7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossing

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adamschneider
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7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossing

Post by adamschneider » July 6th, 2013, 11:28 pm

Some friends and I did a loop (actually more of a horseshoe) today on the east side of Hood: we started from the place where the Umbrella Falls Trail crosses the Mt. Hood Meadows entrance road, went up to the Timberline Trail, across the top of Meadows, through Clark/Heather Canyon, and down the Newton Creek and Elk Meadows Trails to the 2nd car we'd left at the Elk Meadows/Hood River Meadows Trailhead:
mhm_map.jpg
[Google map here.]

But we also did a little side trip down to the Timberline Trail's crossing of Newton Creek — partly for a lunch break in a lovely creekside rock garden, but also because we were skeptical about that note someone left at the Elk Meadows trailhead that said "NO VIABLE CROSSING."

Well, in a nutshell: of course there's a viable crossing; there ALWAYS is, if you're willing to look for it. My friends and I found at least three places where we were able to rock-hop across Newton Creek without feeling like we were in any danger... and the easiest of them was very close to where the Timberline Trail picks up again on the north side.

Here's the easy crossing, seen from the northeast side; those stepping stones are really big:
newton_creek_rocks.jpg
Honestly, the most difficult part was getting down the scary flood-cut bank on the southwest side, but there are a couple of places just downstream from the trail that work pretty well.

So don't let Newton Creek scare you; it's never been an especially easy crossing, but it's no worse this year than other times I've been up there. Frankly, I'd be more nervous about the log "bridge" on the way to Elk Meadows.


In other news, there were only a few small snow patches on the entire route, and the flower show is just getting started and will be going gangbusters in a couple of weeks. If you want to see the wildflowers, waiting until mid-August might be too late this year!
monkeyflower.jpg
saxifrage_and_lupines.jpg
clark_creek.jpg
Last edited by adamschneider on July 8th, 2013, 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kepPNW
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by kepPNW » July 7th, 2013, 7:58 am

Thanks for reporting this! I've been wanting to do a loop somewhat similar to this, as well, and that post with the warning had me wondering too. Looks great! :)
Karl
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Splintercat
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by Splintercat » July 7th, 2013, 8:25 am

Honestly, the most difficult part was getting down the scary flood-cut bank on the southwest side, but there are a couple of places just downstream from the trail that work pretty well.
Is the rope (actually, a pair of them) still in place on that section, Adam? Handy when I came through last summer.

Tom :)

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adamschneider
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by adamschneider » July 7th, 2013, 11:27 am

Splintercat wrote:Is the rope (actually, a pair of them) still in place on that section, Adam? Handy when I came through last summer.
I didn't see any ropes, or anything else man-made. That valley is pretty wild.

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retired jerry
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by retired jerry » July 7th, 2013, 12:06 pm

There's a couple ropes up West side where it got washed out and there's sort of a cliff. Hard to see them. I remember in the past some people reported not seeing them but other people did.

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dixhuit
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by dixhuit » July 7th, 2013, 8:20 pm

adamschneider wrote:Frankly, I'd be more nervous about the log "bridge" on the way to Elk Meadows.
Hey Adam, it was nice to run into you up there yesterday. I don't want folks to be worried about the Newton Creek crossing on the Elk Meadows Trail. It's actually easier than it has been in recent years.

David
July 11, 2012.jpg
This is the way it looked last year.
July 6, 2013.jpg
This is the crossing yesterday.
Last edited by dixhuit on July 7th, 2013, 8:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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adamschneider
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by adamschneider » July 7th, 2013, 8:24 pm

dixhuit wrote:I don't want folks to be worried about the Newton Creek crossing on the Elk Meadows Trail. It's actually easier than it has been in recent years.
Oh yeah, I just don't think people should be worried about EITHER crossing. Personally, I prefer rock-hopping to improvised log bridges because I think rocks are much easier if you don't have trekking poles. But I know some people aren't much into jumping.

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retired jerry
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by retired jerry » July 7th, 2013, 8:31 pm

Sometimes logs shift when you step on them

Some people have lightweight breathable shoes and light socks and just walk through the stream as if it wasn't there. Well, maybe you have to be a little more careful than walking on land. Then the shoes dry pretty quickly.

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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by 4DMTNS » July 7th, 2013, 9:02 pm

I just love seeing your posts. You really do justice to the wildflowers. We have probably crossed paths in years past given how frequently it appears we are both out hiking. One of these times I'm going to make it to a Meet 'n Deet.
I'm almost always the sweep on my hikes ... it gives me an opportunity to taste test all the edible berries I seem to find.

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adamschneider
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Re: 7/6/13: Mt. Hood Meadows and (GASP!) Newton Creek crossi

Post by adamschneider » July 8th, 2013, 1:40 pm

4DMTNS wrote:I just love seeing your posts. You really do justice to the wildflowers. We have probably crossed paths in years past given how frequently it appears we are both out hiking. One of these times I'm going to make it to a Meet 'n Deet.
Except I've only gone to one of the Meet 'n' Deets, and that was a few years ago. You're probably more likely to find me on the trail. :)

And because it'll probably be November before I sort through all my summer photos and put them on my Web site, here's a few more shots from Mt. Hood Meadows and vicinity...
heather_and_beargrass.jpg
paintbrush_and_cinquefoil.jpg
bluebells.jpg
heather_canyon.jpg
lupine_and_umbrella_falls.jpg
spider.jpg
butterfly_and_valerian.jpg

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