Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

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pdxgene
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Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by pdxgene » August 28th, 2013, 4:53 pm

If you ever want a quiet trail in the wilderness this is it. We did see a lone backpacker heading in as we neared the trailhead coming out and that was it. Also not even a single tree down across the trail for the almost 4 miles we went in before the clouds started rolling in and we turned back. Eric and I headed out Ripplebrook way to do the northern section of the Elk Lake Creek Trail. A big , though delayed, thanx to Matt and Brian :D for the info back in June when this hike was originally planned. But in hindsight it's much better now. Getting across Elk Lake Creek in high water would be pretty darn hard. And you have to cross at least once to see the pool in the first picture that'll be pulled out of order and is the highlight of the hike. Photo descriptions here http://picasaweb.google.com/pdxgene/ElkLakeCreek For some reason the page jumps all over the place if I try in include them with the pictures in the tr.
The Bridge to Nowhere in the end photos was pretty cool. It's about a half mile from the trailhead up a different road. And Road 63 is just strange. It goes from paved to gravel about every 50 yards for a long stretch and there's a huge pothole at each change spot. If you head out this way, pay attention or :o ..

So here we go.... Enjoy the silence..

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mattisnotfrench
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by mattisnotfrench » August 28th, 2013, 6:47 pm

One of my favorite hikes on the planet - glad to see you finally got there! Next time you want to go let me know - I'd love to go back.
Author of Off the Beaten Trail, 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region and PDX Hiking 365. Website: www.offthebeatentrailpdx.com

pdxgene
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by pdxgene » August 28th, 2013, 7:06 pm

mattisnotfrench wrote:One of my favorite hikes on the planet - glad to see you finally got there! Next time you want to go let me know - I'd love to go back.
Yeah, I'd definitely like to go back. At least get to the old shelter spot to turn back. Once the sun went behind the clouds the colors faded so we didn't bother today. We'll have to set something up for it. There's some great looking swimming holes out there.
Do you know if there is a third tier to the waterfall at Welcome Lake Creek or just the two? We scampered a bit more up the hill but it was hard to get a good sightline thru the brush and there's a little side canyon that would've had to be worked around to get back to the water. Seemed better to ask first..

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by Sean Thomas » August 28th, 2013, 11:47 pm

Nice pictures of the spider and the crystal clear water. That is a beautiful hike and one definitely worth doing again.

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rainrunner
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by rainrunner » August 29th, 2013, 1:41 pm

That looks like a beautiful hike and now that you have let everyone know about it, we might try it after the crowds die down.
;)

I have always wanted to hike in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness, but had planned to enter on the northwest side. This looks more interesting and quiet to me. Did you see much fire damage? The satellite image indicates some and we were thinking of making a loop backpacking trip.

Here is the Forest Service "pink map" link to this trail.
Elk Lake Creek Trail #559
The mountains are calling and I must go.
John Muir

pdxgene
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by pdxgene » August 29th, 2013, 2:08 pm

rainrunner wrote:That looks like a beautiful hike and now that you have let everyone know about it, we might try it after the crowds die down.
;)

I have always wanted to hike in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness, but had planned to enter on the northwest side. This looks more interesting and quiet to me. Did you see much fire damage? The satellite image indicates some and we were thinking of making a loop backpacking trip.

Here is the Forest Service "pink map" link to this trail.
Elk Lake Creek Trail #559
Actually it sucks, the pictures are all faked :P

The fire damage is really pretty much a non-factor (I called the ranger station last week to ask that and they told me to check here... D'oh!). It's mostly concentrated at the beginning and after you cross Elk Lake Creek it's on the other side. If I remember right, from what I've heard, it's really bad up at Welcome Lakes and the trails that take off in that direction.
There are some really nice looking potential campsite spots tucked away along the route back there. One of them an easy wade right across the creek from that big deep pool in the pictures.
Last edited by pdxgene on August 29th, 2013, 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

pdxgene
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by pdxgene » August 29th, 2013, 2:09 pm

Sean Thomas wrote:Nice pictures of the spider and the crystal clear water. That is a beautiful hike and one definitely worth doing again.
Thanx Sean. It's just soooo quiet back there and on a hot day there's some great looking places to jump in the water. You can pretty much call your own swimming hole, there's no one else there..

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Rustygoat
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by Rustygoat » August 29th, 2013, 2:32 pm

I was enjoying the silence until the spider pictures! :o I'm not a fan....but the rest of your pictures were great. I love the rivers in that region, just amazing. Thanks for sharing. :)
Tim

Chasing waterfalls can be addictive.
NW Off-trail Waterfalls -Facebook Group

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Get Out Backpacking
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by Get Out Backpacking » August 29th, 2013, 8:20 pm

I did a great loop in the Bull of the Woods area a couple of weeks ago. Starting out at Jawbone Flats and over Beachie Saddle and down to the Battle Creek shelter area to Big Slide Lake for the night. The next day I went to the lookout and then around Twin Lakes and over to Silver King Lake for another night. The last day followed the Whetstone trail back to my car. All around great loop except some route finding up to Welcome Lake because of fire damage, besides a few folks at Twin Lakes and Big Slide it was a fairly remote feeling area.

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mattisnotfrench
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Re: Elk Lake Creek Trail 8/28

Post by mattisnotfrench » August 29th, 2013, 8:38 pm

rainrunner wrote:That looks like a beautiful hike and now that you have let everyone know about it, we might try it after the crowds die down.
;)

I have always wanted to hike in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness, but had planned to enter on the northwest side. This looks more interesting and quiet to me. Did you see much fire damage? The satellite image indicates some and we were thinking of making a loop backpacking trip.

Here is the Forest Service "pink map" link to this trail.
Elk Lake Creek Trail #559
There will never be crowds there, regardless of this report and regardless of the fact the hike is also in my book. It's just too far away from the popular trailheads and areas, and it has a name that is easy to forget - Elk Lake Creek isn't as poetic or fitting as Opal Creek despite the fact it's just as beautiful (in my opinion).

There are several great campsites on this hike, including a big flat at the site of the old Battle Creek Shelter that could support 4-5 groups. You can also hike all the way up to Elk Lake, which has a car campground that rarely fills up due to the terrible access road. That's a party campground though, alas. That whole area is gorgeous!
Author of Off the Beaten Trail, 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region and PDX Hiking 365. Website: www.offthebeatentrailpdx.com

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