Gate Creek mystery

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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lordgares
Posts: 31
Joined: February 1st, 2021, 8:14 am
Location: The Dalles

Gate Creek mystery

Post by lordgares » July 11th, 2021, 4:14 pm

I like to do a lot of off the beaten path exploration but I don't often post about it. Some of the things I have found I don't really want to advertise and others... well technically I shouldn't be there. This instance doesn't really fall into either category and I am a little curious if anyone can shed some light on what exactly I found.

A few months ago when driving on 4820 just past the Rock Creek day use area I decided to stop where the road crosses Gate Creek and scramble down the embankment to the creek. Probably because I knew the creek was there (there is a sign) but you can't see it from the road. Once I got down there I ran into something I wasn't expecting:
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It looks vaguely bridge-like. This was in May, it was damp, rainy, and really overgrown so I didn't poke around too much. I went searching online to try and find anything about what that was and not surprisingly, information online is somewhat limited. What I was able to find, courtesy of a 1930s era topo map was that there was a trail or something that ran more or less North-South in that general area.
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Today I decided to look around there a little more. It was far hotter and the weather was clear, which came with pros and cons. There was less green overgrowth to deal with, but there was still a LOT of brush I was pushing through, and there was a fairly constant swarm of bugs.

I was following what I assumed was a game trail going upstream but I kept encountering things that made me wonder if there wasn't an actual trail along there. Note the old cut out from the log across the "trail".
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Other than the incredibly spotty path that came and went, evidence of cutting, and the "bridge" at the start I didn't see too much evidence of human activity along there in a long time. I ran into some fairly monstrous old stumps (poles for scale), some straggler wildflowers, a good sized pinedrop, baneberries, and swarms of bugs... oh and lots of cobwebs.
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I went about a mile upstream, found a well placed log, crossed over to the other side of the creek and made my way back to the car. The North side of Gate Creek is far more exposed, steep, and far more overgrown. I did manage to take some more pictures of the "bridge" from the other side.
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This is where I hiked down from the road, just past the Gate Creek sign. Anyone have any information on trails in that area from years past or what exactly I was looking at across the creek?
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bobcat
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Location: SW Portland

Re: Gate Creek mystery

Post by bobcat » July 13th, 2021, 6:32 am

It's a debris trap. Just below it should be the diversion ditch that leads to Rock Creek Reservoir.
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lordgares
Posts: 31
Joined: February 1st, 2021, 8:14 am
Location: The Dalles

Re: Gate Creek mystery

Post by lordgares » July 13th, 2021, 6:46 am

It is, funny how I tend to miss the most obvious answer. :lol: In any case it was an interesting place to go wandering around. I tend to look at a lot of those little creeks around that area that run mostly year round and take it upon myself to see where they come from.

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