Green Lakes Trail EAST of Fall Creek

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Jim Wagner
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Joined: December 2nd, 2013, 7:52 pm

Green Lakes Trail EAST of Fall Creek

Post by Jim Wagner » August 13th, 2019, 7:43 pm

Greetings Hikers -

Just back from a trip to Green Lakes just east of South Sister. My companion and I were looking for an alternate route for the return. Her Apple GPS map and my MyTopo.com map both showed a trail that roughly parallels Fall Creek on the EAST side of the creek.

BEWARE: that trail was abandoned some time ago!

Many maps do not show it, and the Deschutes N.F. trail list does not list it, even though they do still list Jefferson Lake trail and a few others that do appear to be currently abandoned.

Our first clue, which we did not recognize at the time, was that there was no marked trail junction at Green Lake. There were so many little trails running around that we did not catch that little detail. We ended up starting up the Broken Top Trail, instead. But a GPS check about 15 minutes into our return showed that we were way too far east, so we descended, cross county, and easily picked up the trail. The top mile or so was pretty straight forward. Not many footprints on the trail, but there were a few, so we charged on.

The middle section started to become quite indistinct and we lost the trail a couple of times, ending up on some other, unknown trail, possibly the precursor to the one we were trying to use.

Then, the trail became more and more littered with logs. We had to frequently make detours around these log jams and lost the trail many times more. As we descended, the log situation got worse and worse and worse. Probably beetle kill as there was no evidence of fire.

The bottom end of the trail joins the Soda Creek Trail, and we were completely flying blind the last half mile or so, never again to pick up the trail we were trying to follow. We just ran into Soda Creek Trail, and sailed back to the trail head.

So, beware that trail, still marked on some maps. It used an incredible amount of energy in the lower 1/3. The only saving grace was a great view of Diamond Peak, off in the far distance, which we got no-where else.

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Green Lakes Trail EAST of Fall Creek

Post by retired jerry » August 14th, 2019, 5:20 am

That trail would ease some of the load on the main Green Lakes Trail.

I'll ask the Forest Service if they wouldn't open that back up :)

Jim Wagner
Posts: 35
Joined: December 2nd, 2013, 7:52 pm

Re: Green Lakes Trail EAST of Fall Creek

Post by Jim Wagner » August 14th, 2019, 3:55 pm

Hi Jerry -

We did notice that a few folks are taking the Soda Creek Trail up to the Broken Top Trail, then into Green Lakes. That adds a fair bit of distance and a bit of additional elevation gain (about 150'). But it almost shares the same trailhead.

If I were resurrecting that trail, I would relocate the last 1/4 mile. It charges straight up a steep slope to the Soda Creek Trail. Instead, that can be converted to a much lower angle traverse because, heading south to the parking lot, the Soda Creek Trail descends quite rapidly. That last mile of the old trail would be a major pain, because of the down trees, but I think that it could be done. But, once it reaches about 6000', it opens up into a really pretty series of meadows. That is where you can see Bachelor, right in front of you and Diamond Peak way to the south. In the early summer, I'll bet that those meadows are filled with wild flowers. Though in open sun most of the way and no beautiful stream, that upper part is really nice.

Jim

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retired jerry
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Re: Green Lakes Trail EAST of Fall Creek

Post by retired jerry » August 14th, 2019, 4:48 pm

too bad we can't talk sense to the Forest Service

gkallio
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Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 10:10 pm

Re: Green Lakes Trail EAST of Fall Creek

Post by gkallio » October 30th, 2019, 10:40 pm

Jefferson Lake Trail is not abandoned!

Aimless
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Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Green Lakes Trail EAST of Fall Creek

Post by Aimless » October 31st, 2019, 10:07 am

As I reported in late June of this year, the Jefferson Lake trail** is in the process of being rehabilitated and reopened by a dedicated group of volunteers - although it is not yet reclaimed to its full length, on up to the junction with Cabot Lake trail. I applaud their efforts and I am confident they'll eventually clear the entire trail and bring it back into full use. :D

It is equally true that the Deschutes Forest did an assessment of trails in their jurisdiction several years ago and officially announced they were abandoning the Jefferson Lake trail above Cougar Springs. I'm not sure that the Forest Service has ever officially changed that status, in spite of giving a green light to the volunteer group to work on the 'abandoned' part of the trail.

**Note: The Jefferson Lake trail is in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness, not in the Three Sisters wilderness, and is nowhere near the Green Lakes trail.

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