Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

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greenjello85
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Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by greenjello85 » December 14th, 2014, 9:01 pm

Favorite photo of the day!
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The weather was so nice today that I had to sneak a hike before work today. I decided on a hike/bike loop starting at the wildwood recreation area and ending at the Bonanza Trailhead. I stashed my bike at the Bonanza Trailhead and hit was hiking by 815 or so. I hiked past the wildwood gate to the trailhead parking area. Turn left here and cross over a large wooden bridge over the Salmon River. It was a crisp morning & a SLICK bridge!

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After crossing the bridge stay on the paved path towards boulder ridge trail. The boardwalk is closed right now anyways due to storm damage. This path has some big stumps but no old growth:(

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The pavement ends after about 1/4 mile or so at a sign marking the begining of the boulder ridge trail. The trail begins climbing steeply. This section was HAMMERED by the recent wind storm. I crawled under, climbed over, and shimmied around roughly 30 down trees in 2 miles... Some snapped some uprooted. There are several sections of trail tread that have been lost.

Snapped like a twig.
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This big fella was among the fallen but he had a tag...
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Into the sun
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The trail continues to climb through numerous switchbacks and scattered viewpoints.

Hood, The tiny spec in the middle of the photo was a farmhouse
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Eventually the trail starts to slow its ascent a bit. Rather than switchbacks it rides follows just off the top of a ridge slowly gaining elevation.

South view from a saddle
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The trail eventually runs into the old Plaza trail. The abandoned section is almost invisible now. Turn right and follow huckleberry ridge. Make your way along a nice ridge top with a lot of rhodies and a few viewpoints. The trail had a bit of snow on it at this point.

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This survey marker was a nice surprise:)
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After one more final uphill section reach a beautiful open ridge and this rocky point with some pretty awesome views!

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Pano
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One happy chubby kid;)
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Great sky
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The wind was really blowing up there so I continued down the ridge. After a half mile I reached the intersection with the Bonanza Trail and started the long walk down.

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I really enjoyed this trail. The tread is smaller, there are a lot of interesting rocky areas and it just feels more remote.

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After a couple miles the trail flattens out and the treat widens a bit. Shortly after I discovered the bonanza mine. The wind had been pretty loud all day and right before the mine everything went silent. It was terribly eyrie. I was certain something was going come out of there :o

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Lose a bit more elevation and then hit the real hidden gem of this trip. Cheeny Creek is really beautiful!!! My pictures are mostly crap so I won't bother but this is a must see. The trail along here is rugged but at one point the creek splits with a moss covered rocky island in the middle. One each side the creek goes through a series of small waterfalls. One of the prettiest creek sections I've seen this year.

Only pic that isn't blurry as heck from this section
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After a couple miles cross cheeny creek and take the first trail on the left (it's a small trail that doesn't look like you should go that way). The trail really seems like it should go straight here but you must turn because the old trailhead is being blocked by the property owner. After a couple hundred feet this trail hits an old logging road. Turn right and head down to the bonanza trailhead. I hopped on my bike and made a slow ride back down to the wildwood parking area!

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I missed about a half mile before I turned on my GPS so total around 11.5 miles hiking and 3.5 mile bike back.
Another wonderful day in the woods!
Dan
PS sorry for the giant pics I'm having photobucket issues the last couple of days...

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by Waffle Stomper » December 14th, 2014, 10:20 pm

All before work, beats a cup of coffee to start your day.
A fine trip report, thank you for sharing your wonderful hike.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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-Q-
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by -Q- » December 15th, 2014, 5:00 pm

Great report.
I like the trails up to Huckleberry as well.
Like you, I prefer the Bonanza route. Such a great trail. Quite varied.

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kepPNW
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by kepPNW » December 15th, 2014, 5:45 pm

This is one I simply must do! Would love to see a map/track, just to get a better sense of the whereabouts. Great TR! Thanks...
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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-Q-
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by -Q- » December 15th, 2014, 5:51 pm

kepPNW wrote:This is one I simply must do! Would love to see a map/track, just to get a better sense of the whereabouts. Great TR! Thanks...
Here is some good info with maps...

http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org ... Trail_Hike

http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org ... ntain_Hike

Boulder Ridge starts from Wildwood
Bonanza starts from the Welches neighborhood

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kepPNW
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by kepPNW » December 15th, 2014, 6:12 pm

-Q- wrote:
kepPNW wrote:This is one I simply must do! Would love to see a map/track, just to get a better sense of the whereabouts. Great TR! Thanks...
Here is some good info with maps...

http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org ... Trail_Hike

http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org ... ntain_Hike

Boulder Ridge starts from Wildwood
Bonanza starts from the Welches neighborhood
Ah ha! Thought parts of it sounded familiar. Did the second of those two last June...
capture.png
So the part I was missing was the lower trail in the map above. I did follow that Plaza trail down a bit from the sharp switchback. Seemed that "someone" wanted it closed? There had been debris deliberately scattered all across it in an apparent effort to hide the junction.

