Timberline Trail June 28-29

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dw42
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Joined: May 29th, 2019, 11:24 am

Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by dw42 » May 30th, 2019, 9:58 am

Good afternoon,

I am from South Carolina, I am in my 20s and try to go on extended backpacking trips every year. I have section hiked over half the Appalachian trail and 100 miles in Yosemite. I look forward to hiking in Oregon when I come for work. Thanks for a great site with good information and community for planning trips.

I am trying to backpack the Timberline Trail around Mt Hood on June 28-29 (about 20 mi/day). If anyone is interested in hiking portions or the whole trail then let me know.

Thanks,
Daniel

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BigBear
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by BigBear » May 30th, 2019, 11:57 am

I'd recommend you make that trip a month later. There is a lot of snow on the forested areas around Paradise Park and the higher sections of the trail.

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teachpdx
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by teachpdx » May 30th, 2019, 2:10 pm

By late June you'll be marginal... there will still be some snow and some afternoon stream crossings will be relatively difficult. At that mileage you really can't plan to avoid at least one or two afternoon crossings. I routinely do 20+ mile days backpacking, but 20 miles on the Timberline trail is challenging in perfect conditions, let alone over snowy stretches.

The Loowit around Mt. St. Helens is a little shorter and will be snow-free by then... I've easily done the loop in two days, and it has more unique scenery. It's possibly another option if Timberline is still snowy.

dw42
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by dw42 » May 31st, 2019, 8:27 am

Thanks for the feedback. I will keep my eye on conditions. I will also keep Loowit and some other lower elevation trails as backups. My flight doesn't leave until Sunday June 30 so I may save one of the river crossings for that morning.

leiavoia
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by leiavoia » June 1st, 2019, 3:48 pm

I strongly doubt the Timberline Trail will be hikeable by late June. In years past, I've been foiled by 4 feet of snow right at the trailhead in mid-July.

+1 on Loowit as an alternative.

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drm
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by drm » June 4th, 2019, 8:08 am

This year does not appear to be a normal one at this point. The Mt Hood snotel (lower than many parts of the trail) appears like it will melt out next week, almost a month early. And the snow basin maps indicate that the Mt Hood area now has 9% (!) of normal snowpack. That's not a typo - 9%. But I second the concern that stream crossings can be very difficult. Even with this early melt-out, there is a lot of snow way up high on the mountain, and those creeks can be raging. And your schedule won't provide time to wait for lower flows. Your best shot would probably be cool and dry weather, as heat melts that snow quickly.

Note that the Loowit can have the opposite problem if snow melts early - long dry sections of trail between water sources.

Just keep monitoring conditions here and be prepared to change your destination if conditions require.

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adamschneider
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by adamschneider » June 4th, 2019, 9:40 am

drm wrote:
June 4th, 2019, 8:08 am
And the snow basin maps indicate that the Mt Hood area now has 9% (!) of normal snowpack.
Crazy... just a couple months ago it was right around normal. I guess that May heatwave really made a difference in the lower elevations of the basin.

Washington is low too... it may be time to head north soon!

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retired jerry
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by retired jerry » June 4th, 2019, 11:22 am

most years Trinity Alps melts out sooner, this year may be the opposite

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Chip Down
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Re: Timberline Trail June 28-29

Post by Chip Down » June 4th, 2019, 7:49 pm

teachpdx wrote:
May 30th, 2019, 2:10 pm
The Loowit around Mt. St. Helens is a little shorter and will be snow-free by then... I've easily done the loop in two days, and it has more unique scenery. It's possibly another option if Timberline is still snowy.
I endorse this suggestion. Mt Hood is a treasure, but is it unique, unlike anything else you'll ever see? No.

St Helens has a lot going for it: less crowding, a little shorter, unmatched scenery that will stay with you forever (although there are a few boring stretches).

It does have some challenges though: the trail can be hard to follow through the rubble zones, and some of the the gully crossings can be a little tricky.

If you have a little time left over, you can take a day trip up hood. A strategic visit to one of the three high trailheads* can yield some great scenery on a short hike.

* two are plowed, the third might still be gated but will probably be open

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