Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

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Arturo
Posts: 178
Joined: April 20th, 2015, 6:44 am
Location: Portland

Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by Arturo » July 1st, 2018, 7:14 pm

What an awesome hike.
Bugs were whack. Picaridin really works. Not a bite.
Road is better than Grouse Vista. Or at least the same.
There's a trailbridge, for lack of a better term, from the rocky start into the forest. No problem crossing the stream.
Blue Lake ain't much of a destination.
Took the lollipop left over the bridge and up. Way more gain/energy expended.

GPS track: http://gpsfly.org/a/8272

First landmark:
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I wanna say these are hostas...
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South Fork Toutle:
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View across the Toutle River canyon to the Forest Learning Center.
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It wasn't a clear sky but there were still views:
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Since there was no summit I chose this spot to enjoy a home brewed pineapple cider. Not bad. The cider. And the spot.
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The mountain finally came out ... 1/2 mile from the trailhead.
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11.5 miles. A bunch of gain. Expansive views. And really, not that hard, or hard to get to.

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Chip Down
Posts: 1896
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by Chip Down » July 1st, 2018, 7:53 pm

Oh, I was expecting Sunday to be perfectly clear.
I guess I got all your bites. It was drizzly, and I was close to the car, so didn't want to mess with repellents.
That's a nice little bridge. Simple, cheap, gets the job done.
Yeah, Blue Lake was surprising. ("that's it?")

mjanardh
Posts: 65
Joined: September 8th, 2015, 8:56 pm

Re: Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by mjanardh » July 1st, 2018, 8:34 pm

great hike .. a lot of similarities with the paradise loop hike, mt. Hood.
-Mani

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K.Wagner
Posts: 643
Joined: June 2nd, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by K.Wagner » July 2nd, 2018, 12:05 pm

Hmm.. was a popular place this weekend! We did the loop Saturday. It threatened rain, but it never happened, the clouds just got lower on the mountain.
We came down the Blue Horse (#237??) trail. The crossing over the runoff rock area was a bit of a challenge. Really glad that I had my GPS, it would have been pretty difficult to find the connecting trail on the other side without it. It was about 1/2 mile of no flags, no markers, only saw 2 cairns. I will post a couple of pictures this evening.
Kelly
There is no shortcut to anyplace worth going to.

PM me about the soon to be released:
Skamania 231
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K.Wagner
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Joined: June 2nd, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by K.Wagner » July 2nd, 2018, 6:20 pm

Here are a few pics from our trip.

1) We were really impressed with the old growth timber, and the dramatic change in the forest structure as soon as you crossed over the Cold Spring Creek. Here's Fran trying to be a tree hugger, but couldn't quite get there with this one!
07-TreeHugger-S.jpg
2) We always love to see the Avalanche Lilies. Not as many as some hikes, but still so colorful
20-Avalanche_Lily-S.jpg
3) About 1/3 mile after turning onto the Blue Horse Trail (really an old road bed for the first 3/4 mile or so), we passed this instrument tower. Thought it odd that there was nothing on the tower except for the 3 solar panels. There were 2 power cables coming down the frame, but they just disappeared into the ground. No sign around of any sort of instrumentation, or transmitter antenna.
21-Tower-S.jpg
4) After what seemed like a lot of downhill, we broke out of the timber and walked out onto the chewed up gravel / cinder bed, where the trail immediately disappeared. I scratched my head and said: "OK GPS, take us home!"
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5) Part way down the spring snow melt mess
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6) About 2/3 of the way down. Fran hates walking on loose rocks, but she's getin' it done.
28-Washout-S.jpg
7) Finally I see some orange ribbon on the east side, and it looks to be in right spot. When we finally get there, we see the sign and know it's official! Thank you GPS!
30-Trail_Sign-S.jpg
Kelly
There is no shortcut to anyplace worth going to.

PM me about the soon to be released:
Skamania 231
"How to really get off the beaten path in Skamania County"

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jeffstatt
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by jeffstatt » July 2nd, 2018, 6:48 pm

Thanks guys. Love seeing these West Side MSH reports recently. So much more to see!

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Chip Down
Posts: 1896
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by Chip Down » July 2nd, 2018, 8:00 pm

K.Wagner wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 12:05 pm
Hmm.. was a popular place this weekend! We did the loop Saturday. It threatened rain, but it never happened, the clouds just got lower on the mountain.
We came down the Blue Horse (#237??) trail. The crossing over the runoff rock area was a bit of a challenge. Really glad that I had my GPS, it would have been pretty difficult to find the connecting trail on the other side without it. It was about 1/2 mile of no flags, no markers, only saw 2 cairns. I will post a couple of pictures this evening.
Ah, interesting, I was between Arturo and Kelly. It did rain Saturday, but you were presumably off the mountain by then.

I had a similar struggle with finding my trail, but I came down Butte Camp. See my post in the Trail Q&A section.

From Blue Lake TH, I want to head east on the Toutle trail by headlamp Wednesday. Foolish plan?

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K.Wagner
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Joined: June 2nd, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Blue Lake to Sheep Canyon

Post by K.Wagner » July 3rd, 2018, 9:03 am

It's a clear trail, I don't see any reason not to.
Kelly
There is no shortcut to anyplace worth going to.

PM me about the soon to be released:
Skamania 231
"How to really get off the beaten path in Skamania County"

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