Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
huckleberries
Posts: 4
Joined: August 2nd, 2018, 4:45 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by huckleberries » August 9th, 2018, 6:04 am

Last weekend I was looking at the forecast which showed smoky haze for approximately the rest of summer, and decided to tackle a long hike for a hot day. The field guide on this site was very helpful.

I did notice quite a few PCT thru-hikers at Cascade Locks, but none on the bridge. The drive in on 9+ miles of one lane forest brown roads was tedious. How could those potholes get to be car-sized? I would recommend six+ inches of ground clearance or you are likely to have some vehicle-to-ground scraping either entering/exiting the potholes, or with the raised center of the road.

I got to Grassy Knoll TH by about 9ish and no cars. My pack was pretty heavy with over 100 oz. of water. I did decide given the length and elevation and likely hazy conditions not to bring a good camera. In hindsight, I would bring the camera. Many of the shots would have come out far better.
grassy-knoll-trailhead.jpg
After leaving the initial meadow, almost immediately I saw a red huckleberry plant with some berries. Exciting! However that was the only one I ended up seeing the whole 13 miles. There were still some wildflowers here and there. And lots of thimbleberries.
thimbleberries.jpg
What I really like about this hike is the frequently changing views from meadow to forest to territorial or better. The first rocky viewpoint provided fine vantage of Big Lava Bed and Mt. Adams.
Big-Huckleberry-Mountain-first-rocky-viewpoint.jpg
View a 360 from the first rocky viewpoint overlooking Big Lava Bed and Mt. Adams:
https://www.vrlog.com/360/big-huckleber ... -viewpoint
Big-Huckleberry-Mtn-second-rocky-viewpt.jpg
View a 360 from the second rocky viewpoint location:
https://www.vrlog.com/360/big-huckleber ... -viewpoint

Grassy Knoll is amazing. It had probably the best views of the entire hike.
Big-Huckleberry-Mtn-Grassy-Bluff-nr-1-crop.jpg
View a 360 from Grassy Knoll:
https://www.vrlog.com/360/big-huckleber ... knoll-nr-1

I wasn't planning on definitely going all the way to Big Huckleberry Mtn at this point, waiting to see how hard things got. After heading onwards, I started noticing huge numbers of service berries. I never ate them before, and the inside is white and not that tasty.
a-berry-that-is-blue.jpg
Meanwhile I kept getting better and better views of Mt. Adams.
mt-adams-from-grassy-bluff.jpg
There's many places along the trail where you have to wade through waist high bushes, to the point where it is easy to miss your footing as you cannot see the trail. On the other hand, sometimes the ripe thimbleberries are right at mouth height. I was a little scared of these pictured white berries -- I'm guessing they are poisonous.
white-berries.jpg
As you get closer to Big Huckleberry Mountain, there's more of the classic Vacciniums but berries were few and far between. I think the forest cover is now dense enough that they don't get enough sunlight compared to a more recently burned areas or the Sawtooth fields kind of configuration.

Cold Springs camp was a nice stopping point, but there were no signs of any cold springs anywhere nearby. I did eventually (a mile later?) cross a very small rivulet of water but at the same time this stretch also seemed to have a much larger crew of biting insects of at least two kinds.
cold-springs-camp-nr1.jpg
I got to a point where the trail starts heading uphill towards the PCT, and at about the same time you get a view of Big Huckleberry Mountain. Way up there. It looks like a bit of a staggering elevation gain after already ascending and descending many, many vertical feet. This business of lots of up and down in a day is so typical of the PCT, no wonder it used to be part of the PCT. Anyway I decided to go for it since the GPS showed the distances not to be insane.

The junction with the PCT is not very exciting, but at least it has good signage.
grass-knoll-trail-sign-at-PCT.jpg
As I rested here, I thought I might see some thru-hikers but evidently they were already gone. About 15 feet of travel on the PCT later, the side-trail to Big Huckleberry Mountain shoots off and up to the right. There's a typo in the sign --
Big huckelberry mountain.
PCNST-signpost.jpg
The summit was reached not too much later and there are a few slot views of mountains here and there, but the trees are blocking 80-90% of the view. I explored off to the east of the summit a bit and found Mt. Adams was now enshrouded in some clouds.
Image

I had lunch here and was glad to be headed back; was getting dehydrated. I had saved 64 oz for the return leg as the heat felt like it was in the upper eighties.
Big-Huckleberry-Mtn-nr-1-crop.jpg
View a 360 from just below the summit:
https://www.vrlog.com/360/big-huckleberry-mountain-nr-1

View a 360 from the firering at the summit:
https://www.vrlog.com/360/big-huckleberry-mountain-nr-2
Big-Huckleberry-Mtn-nr-3-crop.jpg
View a 360 from a slot view of Mt. Hood:
https://www.vrlog.com/360/big-huckleberry-mountain-nr-3

