Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

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Jim Wagner
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Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by Jim Wagner » March 26th, 2019, 9:18 am

Greetings Hikers -

Sorry, I don't know a better name for this place and Table Park is the name I have used for it, over the years. It is just east of Cathedral Ridge, south of Mt. Jefferson and just south of Hole In The Wall Park. Two prominent features are The Table and Table Lake.

Back in the 1960's, I used an old Indian trail that dropped down into the park from the saddle at the south end of Cathedral Ridge and the top of Hunts Cove. It was clearly little used then, but was quite clear as it descended the slope below Cathedral Ridge. That trail was shown on the 15 or 30 minute USGS topo map published in the 1950s or so.

My question is whether anyone has used that trail in recent times?

Heading south on the PCT, about 1/3 mile past the junction with the 3440 Hunts Creek Trail, there is a relatively flat saddle with a band of trees at the north edge of the saddle. Going through the trees, you should be able to see the trail crossing the rocky slope below, and you should be able to find a way to the upper end of that trail where it reaches the saddle.

Also visited the area once by coming up the trail from the east. I guess this is the Jefferson Lake Trail. That was not the most enjoyable trail and parts may have been pretty badly burned in the B&B Complex fire. Is it still passable? The north end of the Summit Trail, which goes through Table Park, and ends in Hole In The Wall Park, is marked by USFS as unmaintained. Can it still be followed into Hole In The Wall Park?

I'd really like to go back as Table Park is likely to be rather little visited these days, and it was a real gem.

Thanks - Jim

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adamschneider
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by adamschneider » March 26th, 2019, 10:11 am

The attached image is a (relatively current) USGS topo map overlaid on Google aerial photos. There's definitely a trail traversing northward down that slope. No telling how visible it is in the tree-covered areas though.
Table Park.jpg

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by Don Nelsen » March 26th, 2019, 5:47 pm

I've not been in that area in years but here is a GPS track from July 20th, 2005 that shows the track of that trail SE of Cathedral Ridge. I did some exploring as you can see from this track, once down on the relatively flat area and then went up the valley between Cathedral Ridge and the Table. I've drawn in another trail that I hiked before GPS that goes to Table Lake in dashed yellow.

Image

Here's a pic I took once I got to the top of Goat Peak looking down on The Table:

Image

I love this area and look forward to getting back there again and hope the fires haven't ruined it.

dn
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justpeachy
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by justpeachy » March 26th, 2019, 7:23 pm

Jim Wagner wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 9:18 am
Also visited the area once by coming up the trail from the east. I guess this is the Jefferson Lake Trail. That was not the most enjoyable trail and parts may have been pretty badly burned in the B&B Complex fire. Is it still passable? The north end of the Summit Trail, which goes through Table Park, and ends in Hole In The Wall Park, is marked by USFS as unmaintained. Can it still be followed into Hole In The Wall Park?
Most of the Jefferson Lake was abandoned after the B&B Fires. Apparently the first mile or two is still doable, but beyond that it's been overtaken by snowbrush. (There is a 2012 report here.) I hiked to Table Lake last year via the Cabot Lake Trail and met a family there who successfully hiked in via the Jefferson Lake Trail, but they said it was VERY brushy and their pace was quite slow. They got pretty scratched up.

The trail from Table Lake to the viewpoint above Hole in the Wall Park is still there and hikeable. The Forest Service, for some unknown reason, has put up an "End of Trail" sign at Table Lake, and they put a bunch of rocks and branches on the first quarter mile of the trail, but after that you can still follow it. Great view up there. I imagine the trail beyond that point into Hole in the Wall Park is littered with fallen trees, as that area did burn in 2003.

Image

Image

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Water
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by Water » March 27th, 2019, 9:46 am

Hard to believe the forest service decommissions trails in an area they say has too much use and too much concentrated use. "Hey man, we got rid of the trails and now people aren't spreading out, we tried nothing and we're all out of ideas!" Who ever knew this stuff could be so complicated...
Feel Free to Feel Free

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retired jerry
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by retired jerry » March 27th, 2019, 11:40 am

wilderness is getting too crowded, we're going to restrict the number of people allowed to use them

if they closed all trails and all federal land then there would be no crowding

something wrong with their thinking

Jim Wagner
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by Jim Wagner » March 27th, 2019, 4:59 pm

When I was there in the mid-1960s, I basically followed the route from the saddle down into the park shown on Don's map. We camped by a little pond right at the bottom of the trail.

