road 1520 is the Multnomah Basin Road, but I think your map indicates that 1520 doesn't reach the Basin at all.

I definitely want to go back here and explore the road system a bit more -- it's a lot more interesting than just staying on the trails. However, I'm using one of your GPS tracks to plot another adventure somewhere else. More later on that one. :)

-Robert

(FYI, the sign to Devils Rest #420C along Wahkeena #420 was missing yesterday, so some new arrivals will miss this intersection as they search for the route leading to the spectacular viewing platform at the mysterious Devils Rest.)

Image


Last edited by CherokeeDriver on March 29th, 2010, 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The (Angels & Devils) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 29th, 2010, 3:04 pm 
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CherokeeDriver wrote:
Quote:
Wow, Don, that's nothing like how the area looks in my head.


I know what you mean! – More than once I’ve explored areas with GPS in hand and when I looked at the track on my computer it looked entirely different to what I’d envisioned. Every line on the map above is taken from my Garmin 60CSx GPS and all routes have been tracked at least twice.

Also, the names of those trails are not “official” and maintenance varies from year to year. Some of the tracks on my maps may nearly disappear in brush from time to time but the treads are substantial and easily followed. The trails club members do a fantastic job clearing routes up there and I do what I can as well. BTW, any time you want a .tpo file just e-mail and I’ll send the original if you want.

The Primrose Path is a route the Trails Club folks maintained but it was literally burned to the ground in the Oct. ’91 fire. It is somewhat resurrected now but you have to know where it is, especially the upper half, to find it. I hiked it a few months before the fire and went back the next spring and found that post-fire annuals had sprung up and totally obliterated the tread.

Don

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 Post subject: Re: The (Angels & Devils) Rest of the Way - 28 March 2010
 Post Posted: March 29th, 2010, 7:28 pm 
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Like a trained puppy whose ears perk up with the words "Palmer Mill Road", I'll do my puppy thing and post some photos of Old Palmer and New Palmer, courtesy WikiMedia!

The pond at Old Palmer Mill circa 1896:

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New Palmer Mill "after the fire" in 1902:

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The flume between the Palmer Mill and Bridal Veil, at Middle Bridal Veil Falls in about 1902:

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And finally, a "Jumbo" hauling logs near New Palmer in 1905:

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Maybe Don can help us out on the "Jumbo" -- presumably a locomotive named for Jumbo the Elephant of P.T. Barnum fame..?

-Tom :)

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