Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

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Rustygoat
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Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by Rustygoat » February 24th, 2014, 3:39 pm

The past few weeks with snowpocalypse , work, school and everything else life throws at us hiking has been a little on the scarce side. Melinda and I have only gone out twice over the past two weeks...better than nothing, but we were craving a good adventure. I had a great idea from an old TR I had read about Benson Falls up near High Bridge on the Eagle Creek Trail. TR here...http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org ... php?t=3735. I looked the area over last time I was up that way so I had a pretty good idea what Zach was talking about in his TR.

Melinda and I slept in and didn't make it to Eagle Creek until 9am....what a couple of slackers. :lol: It was nice to see no fresh broken glass at the trail head for a change. The crowds were here in force though and a group of about 20 was heading up as we parked. Our last trip to Eagle Creek we saw no cars when we arrived and when we left. We headed out shortly after our arrival... Eagle Creek was raging!
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Melinda had taken her camera in for repairs so with only her phone to take pictures we were making great time. :lol: No ice today...only a couple of small piles of snow on the way to the bridge. Sorenson Creek was pretty swollen and was causing fair-weather hikers some problems. Oh, and even though there are signs at the trail-head there were dogs off leash. I feel sorry for dogs who have uncaring owners....especially the unleashed dog that was cursing along the cliff just before High Bridge. :evil:

We passed Loowit Falls along our way...not knowing that we be checking it out later.
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Finally, High Bridge and the talus field we were looking for.
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In Zach's report he made mention of a path but I didn't see it until we were coming back down. We skirted the base of the field and made our way up a gulley towards the cliffs. In my picture there is a log in the upper right section of the field....if you make your way up to it you will see the worn boot path. (maybe) ;)


Once at the cliff we followed a boot/game path along the base south and continued to follow it around into the canyon. Within no time the falls were in sight. Benson Falls
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It was pretty hard to get the entire waterfall without a bunch of brush blocking the view. The upper tiers are set back a bit.
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The lowest/largest tier was quite impressive from the base. Benson Falls.
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This was a great little adventure and glad we came when it was flowing good. With so much day left we were contemplating what else to go see. As Loowit Falls came into view, I noticed a boot path on the other side of the gorge leading down to the creek level. It looked like an interesting place to check out so down we went. A different view of Loowit Falls.
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I never thought about being able to go to the base of this falls so this was a neat little side trip. As we climbed back up Melinda and I stopped at a campsite for lunch, I didn't even know that was there. Pretty neat seeing new stuff off of the same trail that we have both hiked many times before. As we ate, I noticed a boot path heading towards the top of Loowit Falls. After lunch we headed out along the path, it was pretty easy to follow but there was some large blow-down we had to climb over. Within no time we were looking out over the top of Loowit Falls at the Eagle Creek Trail across the way. The path ended at the top of the falls...but I remembered seeing an upper fall on GE. No path up the creek so a bushwhacking Melinda and I went. I could have sworn that I saw an old trail on the north side of the creek the way the hillside looked. Probably my eyes playing tricks on me...wishful thinking. :) Anyway...we made our way up the south side of the creek passing under this basalt with the falls on the other side.
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Melinda....at the base, dwarfed by the giant Upper Loowit Falls.
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Upper Loowit Falls. What an awesome unexpected waterfall adventure! :mrgreen:
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I'm glad the day went the way it did, the side trip to Loowit was really cool. 8-) That was just the kind of adventure we both needed. :)
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Tim

Chasing waterfalls can be addictive.
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Sore Feet
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by Sore Feet » February 24th, 2014, 7:29 pm

Man, are you guys going to leave anything for me to bag first?

On second thought, keep doing the dirty work and providing that sweet, sweet beta. :D

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BrianEdwards
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by BrianEdwards » February 24th, 2014, 10:09 pm

Upper Loowit? I'm out of words at this point :D :lol:

It's been very fun watching u guys trip reports the last couple years. Definitely one of your biggest fans!
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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mattisnotfrench
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by mattisnotfrench » February 25th, 2014, 12:07 am

We really need an applause smiley here. You guys are the best! This is awesome - Upper Loowit looks amazing!

Was the user trail from the campsite not far after High Bridge? If so, I know what I'm doing sometime during Spring Break...
Author of Off the Beaten Trail, 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region and PDX Hiking 365. Website: www.offthebeatentrailpdx.com

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Splintercat
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by Splintercat » February 25th, 2014, 12:45 pm

Nice, Tim & Melinda! Not sure if I'll ever make it to Upper Loowit, but Benson has been on my list for awhile -- your "log" tip helps!

Tom :)

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by Eric Peterson » February 25th, 2014, 2:17 pm

Did you guys happen to GPS track that? Would love a copy if you did!

Nice job and great pictures! :)

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Bosterson
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by Bosterson » February 25th, 2014, 4:56 pm

Cool exploration. Eric and I discussed checking out the cliffs up above High Bridge a few years ago but never got around to it...
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Rustygoat
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by Rustygoat » February 26th, 2014, 12:30 pm

@ Bryan...getting dirty is part of the fun. :)

@Brian...that's pretty funny how someone I'm a fan of is a fan of mine. :lol: I think we need together and knock out Lamberson Falls this summer. ;)

@Matt...thanks Matt, there is a part of the creek that gets cliffed out and you have to scramble up a steep slope. I had to cross the creek at one point also....good luck. :)

@Tom...Benson Falls is literally right around the corner. Nothing too scary if you stay close to the base of that cliff. Good luck...oh and beware...there is poison oak up there. :evil: I was wearing gloves but got a small patch on my wrist when I was taking off my boots at home.Caught it before it got too bad.

@Eric and Bosterson....sorry, no GPS track. I still use one of those paper folding things called a map. :lol: Next to Benson Falls, I remember looking above and I'm pretty sure you can get up above and venture back towards the cliffs. I did notice some really neat rock formations up on top of the cliff on our return. Good luck :)
Tim

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chameleon
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by chameleon » February 26th, 2014, 4:21 pm

Wow! Upper loowit! Gorgeous! Great report guys!

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Splintercat
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Re: Benson and Upper Loowit Falls 2/22/14

Post by Splintercat » February 26th, 2014, 5:21 pm

I still use one of those paper folding things called a map.
So, how do you charge the batteries in those things, anyway..? And where's the USB port for firmware updates..?

;)

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