Lamberson Spur Loop, Mt. Hood

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smithsummit
Posts: 44
Joined: July 14th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Lamberson Spur Loop, Mt. Hood

Post by smithsummit » July 14th, 2020, 3:22 pm

HI,

My first trip report on OregonHikers...

Yesterday, 7/13/20, I hiked the Lamberson Spur loop as: Polallie TH, Lamberson Spur, Timberline Trail, Gnarl Ridge, Elk Meadows, Tamawana Falls, Polallie TH.

Not much trouble getting to the clearing on Lamberson Spur trail at ~3.75 miles (5,150 feet). Great view of the upper mountain and would make a great camp spot (bring water).

After leaving the clearing, the "trail" quickly degenerates into a death jumble of fallen trees. I laughed as I worked my way past the "trail_end" waypoint on my GPS. Your goal is to make it onto the upper spur; ~1 mile and 600 vertical feet past the clearing. At around 5,700 feet the fallen timber challenge becomes more fun and less blood exacting.

Having survived the misery below... I found the upper spur to be really enjoyable off-trail exploration. Where the way is blocked stay to the left side of the ridge crest. The spur ends within 200 vertical feet, and perhaps .2 mile north, of the Timberline Trail at roughly 7,200 feet.

On the return... Elk Meadows going north from Gnarl Ridge trail is not wonderful (the creek is nice) but... Don't think about using Bluegrass Ridge. It's in awful condition and not likely to be cleared anytime soon. The side trip to Tamanawa Falls is well worth the effort, only 3/4 mile (each way) off route.

I was on the trail by 7am, made the Timberline just after Noon, back to the car just after 5pm. My GPS track showed just over 5,400 feet total gain.

Except for the dead fall this would be a 5 star outing. I can't think of another trip in the Mt. Hood area that offers as much off trail fun without climbing gear.

--Rob

Clearing at the end of the decent trail
IMG_20200713_083206601.jpg

Death jumble, and not even the worst bit
IMG_20200713_100936760_HDR.jpg

Lower part of the upper spur
IMG_20200713_103156506.jpg

One of the "gendarmes"
IMG_20200713_103826574_HDR.jpg

Nearing the Timberline Trail on giant basaltic corn flakes
IMG_20200713_113524609_HDR.jpg

Looking back down the spur from near Timberline Trail
IMG_20200713_114537751_HDR.jpg

Timberline Trail high point
IMG_20200713_121733549_HDR.jpg

Timberline Trail money shot
IMG_20200713_125136046_HDR.jpg

Tamanawa Falls
IMG_20200713_161823241.jpg

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walrus
Posts: 203
Joined: July 9th, 2014, 7:24 am

Re: Lamberson Spur Loop, Mt. Hood

Post by walrus » July 14th, 2020, 6:11 pm

I think I met you on your way down the Elk Meadows trail and was trying to figure out your route from the high point this morning - nice to know a little more about your adventure!

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Chip Down
Posts: 2697
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Lamberson Spur Loop, Mt. Hood

Post by Chip Down » July 16th, 2020, 5:53 pm

smithsummit wrote:
July 14th, 2020, 3:22 pm
...a death jumble of fallen trees.
Imagine that with heavy frost on the barkless logs! :shock: Horrible.
smithsummit wrote:
July 14th, 2020, 3:22 pm
Don't think about using Bluegrass Ridge. It's in awful condition and not likely to be cleared anytime soon.
I did just that, and lost the trail as it started raining. This was not my funnest hiking day ever.

[email protected]
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Joined: March 22nd, 2020, 9:31 am

Re: Lamberson Spur Loop, Mt. Hood

Post by [email protected] » July 18th, 2020, 1:58 pm

Thank you for the detailed report and pics.

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bobcat
Posts: 2329
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Lamberson Spur Loop, Mt. Hood

Post by bobcat » July 19th, 2020, 7:18 am

Always wonderful to see a report on this loop - keep it alive! (I've done it twice, once before the fire - most people never want to repeat the experience.)

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