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Dome Rock via Tumble Ridge Trail 9/23/06

Posted by fettster (2006-09-24)

Hike Info:

Trailhead:  Lat N 44.72241, Long W 122.18754,  (1600 feet elevation at TH)
Total Miles:  GPS said ~10 miles, Sullivan book says 10.6 (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 3270 feet
Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
Family Friendly: No
All Season: Yes, part of it anyways.


After two straight weekends of sitting around, this spell of warm and clear weather left me little excuse for not getting out.  Hence my dog Kodi and I headed down towards Detroit Lake to check out Dome Rock, a hike I've wondered about while driving by on highway 22 but never getting around to doing.


The small turnout on the north side of the highway was empty when we arrived around 10:45.  The sun was blazing over a blue sky and the wind streamed by as we ventured out.  Once in the shade of the woods it was actually a bit cool, but instead of stopping to get out my shell I let it motivate me to push on a little faster and generate my own heat.  For just under a half mile the route follows an abandoned road before slipping uphill on a signed trail turnout along the right.


Soon after the turn I discovered I'd lost my map with route description.  In all the hiking I've done this was the first time I'd lost a map, so I was a little surprised and amused with myself that I'd actually done this.  I reconsidered the situation and remembered the map showing the trail as very straightforward with just two junctions, and thinking a day hike map was a much better thing to lose than something else such as car keys or GPS, I regrouped and decided to continue on our way.


Being the first hikers out Kodi and I were the obligatory cob cleaners clearing out the strands of cob webs crisscrossing along the path as we worked our way up the ridge.  I was oblivious to it at first, but I was the beneficiary of a recent trail maintenance effort, probably within the last couple days as most of the tree and underbrush clippings along and beside the path had not yet started to wither.  If you did this work and are reading this, thanks a bunch!  I could tell several stretches would've been a bit of bushwacking otherwise.


The small maple trees were hastening into their prime throwing splashes of red along the open patches the trail traversed.  In the shade of the forest summer held on as most of the vegetation was green and hadn't yet turned.  I saw one lonely Indian Paintbrush on the west side of the ridge thriving in what sun it could get, the only flower then I saw on the day.  Once I reached the junction to the trail headed up the last stretch to Dome Rock I thought we may finally run across other hikers coming in via the easier north route, but it remained quiet for us.  We wound up having the whole trail to ourselves. 


It was very comfortable up top with a little wind bucking by at the base of the summitís old lookout tower.  Kodi and I spent about 45 minutes enjoying ourselves identifying area landmarks like Olallie Butte, Three Fingered Jack, Mt Washington, Three Sisters, some peaks way to the south I couldn't ID, and easily the star attraction from the top, nearby Mt Jefferson still showing a sprinkling of white from recent storms passing through.  I found it wise to keep Kodi on leash here with the steep drop-off along the NE side of Dome Rock, and also when I found his attention stolen once when a little bird landed close by to look for food.


On the way back in the sun hiking conditions were prime, what a TV weather forecaster would say were delightful conditions, and they were!  The trail generally followed a nice grade which encouraged us to hike-jog down many of the stretches (so I guess we were h'ogging the trail? ok, sorry, just had to).  Sometimes Kodi would find something interesting to sniff along the trail behind me, so I'd quickly push it around a corner so he'd have to sprint to find me again. 


Seeing no one else the whole way, I was puzzled to spot three other vehicles back at the parking area, but then grasped they weren't there for hiking but must've gone down to the lake on the south side of the highway.  My curiosity for the trail appeased and expectations surpassed, Kodi and I started our drive back, both tired and satisfied in getting out on this memorable fall day.


Tumble & Elephant Rocks visible along early stretch of the trail


Detroit Lake to the south under blue, early fall sky


First great view of Mt Jefferson beyond the layering of land


Kodi checking out the leaves in a mix of color


"Watch your step!"  Having seen this guy I later yelped out when I thought I stepped on one of them, yikes!  Turned out it was just a similar-sized pine cone. :)


Cairn marking the way along a short rock slide area


Junction for Dome Rock marked in the tree


Trail gets rocky near the summit


Trail leads up past interesting rock formations


Lonely Tumble Lake


What looks like a fun scramble area by the last turn to the summit


Mt Hood sneaks a "Hello!" over the ridge line


Looking down on Needle Rock: The Tumble Ridge trail leads right near this formation, but I never spotted it while in the trees


Site of old lookout tower


1939, that's been here a while!


Wide angle from the summit: Olallie Butte on the left, then Mt Jefferson near the middle, and Three Sisters just visible on the right


"Now why can't we do this everyday, hmmm?"


Final view of Mt Jefferson on the way down from the summit


The Three Sisters, and I believe the Three Pyramids on the right


Sardine Mountain - looks like it would be a fun slope to trek up


Fall setting in


RGB (uninitiated can follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rgb )


"Don't go straight" notice...this pile keeps hikers like myself along the correct route.  Not sure where that actually headed...


Old "Tumble Ridge Trail 3380" trail sign along overgrown forest road


Unnamed formation along Tumble Ridge


A quiet moment on the way down


Oregon Grape:  These plants were ubiquitous around 2000 feet elevation, and as previously posted on this site, I can also attest that they aren't very sweet!!


Final view of Jefferson with under a mile left to TH


Mystery side trail on the right with limbs marking the correct way.  I'm not sure where this trail went, maybe to a power line maintenance yard I saw, or perhaps the Detroit Ranger Station, or maybe to nowhere...


Old road the trail follows for just under a half mile


Sign at trailhead with gate closing off the road to vehicles


Topo route

Posted by fettster (2006-09-24)

Here's the route as tracked on my GPS. 

Re: Dome Rock via Tumble Ridge Trail 9/23/06

Posted by thehikingdude (2006-09-24)
Looks like you and Kodi had a wonderful trip as usual. So much to see for a day hike. Thanks for including all the specs, we will be sure to add it to the map page. Gotta love those fall colors!

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