Circum-navigating Trapper Creek 03-Sep-2012

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VanMarmot
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Circum-navigating Trapper Creek 03-Sep-2012

Post by VanMarmot » September 4th, 2012, 5:25 pm

Having done the Dry Ck-Observation and Trapper Ck-Observation loops more than a few times, I started looking for loop opportunities on the Soda Peaks side. Something involving Pk 4256 got scrubbed due to contour intervals closer together than a gnat's eyelashes. After some more ruminating, a loop emerged involving Soda Peaks Lake, the roads to its W, and Tr 192 to Observation. A little XC would be required but it didn't look like too much (ha!). So I parked at the Trapper Ck TH,

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went up Tr 192 to the Soda Peaks Lake trail (133), took that over the creek and past the bridge the Forest Service got rid of a few years back for safety reasons (no idea if any replacement is planned),

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and on up to Soda Peaks Lake.

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Then continuing on Tr 133 to the Soda Peaks TH, catching a glimpse of my goal - Observation Peak (arrow) - with Mt. Adams in the distance.

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From the TH, a hard right turn on to Rd 5704 and then another right on to Rd 311. This was where I first encountered a whole bunch of huckleberry & blueberry pickers, wandering through the bushes and slowly cruising the road on patrol for unpicked berries. At a bend in Rd 311 where it first comes closest to Tr 192, I headed XC through the forest (actually 6' tall blueberry bushes laden with fruit) to intersect Rd 606, followed that for a bit, then went XC almost due E to Tr 192. Slow going through the brush, even with a few game trails to follow. Finding 192 in this particular spot was made more challenging by the existence of a old corduroy trail across a meadow, a slightly less old version of 192, and then 192 itself - all mixed together at the creek crossing. After that, it was on to the summit via Trails 192, 128, and 132A. Despite a little haze, there were the usual big views from the top, of Hood

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and Rainier.

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I took Thum's Cut-off directly down from the summit to intersect with Tr 132. Enroute, I had a good view across to the Soda Peaks and the ridge I'd come up earlier in the day.

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Even with the XC bushwhack, this hike was a lot of fun on a full-on bluebird day. Definitely one that lets you visit all of the Trapper Creek Wilderness in a day. 18 mi, 4400' EG.

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drm
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Re: Circum-navigating Trapper Creek 03-Sep-2012

Post by drm » September 4th, 2012, 6:13 pm

There is an old trail from the end of road 606 to the 90-degree turn in the 192. I followed it, including that log boardwalk that I suppose is what you call a corduroy trail. I only lost it when it got near Trapper Creek. When I did it a few years ago, the trail from the end of road 606 was quite obvious, though in tall brush. I assume this is another one of those abandoned trails, probably because they didn't want to keep the road up.

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Circum-navigating Trapper Creek 03-Sep-2012

Post by Sean Thomas » September 4th, 2012, 9:29 pm

Thum's cut off :lol: thx Van :D


Very inspiring and creative hike. Soda Peaks Lake kind of sits on its own on that sw side of the wilderness, great way to make a loop out of it.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Circum-navigating Trapper Creek 03-Sep-2012

Post by VanMarmot » September 5th, 2012, 6:32 am

drm wrote:There is an old trail from the end of road 606 to the 90-degree turn in the 192. I followed it, including that log boardwalk that I suppose is what you call a corduroy trail. I only lost it when it got near Trapper Creek. When I did it a few years ago, the trail from the end of road 606 was quite obvious, though in tall brush. I assume this is another one of those abandoned trails, probably because they didn't want to keep the road up.
Folks seem to still be using Rd 606 up to where it ends - probably berry pickers. There did seem to be a "trail" from the end of the road heading due E but it was seriously sketchy and over-grown. In 1953, there weren't the roads there are today and the trail from Soda Peaks Lk (then called Lost Lake) went over to Observation Peak. Maybe the boardwalk is a remnant of that old trail?

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Last edited by VanMarmot on September 5th, 2012, 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Circum-navigating Trapper Creek 03-Sep-2012

Post by VanMarmot » September 5th, 2012, 6:34 am

Sean Thomas wrote:Thum's cut off :lol: thx Van :D


Very inspiring and creative hike. Soda Peaks Lake kind of sits on its own on that sw side of the wilderness, great way to make a loop out of it.

Thanks! "Thum" lives on... One of my old maps actually shows a trail from the summit of Observation directly down to Tr 132 but I can't see any sign of sch a trail on that slope. Maybe some mapmakers fantasy?

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