On the second day, we went around the east side of The Table and got to the top near the north end, where there is a saddle of sorts and it is not so far to the top. Wandered around the top for a fair while, then continued back to the camp down the gulley between Cathedral Rocks and The Table.

At that time, there was a fairly distinct trail down the rock slide. Then, there were a few rocks in the "tread" of the trail; it looks like they just rolled down from the hillside, above.

I had been told, some 10-odd years earlier, while camping in Hunts Cove on a Boy Scout "Marmot Hike" from Breitenbush Lake to Three Sisters, that the trail we could see in the upper part of Hunts Cove was an old Indian trail so I am guessing that there may, at one time, been a complete trail from what is now the Warm Springs Reservation area down to the North Fork of the Santiam by way of Table Park and Hunts Cove.

If I can find my original map to make a copy, I will post a scan of that part of the map. If I can't find mine, I am pretty sure that the OSU Library Map Room has a copy.

Jim

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kelkev
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by kelkev » March 27th, 2019, 6:14 pm

Matt Reeder (mattisnotfrench) has explored this area recently and that trail is still there, and fairly easy to follow as he details in his excellent book "100 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region". I hope to make it up there this summer, I'm not getting any younger and if I don't make it happen soon.....well, you know how that goes, ha!
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Jim Wagner
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by Jim Wagner » March 28th, 2019, 1:44 pm

Just to add a little history about the area.

As mentioned previously, I first visited this area as part of a big Boy Scout backpack trip. This was about 1956.

At that time, the PCT followed what was then called "The Oregon Skyline Trail". The trail dropped down from Jefferson Park to Pamelia Lake (where the PCT goes now, except for the last 3/4 mile of this section). We camped at Pamelia Lake after a camp in Jefferson Park. Then up the (now) Hunts Creek Trail to Hunts Cove where we camped at Hanks Lake. The trail then climbed up to Lizard Ridge, across to Bingham Ridge, down to Lake of the Woods, then to Marion Lake where we camped again. From Marion, we headed south through the Eight Lakes Basin and camped at Santiam Lake. We crossed Hwy 20 (Santiam Pass) at the old "church lodge", then walked down to Hoodoo Ski Area where we got new food supplies. Off the PCT, we went around the west side of Big Lake and camped near the SE corner of the lake, picking up the PCT (which was a short ways away) to head south to McKenzie Pass across the Lava Beds (our really long day with full packs).

So, this was somewhat before the relocation of the PCT. That year, what is now the upper end of the Hunts Creek Trail (on the ridge above Hunts Cove) had just been laid out the summer before and was due to be built later that summer. One of the leaders, a college student, got permission to hike up through Hunts Cove and down the new trail route, meeting us at the top of Lizard Ridge.

There was NO trail to Shale Lakes, nor across Cathedral Ridge, nor south to Rockpile Lake and Three Fingered Jack. It took more than 10 years for that relocation of the PCT to be completed. I do remember climbing Jack in about 1964, hiking in on the old PCT/Oregon Skyline Trail to S. Maxwell Butte trail shelter, then doing cross country amidst an intense swarm of mosquitos (4th of July) and seeing NO evidence of the new trail, then. The Shale Lakes section was the last to be completed because, for several years, the PCT followed its old route by Pamelia Lake to Lizard Ridge, then up that new trail to the saddle above Hunts Cove, before heading south along the Cascade Crest.

Back to Hunts Cove, the fact that there was a very obvious trail, then, through the upper part of the cove, suggests pretty strongly that it had to go somewhere. In all probability, that somewhere was to drop down into Table Park as there is no map evidence of other trails out of that saddle. That had to have been the afore-mentioned "Indian trail".

As soon as I can find it, I WILL post a scan or picture of the old map of that area.

Jim

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adamschneider
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Re: Old Trail to Table Park (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)?

Post by adamschneider » March 28th, 2019, 10:00 pm

Jim Wagner wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 1:44 pm
As soon as I can find it, I WILL post a scan or picture of the old map of that area.
Is this the old map you're talking about? (New map on the right for comparison)
OR_Mt Jefferson_463298_1927_125000.jpg

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