New to Oregon Hikes

Introduce yourself to the group! We welcome novice and expert alike! We especially love hearing from those new to Portland and those new to hiking
saintandrew
Posts: 13
Joined: September 18th, 2019, 8:34 pm

New to Oregon Hikes

Post by saintandrew » September 18th, 2019, 9:44 pm

Greetings all!
My name is Andrew and originally from Michigan but my wife is a Floridian therefore my state of residence - I’ve tried to escape, really, I have! I’ve been able to pull the family to some much more enjoyable locales; Hawaii, Arkansas, Utah, and even Michigan, but she usually gets the better of me and we always end up back with the Disney tourists and alligators. 😬
Started hiking as a Boy Scout in Michigan - Sleeping Bear, Mackinac Island, Isle Royal, and Painted Rocks on Lake Superior. As a college student I lived in Japan and hiked Nagano and Fuji whenever I could. Also, I hiked a lot in the Wyoming Rockies during my graduate studies - Mt. Moran and the Tetons, and the Shoshone National Forrest, however, as our first child was born (and on through the sixth!) I’ve always had something more important going on at home to find my way back to a hiking trail. It’s been a few years!
This summer I was fortunate to do some hikes in Georgia with our two youngest who are in scouting and it rekindled my love of a good mountain trail and communing with the beauty of nature. So I spread out a map of North America and crossed off all the areas I have hiked before and read up on those I hadn’t and set my annual hiking goals for the next few years and voila, Oregon is my new mistress.
After some negotiations with my wife and kids I unpacked my gear from storage, bought my plane tickets to Portland and I’ll be hiking The Timberline Trail not many weeks from now. So if you see someone out there who is poorly navigating, shlepping a bunch of unneeded and out of date gear, and winded at every rise, that’ll be me. But this is only my first foray into Oregon Trails - I’ve got my sights on Rogue River and Three Sisters before Fall of 2020 and then The Oregon Coast Trail in 2021.
Looking forward to being a part time Oregonian! 😁

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

Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by retired jerry » September 19th, 2019, 6:42 am

welcome

I was planning to do Three Sisters but it's been so rainy. Usually September is better. There may not be enough good weather left this year, we'll see. Occasionally someone gets into trouble in bad weather so be careful.

Maybe there'll be a few good days in October.

saintandrew
Posts: 13
Joined: September 18th, 2019, 8:34 pm

Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by saintandrew » September 19th, 2019, 7:12 am

Thanks Jerry.
Think I’ve cashed in my ‘week away’ from the family for the next several months on my upcoming journey so maybe I’ll look to do Rogue River in March and Three Sisters next September per your insights and experience.
Thank you and maybe we’ll cross paths along the way. All the best to you!

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by teachpdx » September 19th, 2019, 7:15 am

Welcome, and best of luck on your upcoming adventure!

The Timberline Trail is a classic and you will not be disappointed, even if the incessant October clouds and rain keep the mountain shrouded from view.

Plan for cold, rain, potentially snow. I've woken up to a couple inches of fresh snow at Paradise Park in late September before, so it's definitely a possibility. And definitely do everything you can to keep your gear dry... once it gets wet it won't dry out again! When I'm backpacking in the rain, everything in my pack lives in dry bags or gallon Ziplocs.

Read up on the recent trip reports on this site and really familiarize yourself with the trail... it's 95% straightforward but that last 5% can really get you in trouble (I'm talking stream crossings and unmarked trail junctions, etc.). A guy died on the mountain mid-October last year less than a mile from Timberline Lodge after missing a turn and continuing up the mountain instead, so be very careful!

https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-nort ... lacka.html

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retired jerry
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Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by retired jerry » September 19th, 2019, 8:13 am

Rogue River is great in March. Not too many people.

leiavoia
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Joined: April 24th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by leiavoia » September 19th, 2019, 4:38 pm

welcome aboard. Three Sisters in September and Rogue River in March (or April) work fine.

Timberline Trail in October will be iffy however. That's a transition period on the mountain and you are likely to hit some amount of snow. Every year it comes down at a different time, but October is bound to get at least a few inches. If you're not entirely prepared to trudge through snow for several days, then I would not take young children on that.

saintandrew
Posts: 13
Joined: September 18th, 2019, 8:34 pm

Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by saintandrew » September 19th, 2019, 4:42 pm

Thank you for the insights teachpdx. Truly appreciate it. I have a pretty good topo map and my orienteering compass I’ll bring along to try and navigate through any missteps. My family would frown on me dying so, that’s not an option! 😉
As far as rain goes, My pack rain cover is a good one and ziplock freezer bags are on my shopping list. Snow would make me very happy - growing up in the Great Lakes I’m used to it but this Florida weather is devoid of flurries (my wife says they are against her religion) so waking up to a good blanket of snow would be a great day for me! My sleeping bag is rated for -10* so I’m prepared in any event.
Another question, if I’m not imposing, from the trail head at Timberline Lodge, does starting out clockwise toward Paradise Park Loop make the 5% any less confusing than going counter clockwise toward white river? Any difference in river crossings?
I don’t want to be that guy out on the trail going against the grain if you know what I mean. 😜
I’ll be starting out on a Wednesday taking it slow to complete the loop on Sunday morning.
Thanks again for your advice!
Andrew

saintandrew
Posts: 13
Joined: September 18th, 2019, 8:34 pm

Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by saintandrew » September 19th, 2019, 5:06 pm

Greetings leiavoia!
Thanks for the insights. I am all by my lonesome on this hike - no children coming along and, hopefully, my former experience in the Tetons will come in handy with regards to hiking at elevation in the fall. I’m in Portland the first week in October so just a tick past the vernal equinox. Hopefully not harshly inclement while I’m there but I am prepared for rain and some snow (did I mention I love snow?)
Really appreciate the insights and guidance!
Cheers and best regards,
Andrew

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retired jerry
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Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by retired jerry » September 20th, 2019, 5:51 am

The problem with snow on the Timberline Trail around Mount Hood is it can obscure the trail so you won't know where it goes and you'll get lost. Or the trail is on a steep slope and when everything's covered with snow it becomes difficult to walk on it.

Occasionally it rains a lot. Especially in September when the weather gets worse and people are trying to get a last trip before winter. Someone will get washed away in a stream and die.

saintandrew
Posts: 13
Joined: September 18th, 2019, 8:34 pm

Re: New to Oregon Hikes

Post by saintandrew » September 21st, 2019, 12:27 pm

Thanks for the words of caution retiredjerry. I am in no rush as I’ve got a week to work with. If there is snow obscuring my ability to navigate, I’ll hunker down and wait for a better view. Additionally, as I’m watching the advanced forecasts for the area, only two of the five days I’ve allotted indicate precipitation and only at less than 50% probability. Are there river crossings of significant depth? I’ve reviewed the fatalities on hood for the past 10 years - only 4 hikers of the 22 I noted and those were 1 exposure and 3 falls (the falls and exposure being in the mountaineering trails up the mountain not technically on 600). Is there some out of the spotlight info I’m missing? Just want to be clear since the last thing a hiker should take with them into the back country is doubt.
Thank you for the input.
Andrew

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