Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
Trek-or
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Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by Trek-or » January 9th, 2021, 10:47 am

What are your thoughts about the Oregonian (outdoor writer Jamie Hale: [email protected]) regularly providing articles about our most popular and already overcrowded trails (Dog, Hamilton, Angels, and now Eagle Ck)? I understand that it provides a job for their outdoor writer, but wish they wouldn't do it. Interesting that it mentions the trailhead filling on a Thursday by 9am (no kidding!). For what it's worth, I expressed my concerns to Jamie (contact info above) as I did several months ago regarding an article about Hamilton. Given the proliferation of paper and online trail guides, I just don't see the necessity and feel it's a real disservice to the local hiking community.
(Re: https://www.oregonlive.com/travel/2021/ ... -fire.html)

Aimless
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by Aimless » January 9th, 2021, 1:51 pm

The crowding on trails is unpleasant for those of us who enjoy a greater amount of solitude. But I can't fault Jamie Hales for reporting trail re-openings, any more than I fault William Sullivan and others for writing trail guidebooks, or other hikers for finding enjoyment in a pastime I find enjoyable. I just deal with it the best I can by developing a set of personal rules-of-thumb for finding less crowded trails and hope for the best. No matter what, a day spent hiking is still better than a day spent inside four walls.

pcg
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by pcg » January 9th, 2021, 2:04 pm

People are gonna go hiking and they are gonna go to the areas that they know about. Seems kind of ironic to complain about what the Oregonian reports when there are multiple trip reports posted here daily. I for one would prefer people go to those more popular sites, but sites like this are bringing them to places most would otherwise not know about.

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Chip Down
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by Chip Down » January 9th, 2021, 7:43 pm

Doesn't bother me. On the few occasions when I go to places like Angels Rest or Dog Mountain, I either start in the dark or take an off-trail route.

As for The Oregonian / OregonLive, it's a disgusting enterprise that is fortunately circling the drain. Their outdoorsy reports are the least of my concerns.

None of the above is intended to ridicule or disparage the OP. It's a valid topic worthy of discussion.

justpeachy
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by justpeachy » January 10th, 2021, 7:32 am

Jamie Hale is not to blame. He's doing his job, and he is far from alone. I see lots of publications and websites going for easy eye candy. That means showing photos of the most beautiful hiking spots, which also happen to be the most popular.

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Charley
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by Charley » January 10th, 2021, 11:36 am

As far as I can tell, until people stop moving here and our population decreases, or people start spending literally *all* their time on their phone and computer, for the most easily accessed and strikingly scenic and photogenic places, we need to get used to larger numbers of hikers on the trails.

The Oregonian's readership isn't really the reason, as guidebooks, apps and websites (hello, oregonhikers!) provide plenty enough publicity about our beautiful public wildlands. As I see it, these outlets need to inform people of less-popular, less-famous options, in order to spread out the crowds. In my experience, this region has so many uncovered gems that there will probably always be less-crowded trails somewhere. If it's really really important to you, organizing your schedule to hike in early morning, late afternoon, weekdays, and during the winter all increase your chance of finding quiet. Maybe the outlets should advocate for that as well- temporal as well as spatial spreading.

Incidentally, I usually ski or hike on weekdays, but this week it was Saturday. What a zoo!!! I've never seen it like this. Every single Sno-Park I passed was full, and the late arrivals were parking on highway shoulders. White River had hundreds and hundreds of people playing in the open snowfield just beside the highway.

BUT...

My partner and I wandered around in the forest trying to follow the Mineral Jane Trail (long story short- it's poorly marked and there are numerous unbridged creek crossings), and after a short ski on that, we turned up the road ascending Barlow Butte. After leaving the crowds at White River, we covered about 7 miles, roundtrip, and saw a grand total of two other humans. A busy, sunny, fresh snow, Covid Saturday.

If solitude is your goal, the mountains around Portland can still satisfy you.

Aimless
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by Aimless » January 10th, 2021, 2:00 pm

Charley wrote:
January 10th, 2021, 11:36 am
...for the most easily accessed and strikingly scenic and photogenic places, we need to get used to larger numbers of hikers on the trails.
...
If solitude is your goal, the mountains around Portland can still satisfy you.
In my experience, the solution for finding (relative) solitude is always to seek out less scenic places that require considerable effort to access. Also, to accept less than ideal weather when you hike. Those less scenic places have a beauty of their own that can't be captured in a photograph, but is deeply, quietly satisfying. As the rookie hikers discover this truth, maybe they will begin to spread themselves out into the vast trail system in the PNW and possibly even reclaim a few underused trails from near oblivion.

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Charley
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by Charley » January 10th, 2021, 8:02 pm

Aimless wrote:
January 10th, 2021, 2:00 pm
In my experience, the solution for finding (relative) solitude is always to seek out less scenic places that require considerable effort to access. Also, to accept less than ideal weather when you hike.
Oh yeah! If you insist on hiking only in the most stunning locations, in peak season, on bluebird Saturdays, you're going to be hiking with hundreds of your best friends.

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jessbee
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by jessbee » January 10th, 2021, 8:20 pm

As others have said, I'm quite happy to have everyone pile on to the most popular trails, that often have the most services and resources to manage, instead of spread rookie hikers into more fragile/less developed areas. That leaves the rest of the open space, well, open to whoever is willing to get off the beaten path. And I challenge the idea that all the good stuff is to be found on the popular trails. I've discovered quite the opposite, in the most surprising of places!

Since the pandemic, I've been challenged to find new areas to explore in order to avoid crowds and I've found it incredibly easy, even within 30 minutes from Bend. That's because most people go to the same 5 places over and over again. I'm glad more people are getting out and I think it's easier for underfunded land managers to deal with concentrated crowds than people spread all over the place.
Will break trail for beer.

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Aimless
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Re: Oregonian broadcasting popular trails

Post by Aimless » January 10th, 2021, 8:54 pm

jessbee wrote:
January 10th, 2021, 8:20 pm
Since the pandemic, I've been challenged to find new areas to explore in order to avoid crowds and I've found it incredibly easy, even within 30 minutes from Bend.
Well, yes, I understand your point. But the Bend-Redmond-Prineville area is considerably less populated than the Portland metropolitan area, where it can take you more than 30 minutes just to get beyond the metro area urban growth boundary, let alone reach public lands open to recreation. :(

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