Casey Creek Loop 24-Oct-08

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VanMarmot
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Casey Creek Loop 24-Oct-08

Post by VanMarmot » October 28th, 2008, 7:08 am

Having spent much of this summer hiking elsewhere inside and outside Oregon, I'm just now catching-up on favorite hikes in the Gorge. One of these is the Casey Creek loop via Nick Eaton Ridge out of Herman Creek. It's an 11 mile, 3800' gain loop that combines ridge and canyon experiences. The climb up Nick Eaton Ridge was a steady climb on a good trail (kudos to whoever removed the huge log that fell across the trail several years ago!). The weather was cool, crisp, clear, and sunny but you could see Portland shrouded in clouds.
Gorge View.JPG
After about 5 miles and 3800', you come to the junction with the Casey Creek trail.
Trail Sign.JPG
In 1969, the Lowe's "100 Hikes in Oregon" guide showed it only as short, dead-end trail. Today it's in all the Gorge guidebooks and is a well-developed, easy to follow use trail from the Nick Eaton down to Herman Creek. At this time of the year, it was decked-out in a full array of fall colors.
Fall Colors.JPG
Fall Colors 2.JPG
About 2/3's of the way down is a small open meadow with a small stand of oaks - similar to those on the lower Starvation Creek trail and about half-way down the Ruckel Creek trail. In the spring it hosts a number of wildflowers.
Meadow.JPG
Shortly after the meadow, the Casey Creek trail joins the main Herman Creek trail. The tall trees with the sun slanting through them, interspersed with bright patches of fall color, gave this portion of the hike a cathedral-like quality. Once again, a hike in the Gorge didn't disappoint.

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bush_marmot
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Re: Casey Creek Loop 24-Oct-08

Post by bush_marmot » October 28th, 2008, 8:29 pm

Nice report. Great hike!
Thanks for posting.
:)

I love Nick Eaton Ridge, one of my favorites in the Gorge.
The high ridge (coming up to Casey Creek cutoff, and then SE from there a ways) is really wild.
It's always felt like a place where there might be some mountain gnomes living somewhere nearby, in a cave beneath a cliff (hmmm... maybe reading too much Tolkien...?).

Have you hiked the Nick Eaton/Green Point Mountain/Herman Creek loop? That's a great one, too (except for the anticlimactic view south from the summit).
VanMarmot wrote:In 1969, the Lowe's "100 Hikes in Oregon" guide showed it only as short, dead-end trail.
Now there's a collector's item! I still use the Lowe's books, too.

You got some nice Autumn colors shots. I especially like your "Fall Colors 2.JPG".

Thanks again for the report!
Peter
:)

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VanMarmot
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Re: Casey Creek Loop 24-Oct-08

Post by VanMarmot » October 29th, 2008, 2:35 pm

Thanks!

I did Wyeth to Green Point Mtn as a out and back earlier this year, but haven't tried a loop involving Herman Creek. Maybe next year?

- VM

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retired jerry
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Re: Casey Creek Loop 24-Oct-08

Post by retired jerry » October 29th, 2008, 3:28 pm

What's all this talk about next year??? :)

It could be months before snow closes higher elevation places and lower elvation places can be accessible year-round.

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weathercrazy
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Re: Casey Creek Loop 24-Oct-08

Post by weathercrazy » October 29th, 2008, 5:13 pm

I have done both the Nick Eaton Trail and the Herman Creek Trail...I was curious about this one. Thanks for sharing!

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