Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

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CraigG
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Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by CraigG » January 13th, 2015, 10:28 pm

Greetings -

Our group had a rather aggressive plan to start at King’s Mtn TH, summit Elk Mtn twice (via Elk Creek trail), summit Kings Mtn, then descend Kings Mtn for a rather epic (and somewhat crazy) loop.

Such an exotic route required a 4am wakeup time. Should I get up at some ungodly hour to go out in the wind/rain/cold, or just stay in my nice and comfy bed??? Pondering…. :?:

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Okaaay, I will get up.

We started from King's Mtn TH at dawn. A quick offtrail detour to Oregon Henge - what's this? An exotic, possibly forbidden ritual caught on camera?? ;)

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A view of Oregon Henge from a "better" camera (not mine): :)

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Views of the forest as daylight appeared, on our way over to Elk Mtn TH:
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genemc wondered if we would have it in us to summit Elk Mtn twice:
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And so up we started up Elk Mtn, the first time:
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Rigby was kept close on-leash for the Elk Mtn ascent, poised for his first Elk summit!
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The ascent trail to Elk Mtn summit was in excellent shape - no mud, no ice, no snow - just steep as advertised. We took some quick breaks on our way up:
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Rigby had to be helped up twice during his ascent of Elk Mtn. Not too bad for a medium sized dog.
Our final approach to Elk Mtn summit!
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Rigby's first Elk Mtn summit - signing the register:
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We want to do this summit again??? Really???
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Checking out the available food to mooch: :)
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OK - time to head off the north side of Elk Mtn summit - no ice, no snow at the summit. Rigby was picked up and carefully carried down from the north side of the summit:
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Folks coming down the steep section, off the north side of Elk:
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We took the traverse over to the 3-way junction, before heading down Elk Creek trail:
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Rigby's look says it all: You REALLY want to do THAT again? :shock:
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We headed down Elk Creek trail, which was in wonderful shape. No snow, no ice, no mud.
Just a gentle 4-mile descent back to the bottom of Elk Mtn.
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Some rather pretty waterfalls along Elk Creek trail, which must get hidden behind trees part of the year:
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East and west forks of Elk Creek:
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genemc and myself discussed the merits of a second Elk Mtn summit. Rigby seemed disinterested in such an excursion: :lol:
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I believe this is the creek crossing to the Idiot Creek trail loop, as indicated by a nearby sign:
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Some shots upon on return to the Elk Mtn trailhead from the Elk Mtn parking lot:
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The group vetoed the second Elk Mtn summit loop and headed back to King's Mtn TH via the lower connector trail. Rigby seemed rather pleased: :)
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On our way back to King's Mtn TH, I noticed some offtrail flagging up one of the creeks? (N45.60982° W123.48676°)
This is not Middle Creek, but a creek about 0.25 east of Middle Creek - I wonder where this flagging goes as it ascends on the left/west side of this creek?
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Maybe I shall check it out another time. All back safe!
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We will try an "Elk-Elk-Kings" route another day. I think Rigby will sit it out though.
genemc provided a tummy rub to Rigby upon successful completion of the day's events - well done all!
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Distance: 15.9 miles (approx)
Ascent: 4400 ft (approx)

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by Sean Thomas » January 14th, 2015, 10:57 pm

Nice job all, that looks like a great group and a fun hike. I might try something endurance related up there this weekend too and will also be forced to ponder the warm bed vs cold rain thing :lol:


Also, Rigby is becoming a PH legend in record time. Thanks for including him in your tr's.

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CraigG
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by CraigG » January 15th, 2015, 10:10 pm

Sean Thomas wrote:Nice job all, that looks like a great group and a fun hike. I might try something endurance related up there this weekend too and will also be forced to ponder the warm bed vs cold rain thing :lol:


Also, Rigby is becoming a PH legend in record time. Thanks for including him in your tr's.
Thanks Sean!

I will have to go back for an Elk-Elk-Kings another time with genemc and co. I am rather curious where the flagging leads that is pictured in the TR. It seems to lead up a gully between to ridges. Maybe yet another adventure, another time. :D

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Crusak
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by Crusak » January 15th, 2015, 11:15 pm

Awesome hike! One of my favorite loops in the Coast Range. I'm glad to hear that Elk Creek Trail is in good shape - sometimes it suffers abundant landslides in the winter.
Jim's Hikes

Solvitur Ambulando

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CraigG
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by CraigG » January 20th, 2015, 10:33 pm

Crusak wrote:Awesome hike! One of my favorite loops in the Coast Range. I'm glad to hear that Elk Creek Trail is in good shape - sometimes it suffers abundant landslides in the winter.
Greetings Crusak -

Thanks for the reply! Next time we go out to Elk/Kings this year, I shall send you an email. I know some folks from the group wanted to go back and finish what we had started: the Elk-Elk-Kings Loop! :)

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IslandCougGirl
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by IslandCougGirl » January 21st, 2015, 2:58 am

What breed of dog is Rigby? The face looks like a King Charles Cav but the curls throw me and make me thing a little Cocker spaniel. I bet he got a nice bath when he got home :)

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CraigG
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by CraigG » January 21st, 2015, 10:13 am

IslandCougGirl wrote:What breed of dog is Rigby? The face looks like a King Charles Cav but the curls throw me and make me thing a little Cocker spaniel. I bet he got a nice bath when he got home :)
Greetings!

Rigby is a tri-part American Cocker Spaniel as I understand it. Almost 3 yrs old. He needs a grooming as his fur is now too long. ;)

He got a nice bath and blow dry after the hike. Takes about 90 minutes to get him clean, dry and all. Rigby isn't thrilled with it, but puts up with the cleaning because he comes back with so much dirt within his coat. Then he sleeps very well.

R11
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by R11 » January 21st, 2015, 11:20 am

Wow, it's amazing how bare of snow it is up there this year! Looks like it was a fun trip. If you're looking for alternatives, my favorite longer, multi-peak route is a lolly-pop that goes up Kings and around to the junction, down around Elk Creek trail, up Elk and then all the way back around the ridge to Kings and down. It's also 16 miles but gives a good 6800' or so of (non-GPS inflated) elevation gain. It also avoids that noisy section along the highway which is a bonus for me.


ron

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kepPNW
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Re: Elk Mtn and Elk Creek Trail - Jan 10, 2015

Post by kepPNW » January 21st, 2015, 1:13 pm

R11 wrote:Wow, it's amazing how bare of snow it is up there this year! Looks like it was a fun trip. If you're looking for alternatives, my favorite longer, multi-peak route is a lolly-pop that goes up Kings and around to the junction, down around Elk Creek trail, up Elk and then all the way back around the ridge to Kings and down. It's also 16 miles but gives a good 6800' or so of (non-GPS inflated) elevation gain. It also avoids that noisy section along the highway which is a bonus for me.
VERY interesting loop-de-lollipop! Gonna keep that one in mind. :D
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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