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steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 6:06 pm
by Chip Down
Something I posted elsewhere on this board:
"I haven't found anything with a steeper grade than Starvation Ridge trail, based on documented miles/elevation between junctions or other notable points (i.e. no cherry-picking a short steep segment). I've been meaning to start a topic to discuss that, but you know how it is [maybe somebody should...I guess I keep thinking I want to do more research, but maybe it's better to just throw the topic out there for discussion]."

A subsequent reply:
"That'd be a fun thread."

Okay, well, I guess somebody has to get this ball rolling. :roll:

nomination: Starvation Ridge
start: Starvation Creek State Park, 120'
end: junction with Mitchel Point Trail, 3250'
elevation gain: 3130'
distance: 2.75 miles
elevation gain per mile: 1138'
source: USDA/USFS page for Starvation Ridge

[I know somebody can beat that. Heck, I could beat that, just by breaking down that trail into segments between junctions and looking for the steepest segment.]

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 6:17 pm
by retired jerry
The late great Casey Creek trail - 2800 feet in 2.3 miles - 1220 feet per mile, about the same

I wonder if they will ever re-open this. It was never very well maintained or heavily used, worse after the fire.

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 6:21 pm
by retired jerry
McNeil Point use trail is 640 feet in 0.3 mile - 2100 feet per mile, but maybe that's cheating to look at such a short trail :)

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 6:27 pm
by Chip Down
I think short trails are fine. Yeah, it's sort of cheating, but any length restriction would be arbitrary, right? We could say it has to be one mile minimum, but of course a mile is arbitrary too (as is any UOM, like a kilometer).
Is that a sanctioned trail though? I mean, pretty soon we'll be looking at switchback shortcuts. ;)

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 6:53 pm
by neilsonw
Munra isn't/wasn't official either, but according to Caltopo it's ~1775' in 0.85 miles (2088'/mi). Comparable to the McNeil Pt one, I guess. :) Couple other stretches off the top of my head:

* St. Helens rim via Monitor Ridge, from Loowit jxn: 1789'/mi (3577' in 2 miles)
* Elk Mountain: 1717'/mi (1975' in 1.15 miles) ... felt steeper than that to me

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 8:00 pm
by Webfoot
I've never been there but the cabled section of Half Dome should be included I think. Sorry if this is "cherry-picking" but it seems long enough to me.


Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 8:39 pm
by Guy
I don't remember the stats but Rudolph Spur was a pretty short & direct way up to the Benson Plateau! ... _Loop_Hike

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 8:40 pm
by pcg
From trailhead to summit of Elk Mountain climbs 1180' per mile for 1.6 miles.

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 6th, 2018, 8:52 pm
by CampinCarl
Here's a good one:

Nasty Rock trail in Willamette National Forest ... _Rock_Hike


2500' in 1.6 miles

Hike it and you'll likely have this stair-stepper to yourself!

Re: steep trails

Posted: July 7th, 2018, 12:54 pm
by olderthanIusedtobe
My gold standard for steep "official" trails is Colchuck Lake to Aasgard Pass in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, one of the entry points to the fabled Enchantments. About 2200' in approx. 1 mile.