GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

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mjirving
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GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by mjirving » April 1st, 2018, 9:47 am

2018.08 - Memaloose Hills
“Hike-by-numbers” 

3/31/18
Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Miles: 7.3
Time: 3 hrs, 0 min
Avg MPH: 2.4
Elev Min: 200’
Elev Max: 960’
Total Ascent: 1,010’
Steps: 14,000
Flights of Stairs: 92
Time Up: 5:00am
Sleep Hours: 5
Start Time: 8:50am
Temp Low: 45
Temp High: 50
Other hikers: 24
Female hikers: 67%
Longest time without seeing a hiker: 2:00
Wildlife: Squirrel, Small grey bird, Dozen Deer, Hawk, Bumble Bee, Orange-tip butterfly
Parking Permit Required: No
Parking Lot: Typical rest area
Bathrooms: Yes

Columbia Gorge * Bat Roost * Marsh Hill * Chatfield Hill * Mt Hood * Mt Adams * Memaloose Overlook * Basalt Pinnacles

Opening Shot: Mt Adams across on the Washington side of the Gorge
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The Memaloose Rest Area is the trailhead for this hike. There is also a trailhead up on Highway 30 that the trail crosses. The trail is only accessible from the eastbound exit and you have to drive another 3 miles east to crossover to come back west. I think the better plan would be to get off at Mosier and take Highway 30 to go to that trailhead to avoid having to go the extra 6-mile-round-trip to go back west on the way home. (The parking area there is minimal though, so beware on a busy day.)

After 100 yards going to the east on the paved path, I exited to a worn grass path. I have a GPS track for this hike, thank goodness, as it snakes between areas of private property and isn’t really a trail, more of a slightly worn social trail/path. 

I saw some Columbia Desert Parsley. 
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I think this is Grass Widow?
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I quickly was made painfully aware that I really needed the GPS track, as I kept losing the lightly worn path. Down in this lower section there was not much of a distant view, so it was hard to get my bearings. I was glad I did this clockwise, to get the hardest part out of the way first. The hike definitely got easier to navigate as I went. It felt like a paint-by-numbers hike with as much as I had to reference my GPS on the early parts. There was a bunch of Glacier Lily throughout the day. 
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I came across a dilapidated out-building,
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and its main barn, which had a sign on it warning that it was a bat roost, and to leave the bats alone. 
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I crossed over a paved road and up a slope to a plateau. There were lots of oak and Ponderosa Pine on this hike. I loved this composition of this giant tree with Mt Hood behind it. 
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I followed the edge of this creek before crossing it. 
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The views down into the Gorge were great and continuous. This was from Hill 840 which was my first of three summits on this hike. 
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I angled 90 degrees off the summit of the hill to go pretty straight through prairie grasses for the next couple miles. It was pretty cool as the meadows were teeming with birds that were flying around and still singing their morning songs. See this one on the stump?
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See the herd of deer? There were about a dozen of them. 
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Here’s a clip of them. 
2018-03-31 Memeloose Deer from Michael Irving on Vimeo.

I crossed another road and tracked the edge of an oak savanna around the base of Marsh Hill. 
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I finally teed into the real trail to the top of Marsh Hill. There had been zero sign of trail since I had approached Hill 840. 

I quickly got to the top of Marsh Hill and saw some Arrowleaf Balsamroot along the way. 
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Here is the view to the east from Marsh Hill. You can see Hill 840 just to the right of the center of this picture, on the horizon. 
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To the west you can see two hills. Chatfield Hill is the one on the left where I’ll being going next. 
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I dropped down into the saddle and heard all kinds of chatter. I hadn’t seen a soul in two hours, and now I see 13 people all at once. It was great to see a half-dozen young boys and girls, out with their parents on a hike. 

I passed them and pounded up to the top of Chatfield Hill, which was easily the most elevation gain on this mostly flattish hike. The view from the top was great. Here is the northeast side of Mt Hood,
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looking west down the Gorge,
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and my only view of the day of Mt Adams, to the north. 
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Here is a 360-degree video of the view from the top. 
2018-03-31 Memaloose - Chatfield Hill from Michael Irving on Vimeo.

