Alder Ridge Loop Hike 7-29-14 (AKA Oxbow Back Door)

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kmcdade
Posts: 104
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm

Alder Ridge Loop Hike 7-29-14 (AKA Oxbow Back Door)

Post by kmcdade » July 29th, 2014, 5:07 pm

Just got back from a cool, shady ramble along Alder Ridge in Oxbow Park. The field guide has a good description of this. One tip - make sure you park in the pullout area just BEFORE you get the the turnaround at the trailhead. The entire turnaround is marked as No Parking, as is the north (?) side of the road.

Anyway, here's my journey:
Homan Road Trailhead.jpg
There's plenty of horse manure along the trail, because, it's an equestrian trail. I prefer squirrel sign myself.
Squirrel!.jpg
There's a viewpoint at about .2 mile with a view of Mt. Hood. The clouds were not cooperating, but I managed to tweak the white balance on my phone camera and get a picture (click the pic to get a better view).
Mt. Hood from Alder Ridge.jpg
This would be an excellent plant and tree ID hike for kids. Lots of easily identified things.
Plants.jpg
Big Stump.jpg
First you go down the ridge.
Down Alder Ridge.jpg
Then down the switchbacks. I was like, "These railings are almost as tall as I am!" and then I remembered, oh, yeah, horses.
Alder Ridge Switchbacks.jpg
The loop portion starts at a post marked "I" (might look like a 1 to you). I went to the right, which is the opposite of the field guide description. If you go the same way I did, you'll reach a couple of viewpoint spurs right before and right after the 1-mile mark, where you can get glimpses of the Sandy River. You'll also hear the river, and at the furthest part of the loop, you'll start hearing people in the park proper down by the river.
Sandy River from Alder Ridge.jpg
On the NW side of the loop is an access road into the Elk Meadow (you can see it from the trail; I didn't see any animals, but it was midafternoon) and down to the park proper. You can hike down to the rest of the park's trails here. I had limited time and didn't do this.

Shortly after the meadow, you'll again reach the Letter I Junction, and then what came down must go up!
Up Alder Ridge.jpg
--Kathleen. Or K-Mac. As in KMC, because that's what people have taken to calling me here. :-)

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Guy
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Joined: May 10th, 2009, 4:42 pm
Location: The Foothills of Mt Hood
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Re: Alder Ridge Loop Hike 7-29-14 (AKA Oxbow Back Door)

Post by Guy » July 29th, 2014, 5:46 pm

You were in my back yard today! I live just around the corner form that trailhead! The other advantage of entering the park through the "back door" is that you don't have to pay the entry fee :)
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

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miah66
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Joined: July 6th, 2009, 8:00 pm

Re: Alder Ridge Loop Hike 7-29-14 (AKA Oxbow Back Door)

Post by miah66 » July 30th, 2014, 12:05 pm

I love this park in the fall and winter!
"The top...is not the top" - Mile...Mile & a Half

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