Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

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VanMarmot
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Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by VanMarmot » November 2nd, 2014, 6:45 am

When considering where to hike this weekend, it wasn't clear which way the weather was going, but something in Hood's rain shadow looked like a good bet (as it turned out, it was an as near to perfect full bluebird day as you could expect for November!). Thanks to bobcat's great write-ups in the Field Guide, I have been ticking off (and greatly enjoying :D) hikes in the Badger Ck Wilderness. One I hadn't yet done was the loop through Camp Windy. After an early morning drive through Fall colors in the Hood River Valley, I was able to get up the Gumjuwac trail (#480) far enough and fast enough (ok, not Sean fast but good enough) to catch the sunrise on Mt. Hood.

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and the clouds being held at bay to the west.

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From Gumjuwac Saddle, I took the Gunsight trail (#685) SW to Gunsight Butte, where there were even more great views of Hood,

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and of Lookout Mtn - which had a light dusting of snow / frost which quickly dissipated in the morning light.

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The 685 trail connects (briefly) with Bennett Pass Road at an opening in the forest, from where you can get a view down to Badger Lake.

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It was clear and sunny, with a light wind in places, but it was also cold - there were patches of old snow above 5,000' and all the puddles on the road were iced over.

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But despite the cold temperatures, various mushrooms were still trying to get one more batch of spores out before winter actually started.

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Both the 480 and 685 trails were in good shape but the junction with the Camp Windy trail (#685B) wasn't obvious (or I was just daydreaming) and I had to double back a bit to find it. Once found, it was easy to follow. It does, however, bring you down into a confusing intersection of different roads and despite bobcat's directions, I lost the 685B at this point and ended up just following the road (FR 4860) down to the Badger Ck Upper TH, where I did find the end of the 685B and the start of the Badger Ck trail (#479). This section of the 479 down to its junction with the Divide trail (#458) has not seen much maintenance lately and, while easy to hike, is starting to suffer from ground slippage, trees tipping over and ripping it out, and large fallen trees, one of which took out the remains of a small bridge.

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Although mostly in the trees, there is one spot on the 479 where I got a nice view of Badger Lk (at very low water) surrounded by some Fall colors.

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Then it was up the Divide trail (good condition) to Gumjuwac Saddle and down the 480, stopping at its one great viewpoint of Hood to see how the mountain was holding back the clouds of gloom to the W. I drove back to Portland via Government Camp and was hit by rain as soon as I turned from Hwy 35 to Hwy 26.

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One last glimpse of Fall colors,

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and then back to the TH. Good little loop, with great viewing opportunities of Hood (14 mi RT, 3200' EG) and a lake to stop at for lunch (better in the summer). If I did it again, I'd try harder to find the upper end of 685B and thus avoid the road. It should be noted, however, that while the trails in this wilderness area are numbered, and there are sometimes signs indicating an actual trail, there is often just a generic sign (so at least you know its a trail, just not which one) or no sign at all. So it's always a bit of an adventure! :)

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Last edited by VanMarmot on October 29th, 2015, 6:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Splintercat
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by Splintercat » November 2nd, 2014, 8:43 am

Thanks, Van - excellent call on the weather! Ditto on Bobcat's excellent FG additions, too. The Badger Creek area is such a nice escape from the crowds (presumably because of the distance), plus it has a much longer hiking season.

Very nice shot from the Gumjuwac viewpoint -- a less common angle on the mountain!

Tom :)

Aimless
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by Aimless » November 2nd, 2014, 10:00 am

Thank you for this most excellent trip report. I loved your photos of this less-crowded, but still accessible, area. Reminds me I ought to go explore there.

greenjello85
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by greenjello85 » November 2nd, 2014, 2:52 pm

