Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

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drm
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Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by drm » April 7th, 2021, 7:13 am

Now that areas like Catherine Creek and Syncline are nearing the flower peak, I just want to mention that the parking problems that became apparent at Dog Mountain in recent years (it won't peak for another month), are true at the East Gorge locations too. No, they are not as bad as Dog Mountain, but no parking spaces means no parking spaces. The long lot at Catherine Creek was full yesterday at lunch, that's a weekday. The long-range forecast says we will have an extended heat wave next week. The flowers should be great, but accessing them may be a challenge. Especially if you are driving in from a long ways away, please research alternative trailheads and aim for low use hours as much as you can.

And I think the crowding issues equally apply on the Oregon side at places like Rowena Plateau. Everything is packed.

And make sure you can identify poison oak. The leaves are still too small to use the 3-part rule. They are coming in as reddish/brown tufts of leaves, not green. The stuff is really really widespread out there.

bushwhacker
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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by bushwhacker » April 8th, 2021, 5:40 am

Points well taken. A couple of other observations:

1) Bring your tick spray (Permethrin seems to work best). It's that time of year.
2) If I am not mistaken April 5 - 9 is Washington State spring break so that may account for the additional folks at some of the trail heads (Oregon spring break has already come and gone).

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retired jerry
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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by retired jerry » April 8th, 2021, 7:43 am

"bring your tick spray"

just to be clear, you want to apply permethrin at home and let it dry, like over night

on pants, gaiters, socks,...

don't apply permethrin to your skin, unhealthful

you could apply DEET to your skin

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adamschneider
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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by adamschneider » April 8th, 2021, 9:04 am

retired jerry wrote:
April 8th, 2021, 7:43 am
just to be clear, you want to apply permethrin at home and let it dry, like over night

on pants, gaiters, socks,...

don't apply permethrin to your skin, unhealthful
Meh, I usually give my pant legs and shoes a quick spritz of permethrin when I get to to the trailhead. I haven't grown any extra fingers or toes yet. :)

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drm
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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by drm » April 10th, 2021, 10:08 am

Permethrin is an irritant, not so much a cancer-causing or birth defect-causing toxin. You should avoid getting wet permethrin on your skin, and especially breathing it into your lungs, etc. The the impacts are generally acute, not chronic. If it's going to cause a problem, it will be soon, not years later.

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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by justpeachy » April 12th, 2021, 6:26 am

It was a gorgeous day at Columbia Hills State Park on Sunday and there were A LOT of people out there. We did the loop trail from the upper trailhead and during the last half of the hike we were passing people almost constantly. There were probably 60 cars parked in and around the upper trailhead when we got back at 1:40. At least there's no highway going through there, like at Catherine Creek and Coyote Wall.

gallione11
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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by gallione11 » April 12th, 2021, 10:08 am

Coyote Wall was a zoo as well. Thankfully, we arrived at 7:30 so only 8 cars in the lot and we did the Labyrinth loop the field guide mentions, though started at the wall trailhead. Saw only 9 people the first 5 miles, then coming down the wall trail back to the trailhead was more like 200.

agokturk
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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by agokturk » April 25th, 2021, 1:54 pm

We hiked Labyrinth and Coyote Wall 4/25. Arrived at trailhead at about 8:15 to about half full lot. Beautiful early morning light in the gorge. By the time we got back to the car the lot was full, all possible spots alongside the highway and road were taken and cars were trolling for a spot. Not unexpected for a flowery spring weekend.

Crowds not too bad either. Dogs were on leash, many were masked or distancing. But there's always one family... cutting switchbacks, loudly yelling within their own group, and only one person in the group with a backpack carrying everyone's water evidently.
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klar55
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Re: Warning/note about East Gorge Flower Season

Post by klar55 » April 26th, 2021, 5:34 am

agokturk wrote:
April 25th, 2021, 1:54 pm
We hiked Labyrinth and Coyote Wall 4/25. Arrived at trailhead at about 8:15 to about half full lot. Beautiful early morning light in the gorge. By the time we got back to the car the lot was full, all possible spots alongside the highway and road were taken and cars were trolling for a spot. Not unexpected for a flowery spring weekend.

Crowds not too bad either. Dogs were on leash, many were masked or distancing. But there's always one family... cutting switchbacks, loudly yelling within their own group, and only one person in the group with a backpack carrying everyone's water evidently.
Looks beautiful. Gonna visit it next week.

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