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Eliot Creek Crossing (alternate)

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

(Redirected from Eliot Creek Crossing)
Climbing up the (former) west-side rope to get out of the Eliot Creek gully. (Chase)
As you're hiking on the Timberline Trail, from the East, when you see the Cooper Spur shelter, leave the trail and go directly over to it. (Jerry Adams)



As of 2017, this alternate crossing is no longer necessary, because the Timberline Trail has been re-routed to cross the Eliot Branch farther downstream. (observed 2017/08/07)

To cross at the washed-out area (formerly known as "the ropes"):

From the East side, starting at Cloud Cap (5850 feet), you go south about 0.1 mile towards Cooper Spur. Take the trail to the right, now labeled "Eliot east moraine." Go about 0.2 miles to the top of the east side moraine at 6150 feet. Stay on the well worn trail down to the creek (6050 feet), 0.2 miles from the top of the moraine. There used to be a rope at the bottom, but it wasn't really necessary. You can cross right there if you think you can safely scramble up the opposite bank, or go upstream 200 yards or more to a place where Eliot splits into two - crossing the forks one at a time is easier. Go downstream, following footprints and cairns, and then go up a ramp to your left. When you're almost to the edge of the earth, scramble up to your left. (There used to be a rope, but it's gone.) At the top of the west side moraine (6250 feet), there's a trail. Go down it to your right about 0.2 miles, to the Timberline Trail at 6000 feet.

Best description is Adam Schneider's map & trip reports:

Map by Adam Schneider

Adam's 2014 update

Adam's 2017 update

To cross Eliot Glacier itself:

From the Cooper Spur shelter, continue west on the climber's trail, staying at about the same elevation, about 0.1 mile to the edge of the east moraine.

Take the climbers trail down into the Eliot drainage. Continue on the crude trail, following the rock cairns. At some point the rock cairns disappear. Keep going across the drainage, gaining a little elevation.

At some point you get onto the glacier. It's covered by rocks so it's not obvious you're on a glacier. There is some risk doing this - the ground is very unstable and there are sometimes slides from above. Test out the ground before stepping on it and get by this area quickly to limit exposure. Now is not the time to stop for a break.

Getting up onto the ridge on the west side is difficult. It's fairly steep with loose rock. It's easier a little higher up, where the rocks are larger.

When you get up onto the west moraine, there's a trail. It's primitive and a little hard to follow at places. Follow this trail down to the junction with the former Timberline trail, then turn left to reach the trail's current alignment.


Cloud Cap: 5860' East moraine lower junction: 6150' Cooper Spur shelter: 6800' East moraine upper junction: 6870' Climber's trail where it reaches the glacier: 6780' Top of west moraine: 7300' Bottom of west moraine (former Timberline Trail): 6200'

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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