Nice report and great pictures! You reminded me I need to go explore that wilderness area still :lol:

mcds
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by mcds » November 2nd, 2014, 7:32 pm

greenjello85 wrote:You reminded me I need to go explore that wilderness area still :lol:
Better get up there soon before you lose the chance to experience what Koda experienced:
Koda wrote:Now for the bad news. Such a beautiful peaceful wilderness ruined for the evening by target practice from a group of car campers at Badger Lake. The shooting started about ½ hour from the lake and lasted long after we arrived. The real bad news is they were shooting in our direction. The only “logical” direction to shoot in that campground for those unaware of the trail is away from the other campsites and lake... The last 10 minutes of trail before arriving at the lake I could hear whooping and hollering at hitting targets and could tell were were right in the line of fire. My only assurance of hope was that most target shooters... shoot into ground or other backstop, but this was only an assumption. Both of us hiking in fear of a stray bullet. I’m no stranger to target practice and guns and know from the report we were easily in range of the calibers being fired. Miles and miles of forest roads far enough away from trails and campgrounds and they had to destroy the safety and solitude of the area. When we arrived I walked over to the spillway, they were tucked in the trees on the opposite side of the creek. One of the shooters came walking up giving me the opportunity to let them know their shooting was not appreciated. He did not know there was a hiking trail opposite the creek. he left to inform his friends, we left to find camp. Still, the guns continued a bit longer. Being in the line of fire pretty much ruined my mood for the evening and left a blemish on the trip.
That wonderful experience was made possible because of a compromise on the wilderness expansion. Enough people like you, greenjello85, favored easy access over protecting a watershed/ecosystem.

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mcds
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by mcds » November 2nd, 2014, 7:43 pm

Getting back on topic, awesome photos. Having never hiked in that area, I couldn't follow all the trail turns, but I appreciate the notes on trail conditions nonetheless. That first photo of sunrise on the peak of Hood is stunning.

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BurnsideBob
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by BurnsideBob » November 2nd, 2014, 8:05 pm

I really enjoyed the Mt Hood photos and TR. It has been a very long time since I've been in that area--if the snow holds high I'll follow your lead.

I spent part of the day in the White River watershed at the edge of the clouds! Very interesting to see a different perspective.
I keep making protein shakes but they always turn out like margaritas.

greenjello85
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by greenjello85 » November 2nd, 2014, 9:44 pm

mcds wrote:
greenjello85 wrote:You reminded me I need to go explore that wilderness area still :lol:
Better get up there soon before you lose the chance to experience what Koda experienced:
Koda wrote:Now for the bad news. Such a beautiful peaceful wilderness ruined for the evening by target practice from a group of car campers at Badger Lake. The shooting started about ½ hour from the lake and lasted long after we arrived. The real bad news is they were shooting in our direction. The only “logical” direction to shoot in that campground for those unaware of the trail is away from the other campsites and lake... The last 10 minutes of trail before arriving at the lake I could hear whooping and hollering at hitting targets and could tell were were right in the line of fire. My only assurance of hope was that most target shooters... shoot into ground or other backstop, but this was only an assumption. Both of us hiking in fear of a stray bullet. I’m no stranger to target practice and guns and know from the report we were easily in range of the calibers being fired. Miles and miles of forest roads far enough away from trails and campgrounds and they had to destroy the safety and solitude of the area. When we arrived I walked over to the spillway, they were tucked in the trees on the opposite side of the creek. One of the shooters came walking up giving me the opportunity to let them know their shooting was not appreciated. He did not know there was a hiking trail opposite the creek. he left to inform his friends, we left to find camp. Still, the guns continued a bit longer. Being in the line of fire pretty much ruined my mood for the evening and left a blemish on the trip.
That wonderful experience was made possible because of a compromise on the wilderness expansion. Enough people like you, greenjello85, favored easy access over protecting a watershed/ecosystem.

Image
Once again troll on brother. Be kind don't hijack; )

That photo of hood is awesome!

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rainrunner
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by rainrunner » November 3rd, 2014, 11:19 am

Looks like a pretty hike this time of year.
Nice trail report.
The mountains are calling and I must go.
John Muir

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bobcat
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Re: Gumjuwac - Badger Lk Loop 01-Nov-2014

Post by bobcat » November 4th, 2014, 12:43 pm

Looks like you had a great day. The Camp Windy junction definitely is sketchy. The upper part of the 479 trail was a tangle of blowdown and brush until a few years ago, when the horse group went in and logged it out. Looks like it needs a little attention again.

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