Veterans Creek to Mount Scott 3-3-19

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bobcat
Posts: 1916
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Veterans Creek to Mount Scott 3-3-19

Post by bobcat » March 5th, 2019, 11:02 am

A longtime quest has been to find a way to the top of Mt. Scott via a forested corridor that would rival the Council Crest hike on Portland’s west side. Thanks to Caltopo, the trails are mapped out, the difference being that they are all user constructed trails, unsigned, and mostly frequented by mountain bikers. But yes, you can do a forested walk to Mt. Scott’s summit without ever crossing a road although there’s no nice public park to greet you when you arrive at the top.

I parked my car above the Portland Pentecostal Church on 98th Avenue and walked down to cross Mt. Scott Boulevard. Topo maps show a gravel road that crosses Veterans Creek here and leads up to a house. The City of Portland purchased this property in 2011, and it is now called the Veterans Creek Natural Area. The house has been demolished and some restoration work was done on Veterans Creek. I walked up the road bed and past the house site, which has been planted over by Friends of Trees. The trail then continued above the creek.

Beginning of Veterans Creek Trail, Mount Scott.jpg
Cedars, Veterans Creek Trail, Mount Scott.jpg

I took a diversion to reach a gravel trail below Altamont Park, which at different points offered views from expensive condos to the Coast Range and north to St. Helens and Silver Star. I dove back into the Douglas-fir/cedar woods and reached a small reservoir. The trail proceeded along the dam wall, which now sprouts substantial cottonwoods, and continued up the slope.

Douglas-firs, Altamont Summit Trail, Mount Scott.jpg
View to Johnson Creek Blvd. and the West Hills, Altamont Summit Trail, Mount Scott.jpg
Entrance to Altamont Park, Mount Scott.jpg
St. Helens and Rainier, Altamont Park, Mount Scott.jpg
Reservoir, Bristol Park Trails, Mount Scott.jpg

Soon I passed below Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, and walked out to it to get a view to Mt. Adams. Then it was up into a confusing network of trails with mountain biker ramps and both wood and dirt jumps. Side trails skirted the technical features although trails were steep at times. I took the uphill route most of the time and popped out at the junction of Eastview Drive and Ridgeway Drive on Mt. Scott’s crater rim. A short walk down Eastview offered a great view to Mt. Hood from the KKPZ towers. Then I strolled along Ridgeway, with Scott’s crater dropping away to the left, to the highest point I could get to that wasn’t locked behind gated driveways and communications compounds.

View to Mt. Adams, Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, Mount Scott.jpg
Speed sign for bikers, Bristol Park Trails, Mount Scott.jpg
Diving board, Bristol Park Trails, Mount Scott.jpg
Gate at Eastview Drive, Mount Scott.jpg
Mt. Hood view from Eastview Drive, Mount Scott.jpg
Legal summit, Mount Scott.jpg

Taking the trails down from Eastview, I took a diversion to the east. There should always be at least one rusting relic on a trip like this and, sure enough, I was gratified to poke around a slowly deliquescing sedan, I think a Chevy Impala. Then I connected with a short set of gravel trails along creek bottoms in the upscale Happy Valley neighborhood of Lincoln Heights. I met a couple of bikers on the trail coming back from Lincoln Heights, the only other humans on the slope.

View to Mt. Hood, Bristol Park Trails, Mount Scott.jpg
Chevy Impala, Bristol Park Trails, Mount Scott.jpg
Impala side view, Bristol Park Trails, Mount Scott.jpg
Lincoln Heights ambience, Mount Scott.jpg

Dropping down Veterans Creek again, I took another diversion east of the reservoir (This area is marked “Bristol Park” on Google Maps), and came upon a couple of mossy rock-lined cisterns on the creek itself. A farther exploration on an old road landed me at an abandoned shed/garage constructed right on top of a large culvert that carries the creek. From there I figured my way back to connect with my entry trail, no bushwhacking involved.

Trail through the maples, Bristol Park Trails, Mount Scott.jpg
Teardrop cistern, Veterans Creek, Mount Scott.jpg
Small cistern, Veterans Creek, Mount Scott.jpg
Looking down Veterans Creek, Mount Scott.jpg
Rusty pipe, Veterans Creek, Mount Scott.jpg
Abandoned shed, Veterans Creek, Mount Scott.jpg

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K.Wagner
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Re: Veterans Creek to Mount Scott 3-3-19

Post by K.Wagner » March 10th, 2019, 3:08 pm

Bobcat, I am impressed! I had no idea that a route like that was even remotely possible. Am going to have to do some snooping around & see if I can duplicate your success!
Kelly
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aiwetir
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Re: Veterans Creek to Mount Scott 3-3-19

Post by aiwetir » March 11th, 2019, 1:40 am

Willing to post the route?
- Michael

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bobcat
Posts: 1916
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Veterans Creek to Mount Scott 3-3-19

Post by bobcat » March 11th, 2019, 11:09 am

The trails have been posted in Caltopo. Here's a screen shot. I did pretty much all the red dotted line trails in the frame, plus there are other routes and connectors not shown. The two houses shown at the very northern part of the route have been demolished.

Screen Shot 2019-03-11 at 12.26.42 PM.png

Some of the neighborhoods east of Altamont Park, off of SE Highgate, are gated communities even though it shows trails connecting to them, so I had to do some backtracking.

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