Little Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

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VanMarmot
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Little Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by VanMarmot » October 22nd, 2014, 3:38 pm

Having lost last weekend to "stuff" (i.e., not hiking), I started looking for a hike to squeeze in before the next wall of rain arrived. "Q's" recent question (here) about how to pronounce "Tygh" pointed me to two hikes in Hood's rain shadow that I hadn't done before - lower Little Badger Ck and Tygh Ck. With an early start from Portland, I was able to reach the TH before 8am and was rewarded by a rainbow. :D

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I parked at the Tygh Ck TH (no signage) and walked S on FR 27, under the gaze of yet another rainbow!

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Rather than walk the road to the School Cyn TH or (worse) to the Badger Ck TH, I left FR 27 and headed XC to intersect the School Cyn trail (#468) at about 3,000', taking in some forest details along the way.

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From the School Cyn trail, I got a view of the clouds to the S - the issue was whether the rain shadow was going to hold none, some, or all of them back. :?

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There was a clear use trail that left the School Cyn trail here, descended to a seep at about 2,800', and then continued - with less clarity - into the Little Badger Ck drainage.

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I followed this trail - off and on - as it contoured into the drainage and eventually emerged into some large meadows on the N side of the creek.

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I kept contouring - noticing those small details - until I intersected the Badger Ck trail at about the 2,800' contour,

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and then followed it through autumn colors to the old Kinzel Mine cabin (which seems to be falling apart at an alarming rate) and

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mine shaft. Some old records suggest they were trying to mine bauxite (1946 report) but eventually realized they were mining for plain old clay. :(

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Then it was up the (steep!) Little Badger Ck trail to the School Cyn trail atop the ridge, then W on it,

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to its junction with the unsigned Tygh Ck Way trail (which is directly behind you as you face this sign). The weather had been clouds and sunbreaks to this point but the rain started just after I finished a hurried lunch. Fortunately, it only rained lightly for half an hour before going back to clouds and sunbreaks.

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The Way trail starts as an old road,

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but then devolves into an obvious trail that has seen a lot of maintenance to clear it of an astounding number of downed trees (thanks to mtnhiker56). It was easy to follow so, of course, I had to try a XC shortcut from it to the Tygh Ck trail - bad idea, as I got to experience 0.5 mi of uncleared blowdown. :roll: The Tygh Ck trail (#460) - although sketchy in spots - was pretty easy to follow, which allowed for more forest details,

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and one of the few views available on this loop.

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This trail ambles along the ridge for quite a distance and then, shortly after the Jordon Butte trail junction, plunges down into the canyon before leveling off in a riparian forest,

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just before reaching the TH at FR 27. Great hike - the weather mostly cooperated, there were lots of falls colors, and the trails were in good to excellent condition! 13 mi RT, 3200' EG.

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Last edited by VanMarmot on October 24th, 2014, 7:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

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bobcat
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Re: Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by bobcat » October 22nd, 2014, 4:01 pm

Great loop, great country . . . I haven't been there this late in the year so I should try it sometime.

You can thank mtnhiker56 for all the maintenance on Tygh Creek Way and the Tygh Creek Trail. The former is looking loads better than just a couple of years ago.

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-Q-
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Re: Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by -Q- » October 22nd, 2014, 4:26 pm

YIPPEE, mentioned in a post by my favorite trip report writer, Van Marmot
HAPPY DAY :P :D

Good to hear that the Tygh Way Trail has been cleared.
I have only heard bad reports on its condition, so I skipped the Way Trail and hiked the Little Badger Creek Trail to the end, then hiked the entire Tygh Creek Trail to complete my loop.
I think it was about 15-16 miles or so including the road back to my truck.

No doubt about the Little Badger Creek trail being steep while it heads up to Helispot # 122.
I hiked that as a loop last year. Good stuff.

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romann
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Re: Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by romann » October 22nd, 2014, 9:09 pm

Great stuff, nice pictures Van! Some of my favorite areas, esp. where trails go through Ponderosa groves. Given the low use of these trails, the shortcut you followed down to Little Badger Creek is probably cow trail? One day I should try it.