On the way back, there's a meadow somewhat north of the Grassy Knoll which I thought had some pleasing views so I shot a 360 there:
big-huckleberry-mtn-along-way-back.jpg
View a 360 from the ridge north of the Grassy Knoll in the afternoon:
https://www.vrlog.com/360/old-pct-trail ... assy-knoll

When I got back to the Grassy Knoll, the lighting had changed quite a bit and so I shot another 360 on my phone. In this one you can see the Columbia River much more easily than the morning one. However both mountains are topped with clouds.
I sort of like this 360 better than the first from the Grassy Knoll.
https://www.vrlog.com/360/big-huckleber ... knoll-nr-2

Somewhere below Grassy Knoll I ran into a family headed in -- the first people I'd seen all day.
They were asking about where the water feature was, which I had no knowledge of.

Image

Another rest stop at the first rocky overlook. (well I cannot seem to add any more media to this post -- weird!)
Image

I did notice the trail in the last stretch below Grassy had some steep pitches which when combined with the loose rocks and duff made it easy to slip even with hiking poles and robust boots.

Notes:

The 360 panoramas are big, with enough resolution to view on a 4K screen. You can zoom in as well as pan around. Consequently they may take awhile to load, but they have a lot more detail than the single shots that you can upload to this forum. They should work in all recent browsers, no plugins required. While they were taken with a cellphone, it was a lot of extra effort to stitch them together compared to an DSLR camera with manual mode and a bubble level.
Attachments
Big-Huckleberry-Mtn-nr-2a-crop.jpg
Last edited by huckleberries on August 10th, 2018, 5:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Re-entering the Stone Ephemera of Codex Monolithiopia

Webfoot
Posts: 963
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by Webfoot » August 9th, 2018, 6:44 am

huckleberries wrote:
August 9th, 2018, 6:04 am
What I really like about this hike is the frequently changing views from meadow to forest to territorial or better.
I am not familiar with that term in this context; what do you mean by it?

By the way I am surprised you hike such distance on so little water. On a hot day I go through half a litre per mile.

User avatar
huckleberries
Posts: 4
Joined: August 2nd, 2018, 4:45 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by huckleberries » August 9th, 2018, 6:58 am

I think of a territorial view as allowing you to see at least a kilometer or two of territory.

What I didn't mention is the 16 oz of water I guzzled at the car as I headed in. But yes, I think I was under the amount that I would prefer -- many hikes you'd probably run across some water you could filter on a hike this long to augment.
Re-entering the Stone Ephemera of Codex Monolithiopia

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12214
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by retired jerry » August 9th, 2018, 7:11 am

I would have called those huckleberries. Maybe that's part of why I have found some huckleberries to be less tasty:)

100 ounces of water is "so little". I never carry more than 16 ounces. But I camel up before I start. If it's a hot day I'll refill half way, so I'll start with 16 ounces, drink 16 ounces at the refill point, and then carry another 16 ounces - so 48 ounces total.

The rule for climbing Cascade volcanoes was always 2 quarts - 64 ounces total.

Webfoot
Posts: 963
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by Webfoot » August 9th, 2018, 8:19 am

Some people sweat more than others; maybe I'm on the soggy side. :lol:

I wonder how much other people drink?

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12214
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by retired jerry » August 9th, 2018, 8:36 am

If you drink more, at some point, you just pee more. I figure if my pee is clear to light yellow I'm good.

First, I drink when I'm thirsty.

Second, I drink 16 ounces during an 8 hour day if it's cool, 48 ounces if it's hot. Even if I don't seem thirsty I'll make sure and drink that much.

Third, as an over-all check, look at pee color. Occasionally my pee will get medium yellow and I know I need to drink more. Rarely, I screw up and my pee is dark yellow.

If you drink a lot, your metabolism will convert lots of water to pee. If you drink less, your metabolism will shift to water conservation. Nothing unhealthy about getting into that zone, unless you have abnormal health, like diabetes or something.

User avatar
drm
Posts: 4897
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by drm » August 9th, 2018, 9:32 am

A liter and an apple is usually all I ever take. But if it's a hot day, I will choose a hike with a reliable water supply to get more. Quite often I choose such a hike and carry no water. If there are frequent water sources, I just drink when they are handy. If you carry lots of water on a hot day, the water gets hot - not very refreshing. Most creeks will have cooler water.

User avatar
Double Tree
Posts: 198
Joined: September 6th, 2012, 10:51 am

Re: Big Huckleberry Mountain from Grassy Knoll TH on August 5, 2018

Post by Double Tree » August 15th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Outdoor school taught about berries: "Blue and black always, red sometimes, white never." I've found it accurate so far.
Kelly

Post Reply