Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

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justpeachy
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Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by justpeachy » August 7th, 2019, 6:56 am

I'm curious about two pieces of Ramona Falls history. The first is the former bridge over the Sandy River, referred to in old hiking books as a "high bridge" built to withstand the shifting channel and flooding of the river. Or not.... as near as I can tell it washed out in the 1996 floods and that's when the Forest Service started doing the little seasonal footbridge (until the 2014 accident). Anyone have any photos of that former bridge?

The second thing is a shelter that was near the falls. The Lowes refer to is a "wooden three-sided shelter." A 1974 article from the Oregonian archives states that the shelter had to be removed because "the area was so beat out". I'm assuming it looked like the one at Elk Meadows. Anyone know exactly where that was, or have photos of it? (There was one nearby at Bald Mountain too, apparently.)

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retired jerry
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by retired jerry » August 7th, 2019, 7:36 am

I've walked across that bridge. No pictures though.

If you go to the junction of Sandy River Trail, Ramona Falls Creekside Trail, and Ramona Falls Riverside trail, you can find a trail that goes off directly to the Sandy river. Obscured by time. I believe that goes to where the bridge was.

And there was a car parking area on the other side. Haphazard with cars parked all over, over tree roots and stuff.

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oldandslow
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by oldandslow » August 7th, 2019, 8:04 pm

In 1967 I took my daughter and my oldest son on their first backpacking outing. We went to Ramona falls. The road went further than it does now and the loop hike was about 1.5 miles one way and about 2 miles the other way. There was a substantial bridge. The shelter was by the falls. It was a three sided shelter like the ones the CCC built all over including at Elk Meadow. There are still some of these shelters around in the forest. The one at Hand Lake off the Mackenzie Pass highway is really in good shape having recently had a good deal of repair.
I don't have pictures because I was too loaded down to take a camera--cameras were somewhat more bulky in those days. My son who was 4 carried the marshmallow and his blankey. His sister who was 6 carried the potato chips and her teddy bear.
It was really nice to have this short hike for young families and too bad that someone felt it necessary to expand the wilderness area into an area that had not been wilderness for many years.

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Chip Down
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by Chip Down » August 9th, 2019, 6:50 pm

retired jerry wrote:
August 7th, 2019, 7:36 am
And there was a car parking area on the other side. Haphazard with cars parked all over, over tree roots and stuff.
Wow, I forgot about that. I still have a map that shows that road. (I continue to use my 1990 Mt Hood map because the golden age of cartography was better than the current era.)

Webfoot
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by Webfoot » August 10th, 2019, 7:01 am

Chip Down wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:50 pm
I continue to use my 1990 Mt Hood map because the golden age of cartography was better than the current era.
Do you prefer the 1990 map to this one? https://www.adventuremaps.net/shop/prod ... de-oregon/

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retired jerry
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by retired jerry » August 10th, 2019, 7:35 am

I prefer that Adventure map. It's waterproof. I bought one, and found another that someone dropped. I wrote on it some more info.

I like my pre eruption Mt St Helens map. ~1970. I just carried my ~1970 Wallowas topo on a trip.

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Chip Down
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by Chip Down » August 10th, 2019, 1:52 pm

Webfoot wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 7:01 am
Chip Down wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:50 pm
I continue to use my 1990 Mt Hood map because the golden age of cartography was better than the current era.
Do you prefer the 1990 map to this one? https://www.adventuremaps.net/shop/prod ... de-oregon/
I don't want to get too far off-topic, so I started a topic in the cartography forum.

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BigBear
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by BigBear » August 19th, 2019, 8:30 am

I don't recall a shelter at Ramona Falls back int he late 80s when I first visited the area. I have stayed int he Sandy River cabin back int he 90s on a rainy night.

As far as the old bridge at the former trailhead, it was too damn ugly to take a picture of. It consisted of a metal grated walkway with railings on each side, mounted on a pair of concrete columns about 10 feet above the river with metal grated steps on each end. It was quite a surprise to not see it the following summer. I suppose its buried somewhere in the rocky river bed.

The old loop was 4.4 miles, so you know quite a bit of the roadway was taken out when the Muddy Fork stretched its arms. The old road was a bit rough before the washout.

I haven't been to Ramona Falls in almost 10 years. My hiking partners are not comfortable with a log crossing. The USFS decision to take out the bridge seems to be in conflict with ADA. Not that I believe all trails need to be 100% accessible, but the conscious decision by the USFS to make the trail unaccessable would seem to be yet another unlawful action by the agency. (Yes, I miss-spelled accessable, but I figure USFS doesn't know the meaning of the word anyway).

squeakytree
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by squeakytree » August 20th, 2019, 9:20 am

The Ramona Falls bridge has been a point of contention for quite some time. The nature of the river flooding there has taken out every bridge ever put in. People complain to the Forest Service every year about the fact that there is no temporary bridge in the summer but then they blamed them for putting it when it got washed away with someone on it. When they moved the wilderness boundary the Forest Service was no longer able to put in a bridge there. It takes a petition to Congress to get an exception to the wilderness rules to build one. Not that it can't be done; many trails on the PCT have been given these exceptions due to the amount of use they see. As for ADA I don't believe that there is any such requirement for a trail within wilderness. None of the other crossings around the mountain have bridges. In any wilderness there are always places and conditions that people can't get to based on their skill, abilities, or comfort level. Unfortunately there is no practical way to accommodate every need.

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BigBear
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Re: Old Ramona Falls shelter and former river bridge?

Post by BigBear » August 22nd, 2019, 2:04 pm

I agree that it would be impossible to reconstruct trails to meet everyone's physical need. To imply that is what I said misses the point. The Ramona Falls crossing existed as either a steel bridge with concrete pillars or as a wooden bridge for decades. Families were able to cross the dangerous Muddy Fork. Then the USFS took it out, which limited the public's access. I never said put a bridge in where it had never been previously.

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