Been on parts of your hike 2 weeks ago (School Canyon TH to Flag Point) and was also surprised of trail condition above the Badger/School Trails' junction - not a single down tree (past 3.5 mile mark on my hike). Quite a difference from several years ago. Was the trail down in the canyon clear of blowdown as well?

Here's a picture of newly cleared upper Badger Creek Trail, and view to the side
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VanMarmot
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Re: Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by VanMarmot » October 23rd, 2014, 7:51 am

romann wrote:Great stuff, nice pictures Van! Some of my favorite areas, esp. where trails go through Ponderosa groves. Given the low use of these trails, the shortcut you followed down to Little Badger Creek is probably cow trail? One day I should try it.

Been on parts of your hike 2 weeks ago (School Canyon TH to Flag Point) and was also surprised of trail condition above the Badger/School Trails' junction - not a single down tree (past 3.5 mile mark on my hike). Quite a difference from several years ago. Was the trail down in the canyon clear of blowdown as well?
Thanks!

The shortcut into Little Badger is part people trail / part cow trail but the terrain is open enough that you can make your own way. It's worth it to see those big meadows.

The Tygh Ck trail had some blowdown - some huge - but none that slowed down the hike.

mtnhiker56
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Re: Little Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by mtnhiker56 » October 24th, 2014, 6:46 pm

Great to read your trip report! Has been a tough year and not a lot of maintenance has been done in the 2014. Good to hear its still in pretty good shape. A couple of points that I hope you will enjoy...where you noted in your map "bad idea" its easy to not make the turn to the left and to keep on going straight as the eye sees it. Even my GPS shows the trail going straight ahead but its not pleasant. Second, as you exited the Tygh Creek TH and headed uphill, right at the, shall we say summit, if you turn immediately uphill along the ridge there, you will see a user trail that leads to a shoulder along the School Canyon Trail. Another way to start a loop route. Hope to do some trail clearing soon. I know Bobcat is hoping for a easier walk from Flag Pt. to the springs....maybe...nice pics. Thanks for the trail clearing compliments...

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Re: Little Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by jdemott » October 25th, 2014, 8:22 am

Great trip report, as usual. Love those photos of the "details."

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-Q-
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Re: Little Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by -Q- » October 28th, 2014, 3:57 pm

mtnhiker56 wrote:Great to read your trip report! Has been a tough year and not a lot of maintenance has been done in the 2014. Good to hear its still in pretty good shape. A couple of points that I hope you will enjoy...where you noted in your map "bad idea" its easy to not make the turn to the left and to keep on going straight as the eye sees it. Even my GPS shows the trail going straight ahead but its not pleasant. Second, as you exited the Tygh Creek TH and headed uphill, right at the, shall we say summit, if you turn immediately uphill along the ridge there, you will see a user trail that leads to a shoulder along the School Canyon Trail. Another way to start a loop route. Hope to do some trail clearing soon. I know Bobcat is hoping for a easier walk from Flag Pt. to the springs....maybe...nice pics. Thanks for the trail clearing compliments...
How far down the boot path is Sunset Springs??
I followed it a short ways but never found it.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Little Badger Ck / Tygh Ck Loop 21-Oct-2014

Post by VanMarmot » October 29th, 2014, 3:42 pm

-Q- wrote:
mtnhiker56 wrote:Great to read your trip report! Has been a tough year and not a lot of maintenance has been done in the 2014. Good to hear its still in pretty good shape. A couple of points that I hope you will enjoy...where you noted in your map "bad idea" its easy to not make the turn to the left and to keep on going straight as the eye sees it. Even my GPS shows the trail going straight ahead but its not pleasant. Second, as you exited the Tygh Creek TH and headed uphill, right at the, shall we say summit, if you turn immediately uphill along the ridge there, you will see a user trail that leads to a shoulder along the School Canyon Trail. Another way to start a loop route. Hope to do some trail clearing soon. I know Bobcat is hoping for a easier walk from Flag Pt. to the springs....maybe...nice pics. Thanks for the trail clearing compliments...
How far down the boot path is Sunset Springs??
I followed it a short ways but never found it.
It's somewhere below trail #469 and above #460 but when I hiked through there in August there was no sign of it.

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