I dropped off the summit on its backside on a social trail. It was a good path though, but a tad steep, which was fine. If it had been raining, it would have been a slip-n-slide though. I saw my only Paintbrush of the entire hike here. 
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I’m not sure what this next flower is...any help?
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After dropping off Chatfield Hill, it flattened out into another oak savanna, before rejoining the main trail. 
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I started to see more hikers in this area, as I was getting close to Highway 30. Among the hikers, I saw three older ladies together that were about 75 years old or so. I love to see that...it’s inspiring. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I rarely see older men out hiking, but it’s reasonably common to see older women. I’ve even seen some in their late 80s/early 90s on the trail...and not near the trailhead in many cases...impressive. 

I saw an orange-tip butterfly for the first time ever. Just one of them though It was too speedy to get a picture, but here is one that I pulled off of Google.
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I crossed Highway 30 right at Memaloose Overlook. There was a nice view down to an island in the river. There is a grave monument out there for Victor Trivett, who was a pioneer legislator who was friendly with the Indians and requested to be buried here. The Indians interred their dead in cedar vaults on islands like these. When the dam was built, they had to move the Indian remains, but this burial remains to this day. In fact, “Memaloose” is derived from its Chinook word, which means, “to die”. See the grave marker out there?
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I dropped down on the west side of the overlook, down into a forested area that made me feel like I had just been transported to the other side of Hood River. 
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The basalt pinnacles were pretty cool. 
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It was the perfect, peaceful finish to the hike. It curled down back to the rest area to finish out the loop. 

Summary:
This was a tale of two hikes. I’d recommend going west from the rest area, up to the two summits and back. The other way, that completes the loop, is a whole other story. I’m glad I did it, but it should only be for the adventurers with GPS or very good map-reading skills. 

Favorite experience of the day:
All the wildlife out for the morning. It might have been the most I’ve seen/heard per mile ever on a hike.

Least favorite experience of the day: 
I wasn’t really in the mood for the early route-finding. 

Today's elevation:
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Google Earth with Track:
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GPS Track:
https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/tra ... ikingmapHD

-GoalTech (aka Mike)
www.GoalTechHikes.com
@goaltechhikes (Instagram)

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derwoodynck
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by derwoodynck » April 1st, 2018, 5:46 pm

Those orange tipped butterflies are elusive. I've only seen a couple in the last few years and have yet to get a photo of one. Someday.........

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romann
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by romann » April 1st, 2018, 6:33 pm

Interesting route - thanks for posting! We usually do West side of your loop as an out-n-back, I didn't know there's a way to extend it.

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mjirving
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by mjirving » April 1st, 2018, 6:47 pm

Totally...I was very surprised to see it. It was so pretty, but it took off as soon as I looked at it and flittered away.

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mjirving
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by mjirving » April 1st, 2018, 6:49 pm

Beware Romann as the other part of the loop couldn’t be more different. Like...no trail for starters. :-)

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adamschneider
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by adamschneider » April 1st, 2018, 7:10 pm

mjirving wrote:I saw an orange-tip butterfly for the first time ever. Just one of them though It was too speedy to get a picture, but here is one that I pulled off of Google.
Cheater! :shock:

Seriously, though, I see those things regularly but almost never get a decent photo of them. They're too frenetic. Below is my best attempt, from last year at the Crawford Oaks trailhead:

Image

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adamschneider
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by adamschneider » April 1st, 2018, 7:27 pm

By the way, you don't really have to worry about private property in the area you were exploring, between I-84 and Highway 30 on the east side of the rest area. The only parcel in there that isn't USFS or OR State Parks is the Wasco County gravel pit.

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romann
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by romann » April 1st, 2018, 7:39 pm

mjirving wrote:Beware Romann as the other part of the loop couldn’t be more different. Like...no trail for starters. :-)
No trail sounds even more fun! Now I have to go and try it..
Last edited by romann on April 1st, 2018, 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mjirving
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by mjirving » April 1st, 2018, 7:40 pm

Thanks for the tip Adam...and great shot!

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mjirving
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Re: GoalTechHikes Memaloose Hills - "Hike-by-Numbers" 033118

Post by mjirving » April 1st, 2018, 7:42 pm

Romann, it makes the hike have a ton of variety. I probably should have rated it higher reflecting on it now.

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