Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
slopvehicle
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Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by slopvehicle » March 7th, 2019, 1:39 pm

Hello! I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good day hikes that start at hard-to-reach trailheads. I bought a pickup truck last year, partly inspired by my desire to hike the less-beaten-path variety of trails.

The first one we tackled was Tumala Mountain from Twin Springs, in July, and getting there was a blast. Next on the list is Silver Star Mountain, as soon as it's not too snowy. Looking for more of the same, anywhere in NW Oregon / SW Washington.

Not trying to do any serious off-roading or rock crawling, just something at the end of a gravel road, far from the crowds.

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teachpdx
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by teachpdx » March 7th, 2019, 1:52 pm

1. Frazier Turnaround - Shining Lake or Serene Lake
2. Breitenbush Lake trailhead - Jeff Park via Park Ridge
3. Burnt Lake South trailhead - East Zigzag Mountain

These hikes are all described in detail in the Field Guide.

And I haven't driven it, but I've heard that the road to Badger Lake is quite the adventure.

slopvehicle
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by slopvehicle » March 7th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Thanks I'll check those out! I was just looking at stuff around Badger Creek Wilderness earlier today.

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BigBear
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by BigBear » March 7th, 2019, 2:19 pm

I would agree that the south TH to Burnt Lake (Devils Canyon) is difficult, but the north trailhead is quite busy, so you may have a quiet hike in, but a noisy destination.

Likewise, Frazier Turnaround is a rough road, but Shellrock Lake is not.

Bird Creek Meadows on Mt. Adams is a road-from-hell but still manages to attract quite a few hikers/climbers.

Badger Creek has quite a few less-traveled trails because its a long drive and not that exciting of a place to visit. It's not ugly, just doesn't warrant the 12-hour day.

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Chip Down
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by Chip Down » March 7th, 2019, 6:17 pm

Mt Adams, Cold Spring TH, 1990's (sorry, had to :D )

There's a TH on broken top, off the cascade lakes highway, with access on a bad road. Looks promising, but I haven't been.

Edit: our member Webfoot is knowledgeable about these things, maybe he'll chime in.

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K.Wagner
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by K.Wagner » March 7th, 2019, 6:23 pm

Do you need to stay on trails or are you willing to go off the trails?
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greenjello85
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by greenjello85 » March 7th, 2019, 7:08 pm

I drove most of the way down to Gumjuwac saddle from high prairie last summer. That's a fun one with some awesome views and good day hike options as long as you don't mind driving on cliffsides. We also looped around the entire badger creek wilderness which doesn't necessarily require 4x4 but there are side roads that get interesting.
~Dan

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Chip Down
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by Chip Down » March 7th, 2019, 8:34 pm

K.Wagner wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 6:23 pm
...are you willing to go off the trails?
You say that like it's a bad thing, as if off-trail hiking is something to be endured. :D

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K.Wagner
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by K.Wagner » March 8th, 2019, 12:05 pm

You know that was not the intention! :lol: Some people are not comfortable getting very far off trail.
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justpeachy
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Re: Trailheads requiring 4x4 / high clearance vehicles?

Post by justpeachy » March 8th, 2019, 4:15 pm

Silver Star's north trailhead is at the end of the WORST road I've ever been on. Rumor has it that the FS is actually going to do something about that this year, but who knows. But because of other trailheads you definitely won't find a lack of people on the trails.

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