Big Huckleberry / CCT Loop 07-Jun-2014

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VanMarmot
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Big Huckleberry / CCT Loop 07-Jun-2014

Post by VanMarmot » June 19th, 2014, 9:20 am

This TR got delayed by business travel - not the exotic kind that Peder gets to do - just to clients on the E coast. Anyway, last winter I did a loop over Big Huckleberry via NFD 6801 (Big Huck Jan 2014) and stumbled across part of the old CCT. Because of upcoming travel, I couldn’t commit to a long hike so thought I’d go back to Big Huckleberry and look for the CCT without snow. After parking on NFD 6801 just E of Gobblers Knob, I took FR 020 over to its junction with the PCT. FR 020 is a road but it's also not bad as a pleasant, level trail.

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I went N on the PCT, past some great view points of Hood (on what was, of course, a bluebird day),

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to the summit, with its view of Adams.

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From there I went briefly N on the PCT to where I could cut W on the old track of the CCT along the ridge N of Big Huckleberry (the PCT now goes along below the ridge). From here, I could look back toward Big Huckleberry, Hood, and a broad meadow sporting flowering balsam root.

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While I could find bits and pieces of the CCT, it's largely gone in the open areas and shrouded in brush elsewhere. However, it still has better views of Adams than you get from the PCT. The CCT (or what little is left of it) re-connects with the PCT at a saddle at 3,600'. From there, I went a little further N on the PCT to where FR 069 was visible less than 100' below the PCT and then dropped down to it. Then it was FR 069 > FR 071 > NFD 026 > NFD 6801 back to my car. Easy road walking gave me time to check out the little things along the road (other than the beer cans).

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Yes, all roads, but not bad for hiking a loop when there aren't any actual loop trails nor likely to ever be any. So a nice hike (15 mi RT, 2800' EG) on a warm and sunny day. Made it just a little easier to get up at 3am the next day to catch a flight E.

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Splintercat
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Re: Big Huckleberry / CCT Loop 07-Jun-2014

Post by Splintercat » June 19th, 2014, 7:02 pm

While I could find bits and pieces of the CCT, it's largely gone in the open areas and shrouded in brush elsewhere. However, it still has better views of Adams than you get from the PCT. The CCT (or what little is left of it) re-connects with the PCT at a saddle at 3,600'.
Why was the PCT moved to its current location? Seems a shame to lose views -- and I've noticed this on other sections of the PCT, too (that the route stays in the trees where a more scenic option exists). Hmmm... maybe to meet grade requirements for horses..?

Thanks for posting, Van - nice report!

Tom :)

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VanMarmot
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Re: Big Huckleberry / CCT Loop 07-Jun-2014

Post by VanMarmot » June 20th, 2014, 8:26 am

Splintercat wrote:
While I could find bits and pieces of the CCT, it's largely gone in the open areas and shrouded in brush elsewhere. However, it still has better views of Adams than you get from the PCT. The CCT (or what little is left of it) re-connects with the PCT at a saddle at 3,600'.
Why was the PCT moved to its current location? Seems a shame to lose views -- and I've noticed this on other sections of the PCT, too (that the route stays in the trees where a more scenic option exists). Hmmm... maybe to meet grade requirements for horses..?

Thanks for posting, Van - nice report!

Tom :)
Thanks! The route of the CCT along the ridge, while scenic, is rocky with a steep side hill - probably too hard to build a trail there that would both work for horses and not wash away. Some views were lost as a result. But on the plus side, the re-route of the PCT over Berry Mtn in Indian Heaven actually made for better views than the old CCT, which wandered E of of the mountain down in the forest. Win some, lose some.

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Splintercat
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Re: Big Huckleberry / CCT Loop 07-Jun-2014

Post by Splintercat » June 21st, 2014, 4:46 pm

The route of the CCT along the ridge, while scenic, is rocky with a steep side hill - probably too hard to build a trail there that would both work for horses and not wash away. Some views were lost as a result. But on the plus side, the re-route of the PCT over Berry Mtn in Indian Heaven actually made for better views than the old CCT, which wandered E of of the mountain down in the forest. Win some, lose some.
Thanks! I haven't spent much time in the Indian Heaven area, so very interesting to learn about the trail history. On this side of the river, I understand why the PCT bypassed Eagle Creek, but have always wondered why it departed from the original Skyline Trail around Mount Hood (which went around the east and north sides, then dipped low and past Lost Lake - that section still exists). I suspect logging had to do with it -- definitely the case in the stretch between Hood and Jefferson, where it was moved 10 miles east and "out of the way" of the Clackamas logging show.

Tom

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