Larch Mountain Crater Loop

Use this forum to report and discuss trails in need of maintenance. This will help organizations like TKO and agencies like the Forest Service get the most recent on-the-ground trail conditions.
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squidvicious
Posts: 320
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Larch Mountain Crater Loop

Post by squidvicious » September 27th, 2020, 10:47 am

There is a significant blockage at the junction of Larch Mtn Trail and Multnomah Creek Way, blocking the turn onto Multnomah Creek Way. You'd be hard pressed to even notice there's a junction there if it weren't for the signs. As usual I forgot to take pictures. But it's a big tree, possibly tangled with a smaller tree or two, or maybe just a lot of branches on it, enough that the overall effect is a solid wall of debris.

The rest of the loop isn't bad. There is a decent amount of blowdown from the trailhead to the Multnomah Spur trail junction (nothing past that point), some of it more awkward to get over or around than others, but nothing presenting a serious obstacle except that one spot.

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rubiks
Posts: 15
Joined: February 12th, 2020, 7:49 pm
Location: Hillsboro

Re: Larch Mountain Crater Loop

Post by rubiks » September 29th, 2020, 8:02 pm

Aforementioned tree:
DSC06867.JPG

Even the trail sign is tough to spot... on the upright tree on the left.

I hiked from Wahkeena up to Sherrard Point on Monday. It's a real maze to get up there these days, between trail closures due to Covid-19 and trail closures left over from the Eagle Creek fire. It was such a nice day though that I tacked on the crater loop for a little extra mileage. This junction was the single worst blowdown I encountered the entire day, and there were only two or three other comparable spots. Most of the bad stuff had the most troublesome branches cut away so you only had to negotiate the trunks. What was more surprising was the amount of undergrowth encroaching onto the trail, I imagine due to the many fewer boots these trails have seen this summer due to closures.

On the other hand I hadn't hiked this trail in late fall before, so maybe its just a seasonal brushiness.
You know exactly what to do.
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Keep walking.

squidvicious
Posts: 320
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Larch Mountain Crater Loop

Post by squidvicious » September 29th, 2020, 8:36 pm

I was back there today and it seems the trunk has snapped, leaving what looks like it would be a fairly easy gap to walk through now (I didn't actually go that way today). The blind tangle of branches I stepped through the other day were broken and trampled down leaving a path, -ish.

The problem is the gap is at the far left of the blockage, and the trail goes from the far right--and is hard to spot from there, with the debris. So there is a use path developing going the wrong way. I started down that the other day before I realized. Once I backtracked and looked where I knew the trail ought to be it was easy to spot and cut it over to. So just a little bit of flagging to direct people back to the proper trail once they're past the blockage would probably be all it needs to make things serviceable now.

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