Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

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dmthomas49
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Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by dmthomas49 » August 25th, 2020, 5:12 am

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We started at the Blue Lake Trailhead at 8am under clear skies and 47 degrees temp. Bugs were not an issue. The old growth forest, the spectacular views, great flower blooms are the keys to what makes this a great hike. It is now near the top list of my favorites.
We made our way up through the old Blue Lake Mudflow and crossed clear Coldspring Creek. Then started up through the old growth and past some pretty meadows.
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The huckleberries are ripening and starting to taste sweet.
The trail made its way down to the start of the Sheep Canyon Loop and we decided to go CCW to get the good views early. There is a nice camp area just above the bridge crossing.
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The trail started up through woods leading to the Loowit Trail and great views of Mt St Helens. The views were pretty spectacular.
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We headed down and crossed Sheep Canyon.
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The trail traversed up and out of the canyon to blooming meadows. The wildflowers were in abundance…
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(Continued).....
Last edited by dmthomas49 on August 25th, 2020, 6:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

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dmthomas49
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by dmthomas49 » August 25th, 2020, 5:19 am

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The views from Crescent Ridge were also amazing including Mt. Rainier, Coldwater Lake and close ridges!
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The lava dome really loomed…
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The Loowit trail headed down the edge of the blast zone towards the Toutle Canyon. Passed 5 hikers looping St Helens on the Loowit. We paralleled the canyon and then up the side of the ridge.
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This old log that was being held up by two young trees.
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(Continued again)....
Last edited by dmthomas49 on August 25th, 2020, 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

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dmthomas49
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by dmthomas49 » August 25th, 2020, 5:22 am

We made our way back past the Toutle – Sheet Canyon intersection and back towards the trailhead. What caused this tree to form the pattern inside the trunk. Any ideas?
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The last 2 miles seemed long but the trail was easy. Blue Lake does have a cool blue color.
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This is definitely a memorable hike that we will repeat!
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

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texasbb
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by texasbb » August 25th, 2020, 6:33 am

dmthomas49 wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 5:22 am
What caused this tree to form the pattern inside the trunk. Any ideas?
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Limbs?

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retired jerry
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by retired jerry » August 25th, 2020, 7:57 am

nice one word response :)

It is odd there were limbs going in 4 directions right at the spot they cut

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Chip Down
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by Chip Down » August 25th, 2020, 11:46 am

Somebody needs to go cut another section of that log to see if the pattern persists a few inches away.

Anyway, that Crescent Ridge viewpoint is such a satisfying turnaround point, really makes you feel like there isn't something else worth seeing around the next corner. It's not as satisfying as a high-point goal, but pretty good for the modest effort required.

I wish we could still drive to the abandoned Sheep Canyon trailhead :cry:

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dmthomas49
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by dmthomas49 » August 25th, 2020, 12:27 pm

Crescent Ridge definitely is a good turn around point. Not much more to see after that on the loop and you already have gained most of the elevation on the loop
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

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retired jerry
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by retired jerry » August 25th, 2020, 2:02 pm

did that tree have an argyle pattern? :)

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dmthomas49
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by dmthomas49 » August 25th, 2020, 3:23 pm

I thought that it was more of an X marks the spot, for some treasure hunt with a swinging door opening to reveal the treasure....
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

sheilakpdx
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Re: Sheep Canyon Loop - 2020-08-24

Post by sheilakpdx » August 29th, 2020, 4:05 pm

How was the Cold Spring crossing? Low water/rock hop or did it take some navigation (aka bring water shoes?) Great report, this has been on my list for a while and your pictures confirm the time is approaching to go out and enjoy this trail!

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