Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

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VanMarmot
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Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by VanMarmot » July 7th, 2013, 5:33 pm

I did this loop three years ago (Cast Ck 2010) before FR 380 was officially closed and really enjoyed it - gentle grades and big views. So doing it again seemed like a good way to wrap-up the 4th of July weekend. With the demise of FR 380, the "official" start of the Cast Ck trail has been moved to the E end of Riley Horse Camp,

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but you can still reach it by going up 380 past a seriously deep ditch and lots of big backhoe divots - 380 is now totally DEAD, gone, and buried - not even accessible to hikers. I wonder if the death of 380 will allow the wilderness boundary to expand N?

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But the 773 is still in great condition, with a gentle (horse friendly) grade, all through a cool forest and, higher up, rhodie gardens.

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There are no views until just before you reach the ZigZag Mtn trail (775) and then - sudddenly - there's Hood

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and Adams (Rainier and Jefferson were visible too).

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I hiked up ZigZag East, through some nice wildflower displays,

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for lunch and more views of Hood.

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Then it was W on Trail 775 toward Pt 4877 - passing up a chance to visit Cast Lake due to fears of massive swarms of mosquitos - they were pesky enough just on the trail. From atop Pt 4877, I could see that Portland was still swaddled in low clouds,

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and got one last view of Hood.

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Then it was down the Horseshoe Ridge trail (774),

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which is another gently graded trail that eases down through a pleasant forest,

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which shelters a variety of ferns,

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plants,

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and sweaty tree fungi.

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The Horseshoe Ridge trail crosses FR 388 and FR 380 as it descends. Back in the day (2010), it was possible to take FR 380 back to the TH. No more. FR 380 has been beaten and backhoed into submission - it's not even walkable anymore.

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So, I continued on the 774, which eventually turned NE, crossed Lost Creek on a helpful pedestrian bridge,

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and deposited me on the W side of the Riley Camp. Maybe a little longer journey than taking 380 back but the 774 is a very good, very pleasant trail to hike on. All told 14.2 mi, 3600' EG and a great end to the holiday weekend! :D

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acorn woodpecker
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Re: Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by acorn woodpecker » July 7th, 2013, 6:32 pm

Wow, VanMarmot. You really got out this long weekend. Four hikes in four days?! Great reports and photos, as always.

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fettster
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Re: Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by fettster » July 7th, 2013, 9:19 pm

Nice closer shot of Hood. Any bugs in the area with that lake?

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Peder
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Re: Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by Peder » July 7th, 2013, 10:10 pm

acorn woodpecker wrote:Wow, VanMarmot. You really got out this long weekend. Four hikes in four days?! Great reports and photos, as always.
Yes, that is a lot of mileages and EG over those four days! I wonder it the total is higher or lower than the Hatfield Trail, either way this must be some kind of loony weekend! As you remembered to provide the (Hardy Ridge) fawn with hot dogs and beer, it must be a good kind of loonyness. :D Given that you also managed to issue four trip reports in that time span, you deserve some kind of reward. Perhaps you will accept the fawn as a pet, or will that deplete your beer supplies?
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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VanMarmot
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Re: Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by VanMarmot » July 8th, 2013, 6:42 am

acorn woodpecker wrote:Wow, VanMarmot. You really got out this long weekend. Four hikes in four days?! Great reports and photos, as always.
Thanks!

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VanMarmot
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Re: Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by VanMarmot » July 8th, 2013, 6:44 am

fettster wrote:Nice closer shot of Hood. Any bugs in the area with that lake?
There were no mosquitos on the Cast Ck trail but there were on the ZigZag Mtn trail - they got worse the closer you got to Cast Lake. I skipped visiting the lake this time for that reason.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by VanMarmot » July 8th, 2013, 6:48 am

Peder wrote:
acorn woodpecker wrote:Wow, VanMarmot. You really got out this long weekend. Four hikes in four days?! Great reports and photos, as always.
Yes, that is a lot of mileages and EG over those four days! I wonder it the total is higher or lower than the Hatfield Trail, either way this must be some kind of loony weekend! As you remembered to provide the (Hardy Ridge) fawn with hot dogs and beer, it must be a good kind of loonyness. :D Given that you also managed to issue four trip reports in that time span, you deserve some kind of reward. Perhaps you will accept the fawn as a pet, or will that deplete your beer supplies?
My to do list just keeps growing so I had to step it up a bit but I did take Saturday off to recharge. The fawn went back to nature and a healthy diet free of beer & dogs. If it had stayed with us, we'd have put it in a 12 step program - as we can't have forest critters raiding the fridge for brewskis. ;)

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justpeachy
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Re: Cast Creek / Horseshoe Ridge Loop 07-Jul-2013

Post by justpeachy » July 8th, 2013, 7:53 am

This one has been on my to-do list for awhile because of the knockout views at the top. I might have to move this up to the top of the list. WOW!
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