Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

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VanMarmot
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Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

Post by VanMarmot » February 11th, 2012, 5:41 pm

This one has been on my to do list since last December, when I bailed on it to hike Table Mtn instead. This mixed trail/off-trail loop seemed just right for today's ambivalent un-bluebird weather. I took the Dick Thomas trail (good condition, no blowdowns, little mud) from the Bonneville Hot Springs TH to Carpenters Lake. When I left the TH it was sunny - by the time I reached the lake, it was starting to cloud up.

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From there, I took the Two Chiefs Trail (good condition, few blowdowns, little mud) to the PCT, then followed that (good condition, no blowdowns, no mud) W to the kiosk at the bottom of Table's W ridge. I turned S here and followed the use trail atop the ridge S toward Cedar Mtn. For a use trail it was pretty easy to follow and there were no blowdowns. The trail is least distinct where it crosses a wide saddle at 1600', but there is orange flagging in this section.

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This is not a trail with many views but there are a couple of open areas,

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where I might have been able see Hood had not the clouds settled in. I did get a view of the E side of Hamilton,

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from this point (arrow) on Cedar Mtn ridge (this photo was taken on a previous hike).

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I continued on down the use trail to the nice trail that crosses Cedar Ck and climbs up to the Aldrich Butte Road. After a snack at the creek, I went up to the Butte to look at the old WWII remains and take in the views of Table Mtn,

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Dog and Wind Mtns,

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and the Columbia.

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From the Butte, I headed down to Carpenters Lake, then took the road S to the power lines and then followed the gas line road back to Bonneville. A short hike (9.2. mi, 3100' EG) but one that would be well worth repeating on a clear, warm, sunny day. :D

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cfm
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Re: Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

Post by cfm » February 11th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Love it, and that pic from( previous hike) Hamilton with the cloud layer is great! Did you see many of the seasonal falls coming off the E side of Hamilton while you were up there?

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Guy
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Re: Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

Post by Guy » February 11th, 2012, 6:54 pm

I love the Cedar Mountain Hike, you go through so may different environments & vegetation types between the West Kiosk & Cedar / Aldrich Falls. My favorite part is the Saddle I want to go back & do some bushwhacking around that area.

Thanks for posting Van..
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

beag
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Re: Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

Post by beag » February 11th, 2012, 7:24 pm

Van, I must have been right on your tail. I started from under the power lines at 10 am. I went up the road passed Carpenter. Took the cut off trail which paralels the road and comes out on the PCT at the switch backs. Up to the kiosk and down the ridge to the valley with the huge topless Doug Fir. Then down Cedar to Falls view. Crossed Cedar and took the trail,West and South to my car.The sun appeared a few times. If we have mild weather there will be nice flowers on the ridges of Cedar Mountain in March.
This is a great hiking area , no snow and very sheltered.

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romann
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Re: Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

Post by romann » February 11th, 2012, 10:18 pm

Great TR, it looks like an interesting scramble. I saw that trail from west kiosk at Table Mtn and wondered if it gets to Cedar ridge. Now thinking about trying a variation of this - starting under powerlines, looping around Aldrich Butte, down to Cedar Falls, up to Cedar and PCT, then back on PCT/roads...

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VanMarmot
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Re: Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

Post by VanMarmot » February 12th, 2012, 8:06 am

cfm wrote:Love it, and that pic from( previous hike) Hamilton with the cloud layer is great! Did you see many of the seasonal falls coming off the E side of Hamilton while you were up there?
Sorry, I didn't see any falls on Hamilton, but then I didn't know to look. There's still some snow on Hamilton's E side and the falls may be obscured by that.

beag
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Re: Cedar Mtn / Aldrich Butte Loop 11-Feb-2012

Post by beag » February 12th, 2012, 8:48 am

CFM.
There was no view of the seasonal falls even though there are many falls off the east side of Hamilton.I've seen them other years but I suspect because there has'nt been much snow all the runoff has occured.I've explored a lot in the Hamilton basin and there are a lot of hidden falls which you ca'nt see from Cedar

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