Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

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Sean Thomas
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Joined: February 25th, 2012, 11:33 pm

Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by Sean Thomas » January 5th, 2021, 8:45 pm

Hiked, biked, ran and snowshoed a 34 mile loop around Eagle Creek and Herman Creek on Sunday. It was nice to see Eagle Creek again, and even though I'll always like Herman better, it's easy to see why its so beloved:


ImageB1933A2B-A0BE-4348-8A94-E42EE960BEB8 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


I stashed my bike off Wyeth Road and drove back over to Eagle Creek about an hour before sunrise. Heavy rains on Saturday had the creek and its many tributaries swelled to epic proportions. Loowit Falls was even sporting a little copycat falls to its left:


ImageAB8842CE-1713-44F9-AEC0-21A01B1E1F09 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Tunnel Falls, Twister Falls and a merry band of runners on vertigo mile(the only people I saw all day)


Image33A67254-2C56-429D-9F41-744818167527 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


ImageAFDF3430-4108-4A45-8326-4111BBB5D3B6 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Image1878803A-E7FB-4893-80AC-02AF75C97F6A by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Took a short break at the old Eagle-Tanner junction. It was hard to spot any of the old grade of Eagle-Tanner(and Indian Springs further up for that matter), but it looked like there was some flagging to mark where the old route used to go. This is looking up the Eagle Creek Trail from the junction:


Image31A707D7-FEFF-49F7-B077-24C0B0198E15 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Lots of pretty side streams:


Image3A5A0CE4-1B19-4494-AACB-A86B82E0AEB5 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Hiking up through the burn was a far cry from the lush, green forests we all came accustomed to while hiking Eagle Creek, but the burn is beautiful in its own way:


Image1ED4E1B2-23DF-4129-AD4E-2A299455A6B5 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Image6095B844-AD33-49D2-9DB5-2585BE02FF9C by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Image5FF7A2C0-9C5F-40E5-8209-0211D5B0BB8B by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Tons of blowdown between the ET junction and the 11 mile mark, where the burn stopped and the forest was spared:


Image32174430-3DDD-4D56-BB54-C6989B195958 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


The rhodies are coming in nicely near the Indian Springs junction:


ImageF50E358B-AD65-4308-8161-EE3CF132D970 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


It felt really good to climb out of the burn and enjoy the mossy woodlands for the last two+ miles up to Wahtum Lake:


Image85D5109E-930A-4D18-A609-C3EA340CF5E3 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Image64DD274C-F8F5-439E-AF6D-ACFE4102AE1E by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


The snow started to deepen around 3,500ft and was probably 2-4ft deep at the lake:


Image2FD721FE-5C0C-45AB-8F78-9C38ABB7685E by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


ImageE58AAB17-EE92-415E-922A-6B11FC39FBA6 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


ImageEAF5F212-084A-41A1-883C-B21AFE98EB6F by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Another short break at the lake and I sagged up through the snow towards the Herman Creek Trail:


Image85FFB3C5-A4C3-40B2-87ED-3ACA7A33DECF by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Image4AEDC7FA-60F5-47BE-9EF3-6A19F747A5F7 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


ImageF58D90A7-0BD5-4096-A2F3-63D483D3B02B by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


The snow is always deepest near the start of the Tomlike spur. I call this the "Moses" stretch :P


Image1793057F-C356-41F2-89CF-2811633A57BE by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


ImageC3C39A0D-FC70-4F17-A8E1-3005E98E67B5 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


After some brutal sidehilling down towards the east fork crossing I took off my snowshoes and picked up the pace a bit. I took my longest break of the day near the swamp. A solid reminder that imo Eagle Creek isn't fit to sniff Hermans jock strap. Old-growth over waterfalls any day(sorry waterfall people) ;)


Image87D6DDA2-69E4-4D33-BC40-6C9ED856C5A1 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Love the old CCC style work near the swamp:


ImageE5296B51-902A-4B5F-8D32-74389374E607 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


Image69D2A911-8909-492D-87D3-D3E2E983FB5D by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


ImageE18CA860-8094-4574-A223-4180BCB80981 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


And of course the massive cedars:


ImageF9C0FCC3-894B-4E6D-9D13-8C62B08A5508 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


I especially like this little "garden pot" tree stump:


ImageEE252FBD-3F91-4060-BC82-2415F92B3463 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


A closer look in the "garden pot" at a few orchids and lots of fallen cedar scales. Mother nature really is the best gardener:


ImageD9257469-A89C-4D25-9A93-E6DF461D34E6 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr


With the TH closed at Herman Creek I dropped off a service road that intersects the trail near the Herman Bridge Trail and dropped down to Wyeth Road as it got dark. Then it was just a fun cruise along Forest Lane and a bit of a detour through some side streets in Cascade Locks to get to the old Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail and the last leg back to Eagle Creek:


ImageA0C12973-65CC-4391-80B5-0DC43CBD8EE4 by Sean Lawson, on Flickr

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mjirving
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by mjirving » January 5th, 2021, 9:12 pm

Awesome summary. I did a double take on your first pic as I have the same one of me from Saturday. Haha.

Mike

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retired jerry
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by retired jerry » January 6th, 2021, 7:40 am

wow, that was pretty adventurous this time of year

but, Mike, were you wearing shorts at the same place on the trail?

Webfoot
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by Webfoot » January 6th, 2021, 11:43 am

Thank you.

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DannyH
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by DannyH » January 6th, 2021, 2:29 pm

That's an impressive loop! The potholes sure look different compared to July of 2019. I spent a couple days clearing the trail in that section with the PCTA, the quietest Eagle Creek experience I've ever had.
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Limey
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by Limey » January 6th, 2021, 11:07 pm

Great to see a post from you again and I'm with you, old growth over waterfalls any day.
Thanks for posting.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by Don Nelsen » January 7th, 2021, 10:50 am

Sean, good to see a TR from you! Awesome adventure, and great photos, too. Oh to be thirty-something again.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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bobcat
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by bobcat » January 8th, 2021, 9:15 am

Excellent report, Sean, and good to see a post from you! The beta on the upper parts of the Eagle Creek Trail is especially interesting.

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drm
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by drm » January 8th, 2021, 11:53 am

So looks like they haven't done any work above the Tanner junction. I wonder if that is a priority this coming spring.

BTW, I went to the trailhead yesterday and at 9:30 on a weekday, the parking lot was completely full and people were sitting in their cars waiting for an open spot, which at that hour isn't going to happen. Others were driving towards the river, and apparently coming back. I just turned around and left. Since I'm not the type who is going to arrive pre-dawn, I guess I won't be hiking this trail till things settle down in a month or two.

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retired jerry
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Re: Eagle Creek - Herman Creek Loop: 1/3/21

Post by retired jerry » January 8th, 2021, 12:26 pm

If there are no parking places, then there will be too many people on the trail for my tastes

So, going before dawn isn't really a solution. Unless I hiked out at dawn, then hiked back on some other route like Sean's.

I wonder if Ruckel Creek trail is open? That would be a good alternate. Easier to safely pass people

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