Okay, so now I just need to get a little shuttle going. Maybe I'll just do a loop with Plaza/Bonanza, to get maximum new trail coverage. (Unless that entire trail has been decommissioned?) Thanks! :)
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

greenjello85
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by greenjello85 » December 15th, 2014, 7:58 pm

Thank you for all the replies! Its great to have such a nice trail within an hours drive of my house! This was my first time up there as I imagine the wildwood trailhead is normally very busy. The winter parking area was empty when I got there but it was full when I got back to my car (although I didn't see anyone on the trail all day).

Here's my track:
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You are correct turning left at the first T with the plaza trail is decommissioned. On the track you posted, continue past that last ridge viewpoint for approximately a half mile and take the first trail on your. This is the Bonanza trail. Both the bonanza trail and the boulder ridge trail have signs at this point. The section I was referring to as the Plaza trail was the ridge walk from the first T to the bonanza trail. I think this section might just be considered part of the boulder ridge trail now that the rest of the plaza trail is closed?

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kepPNW
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by kepPNW » December 16th, 2014, 6:43 am

greenjello85 wrote:You are correct turning left at the first T with the plaza trail is decommissioned. On the track you posted, continue past that last ridge viewpoint for approximately a half mile and take the first trail on your. This is the Bonanza trail. Both the bonanza trail and the boulder ridge trail have signs at this point. The section I was referring to as the Plaza trail was the ridge walk from the first T to the bonanza trail. I think this section might just be considered part of the boulder ridge trail now that the rest of the plaza trail is closed?
Ahhh, so Plaza really is closed? That's unfortunate, but good to know! I wonder if it became impassible, or if there were trailhead issues, or...?

As I recall, when I came up from Wildwood in June, I did see a number of folks within a mile of the trailhead, but only one or two the rest of the way. It's an excellent getaway.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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-Q-
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by -Q- » December 16th, 2014, 3:28 pm

:(
kepPNW wrote:
greenjello85 wrote:You are correct turning left at the first T with the plaza trail is decommissioned. On the track you posted, continue past that last ridge viewpoint for approximately a half mile and take the first trail on your. This is the Bonanza trail. Both the bonanza trail and the boulder ridge trail have signs at this point. The section I was referring to as the Plaza trail was the ridge walk from the first T to the bonanza trail. I think this section might just be considered part of the boulder ridge trail now that the rest of the plaza trail is closed?
Ahhh, so Plaza really is closed? That's unfortunate, but good to know! I wonder if it became impassible, or if there were trailhead issues, or...?

As I recall, when I came up from Wildwood in June, I did see a number of folks within a mile of the trailhead, but only one or two the rest of the way. It's an excellent getaway.
That northern portion of the Plaza trail has been 'decommissioned' by the locals, but I think its still usable. I think it was maybe Pablo who hiked it a few years back. If I remember correctly it ends on private land though :(

The rest of the Plaza trail is in great shape. Goes all the way from the Boulder Ridge trail intersection to the FS Road near Plaza Lake and Squaw/Tumalo Mountain.

That southern section is great for hitting up Sheepshead Rock & Salmon Mountain. Brutal 18 miles of gravel road to drive though.

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kepPNW
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Re: Boulder Ridge - Plaza - Bonanza Loop 12/14/14

Post by kepPNW » December 16th, 2014, 3:38 pm

-Q- wrote:That northern portion of the Plaza trail has been 'decommissioned' by the locals, but I think its still usable. I think it was maybe Pablo who hiked it a few years back. If I remember correctly it ends on private land though :(
Shoot! Might have to search around for whatever Pablo may have posted. Would make a really nice loop, even without a shuttle, together with the Bonanza trail.
-Q- wrote:The rest of the Plaza trail is in great shape. Goes all the way from the Boulder Ridge trail intersection to the FS Road near Plaza Lake and Squaw/Tumalo Mountain.

That southern section is great for hitting up Sheepshead Rock & Salmon Mountain. Brutal 18 miles of gravel road to drive though.
Good to know, thanks!
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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