Crabtree Lake Access?

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goingrouge
Posts: 55
Joined: May 21st, 2012, 8:28 pm

Crabtree Lake Access?

Post by goingrouge » May 9th, 2014, 6:17 pm

Does anyone know if I can reach the big trees at Crabtree Lake right now? William Sullivan's Base Camp brewing presentation piqued our interest, but I read a report of July snowpack thwarting folk, albeit in a much bigger snow year. Seems like this year's pack is but a fraction.
Thanks in advance! Stoking stories encouraged....

cfm
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Joined: June 18th, 2008, 6:49 am

Re: Crabtree Lake Access?

Post by cfm » May 9th, 2014, 8:00 pm

Here is my educated guess: Maybe, but go for it!

The upper TH near Crabtree Moutain from the Yellowstone Access road is at 4000 feet. I was up near Breitenbush last weekend and saw NO SNOW up to 4300 on a FS gravel access road. I think you can get pretty close and then can walk through any remaining snowdrifts. Don't attempt to drive over any snowdrifts out there in the middle of nowhere( I learned this the hard way)

To drive closer in to the lake and the lower access point, you will need to go a bit higher over a north facing pass before dropping down to the Crabtree drainage basin, so my guess is there may still be some drifts there.

I have been there twice and never found King Tut, but I know he still exists! I have a pretty lonely geocache there that has been found about once a year since 2003. I keep meaning to go back, it's a very special place.... thanks for the motivation.
Crabtree.jpg

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goingrouge
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Joined: May 21st, 2012, 8:28 pm

Re: Crabtree Lake Access?

Post by goingrouge » May 12th, 2014, 10:17 pm

There are a lot of big trees around here. This is verified. The romantic glamour that "Old Growth" conveys on paper and picture was met of the reality of this aged mess of nature. If you thought your party crowd had a lot of personalities and diversity, imagine if that crowd ranged from 0 years to 900+ years old, and the chaotic diversity may be at least be honestly discussed.

The evidence of several ice/wind events in the last few decades was beyond obvious. But even more so, the vastness of the boundless mess of shade that must have been.... Ah well, where we type now was once that too.

How people ever traversed this through seems nuts. To be able to have traveled through such wilderness in its prime seems impossible, at best. Some stretches by boat? Sure, maybe, but always eventually and quickly to some portage, or necessary veer. And how to get to the put-in?
If you want some Howland Road, a National Park, CCC vistas and infrastructure, or a paved byway, you will not find it. If you want vistas that result from roads carved for profit and a manifest destiny that never quite made it to its predictable epic collapse, you may find it here. And that is ok. Seeing these plaid hills easily explains the even more catastrophic last 130 years closer to home.

Still, it is humbling and beyond worthy...........
Stay overnight, and be ready for seriously steep and invigorating travel.

The directions are ok. It is definitely the only paved left turn anywhere near 21 miles on Quartzville Road, but it is ".1" from the start, not ".3". But after that, your iPhone may get you there better. There at least 2 extra Y's and a T that are unmentioned. We got up the Upper Trailhead, we assume, since we walked for 45 minute downhill before 180ing back up to the tiny Crabtree Lake. The last hairpin or two, to get to the Lower Trailhead may have had snow, but not enough to stop a car with more clearance than a Forester (Camaros ok)! We wished we'd gone that route, for it gets you close, and affords more time in the bottom. After 2.5 hours of searching though, we were ready for anything (except actually documenting the correct directions).

The funniest part was the carved message at the trail sign just past the cement barricades, from less than a week ago saying, "I almost Died, and I had GPS 5-5-14". Not super comforting....

Go to this place, before it is gone, or get off trail in its vicinity. Plenty of opportunity.

The sunset driving down of the Cascades on Saturday night was beyond Heavenly, with the evil dark rainbows behind, and the golden and melon fog world that was the West.

Waxing.......

Tiredinco
Posts: 4
Joined: May 5th, 2020, 7:33 am

Re: Crabtree Lake Access?

Post by Tiredinco » May 5th, 2020, 7:43 am

In hopes that someone searching will find this...
As of May 4 2020 the road to the lake is blocked by snow and fallen trees about 4.5 miles up from road #11.
And...
...in hopes that someone searching will also find this (add frustration with road closure icon here)
Quartzville Road from Santiam side is blocked by snow and fallen trees at around mile post 33

Snowcat and chainsaw recommended until snow melts.

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