Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

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VanMarmot
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Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

Post by VanMarmot » June 2nd, 2012, 6:25 am

Friday wasn't a bluebird day by any definition (other than it wasn't raining) but it was a day off. Always looking for a different hike - and one that I hadn't done before - I settled on Big Huckleberry from Panther Ck TH via the PCT. The trail is cut for horses, so the climb up from the creek to the top of the ridge is a series of very long gentle switchbacks - appreciated going up, tedious coming down. After that, the trail glides along at a gentle angle,

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through what seems at times like a manicured park,

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with a soccer field or two thrown in.

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It's not a trail with many views but along the way I did catch a glimpse of Mt. Defiance (d) in the distance.

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While there were a few sunbreaks, it never got sunny long enough to drive the water droplets off of the vegetation.

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There were a lot of little flowers out, but nothing like on Dog.

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The "view" from the summit was circumscribed by the low clouds,

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but Table (t) and Hamilton (h) could be seen in the cloudy, misty distance.

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I was contemplating exploring a now abandoned trail as a return option but decided to save that until the weather was more inviting and so went back along the PCT to the TH. Despite the weather, this was a good hike on a very mellow trail through pleasant forests and fields. A good choice if you'd like to log some miles without immense gain. 18.5 mi RT, 3300' EG.

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pablo
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Re: Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

Post by pablo » June 2nd, 2012, 6:49 am

Nice,

Which abandoned trail were you contemplating?

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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drm
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Re: Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

Post by drm » June 2nd, 2012, 8:30 am

I've been to Big Huckeberry from the south (Grassy Knoll) and from the north (PCT other direction - the easiest way to get there), but never from Panther. There was a huge blowdown on the PCT above Panther Ck a month or two ago, the kind that you can't get within 30 feet of because it took so many trees down. Obviously they have cleared that.

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donaleen
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Re: Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

Post by donaleen » June 2nd, 2012, 9:27 am

Thanks for that report. I want to explore that trail myself. Good pix!

Aimless
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Re: Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

Post by Aimless » June 2nd, 2012, 9:51 am

That hike is definitely on my radar, but I had never seen any trail reports on it until this one. Thanks muchly.

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VanMarmot
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Post by VanMarmot » June 2nd, 2012, 1:00 pm

pablo wrote:Nice,

Which abandoned trail were you contemplating?

--Paul
I was thinking of looking for the remnants of the Big Huckleberry Trail (now apparently partly the Cedar Ck #149 trail) but I see from a 2011 post that you've already tackled this exploration. Still it would make an interesting loop. I do worry, however, about stumbling down a long abandoned trail into someone's backyard and having to explain myself (quickly) at gunpoint! There's also an old "trail" that follows the ridge W from Big H but it now looks like it's been cutoff by recently built roads.

pablo
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Re:

Post by pablo » June 2nd, 2012, 3:20 pm

VanMarmot wrote:
pablo wrote:Nice,

Which abandoned trail were you contemplating?

--Paul
I was thinking of looking for the remnants of the Big Huckleberry Trail (now apparently partly the Cedar Ck #149 trail) but I see from a 2011 post that you've already tackled this exploration. Still it would make an interesting loop. I do worry, however, about stumbling down a long abandoned trail into someone's backyard and having to explain myself (quickly) at gunpoint! There's also an old "trail" that follows the ridge W from Big H but it now looks like it's been cutoff by recently built roads.
If you do the #149 route through Weigle Hill there are no private property issues - there is public road right up to the trail head - the problem is there is no public parking there - no room. You could park somewhere else and ride a bike up to the TH and stash it.

The route I want to do is the other one you mention - that is go west from Big H and follow the trail that tracked the experimental forest's northern boundary. Looks like a ridge line all the way with a short road walk at the end back to the campground and PCT TH - hike & bike. This one is on my list.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

Aimless
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Re: Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

Post by Aimless » June 22nd, 2012, 9:59 am

Partly due to the impetus your trip report provided, I finally drove out past Carson yesterday and hiked this part of the PCT. Except, in my usual way, I got a late start and only made it as far as the junction with Cedar Creek Trail, about 7.5 miles up the trail from Panther Creek road (FSR 65). Therefore I never got to the top of Big Huckleberry Mt. Still, I got in a 15 mile day with approx. 2750 total elevation gain.

Since your report covers this trail so admirably, I will only say that the part I hiked had a few nice viewpoints, but mostly it meandered through some beautiful mature forest. A few of the old growth trees I saw would rival the best to be found. The understorey was typical Cascades, with vine maple, oregon grape, sword fern, bear grass, thimbleberry, vanilla leaf, wild roses, etc. with the particular mix of plants dependent on elevation. Yesterday was a bit hot, so I especially appreciated walking in shade most of the day! The gradual elevation gain came in handy, too.

Thanks again for helping persuade me to explore this trail.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Big Huckleberry via PCT 01-Jun-2012

Post by VanMarmot » June 24th, 2012, 11:34 am

Aimless wrote:Partly due to the impetus your trip report provided, I finally drove out past Carson yesterday and hiked this part of the PCT. Except, in my usual way, I got a late start and only made it as far as the junction with Cedar Creek Trail, about 7.5 miles up the trail from Panther Creek road (FSR 65). Therefore I never got to the top of Big Huckleberry Mt. Still, I got in a 15 mile day with approx. 2750 total elevation gain.

Since your report covers this trail so admirably, I will only say that the part I hiked had a few nice viewpoints, but mostly it meandered through some beautiful mature forest. A few of the old growth trees I saw would rival the best to be found. The understorey was typical Cascades, with vine maple, oregon grape, sword fern, bear grass, thimbleberry, vanilla leaf, wild roses, etc. with the particular mix of plants dependent on elevation. Yesterday was a bit hot, so I especially appreciated walking in shade most of the day! The gradual elevation gain came in handy, too.

Thanks again for helping persuade me to explore this trail.
Glad you enjoyed it! Keep it on your list and do it on a day that promises clear skies, as the view from the top is a good one.

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