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Cottonwood Canyon - Lost Corral Trail - 2-2-21

Posted: February 3rd, 2021, 1:42 pm
by arieshiker
LCT-RockLadenTrailin FirstMile.JPG
Forecast was for a cloudy but warm-ish day at Cottonwood Canyon, so that was my destination. Lost Corral Trail (LCT) was the option as I’d just found out the Pinnacles Trail (the more popular choice among park visitors) had this posted on the park website: Effective Feb 1, 2021 – Sep 30, 2021 - The Pinnacles Trail is closed beyond the 2.5-mile marker, and the Hardstone Trail is closed beyond the 1-mile marker to protect golden eagle nesting sites. Location of closures are clearly indicated on the trails.

Generally on my LCT hikes, I’ve rarely encountered anyone. Tuesday was no exception. Two cyclists, neither wearing a mask, and a couple hiking, he masked, her not.

The trail (road actually) is in better shape than it’s been at times - there is a stretch about ½ mile in length during the first mile that is extremely rocky - those sneaky ankle-twisting kinds - apparently rolled out from the river overflowing onto the road, causing trail closure for short periods, then the service vehicles driving over turning the soil even more exposing the rocks. I hiked the trail a few times back when the park first opened and I don’t recall it ever being as bad as it is now.

The service vehicles have flattened some narrow side paths where they were able, so it’s not entirely doom and gloom, but one still needs to watch ones step.

The river is running pretty low right now, but you can see several sections where the bank has been eroded and taken by past high water.

It stayed cloudy on the way out, but when I stopped at the 3+ mile bench for a break, the winds started picking up, and the sun decided to change the forecast. So I decided to call it a morning. It rained on my way home.

One of the highlights of the trail, for me, is the few Juniper Trees along the way. There are four or five magnificent trees along the trail. When the park first opened, all the trees were brushy and bushy around the base, so you couldn’t slide in and rest in the shade for a spell without bushwhacking and probably landing a few ticks.

Over the years, the areas have been cleared of brush and cleaned out so now they do offer a shady respite should one care to indulge. Ticks might still be an issue, however, none for me so far.

All in all, a good day to be out and about and enjoying the clouds, the wind, the river and the sun.

Re: Cottonwood Canyon - Lost Corral Trail - 2-2-21

Posted: February 3rd, 2021, 2:03 pm
by bobcat
Nice day! Thanks for the info on the closures. I'll update the Field Guide.

Re: Cottonwood Canyon - Lost Corral Trail - 2-2-21

Posted: February 21st, 2021, 12:57 pm
by Pick-a-Pika
Thanks arieshiker. I'm headed that way later this week. This piques the interest and helps with planning. This area is close to home. I'll get to show it to friends from PDX.

From another thread you asked about posting reports for frequently experienced hikes. Hikes I do often feel like old friends. I wanna know how they're doing. Old friends get more interesting with time. I hope you'll keep the reports coming.

Happy trails!

Re: Cottonwood Canyon - Lost Corral Trail - 2-2-21

Posted: February 21st, 2021, 4:21 pm
by arieshiker
Thanks Pika. Agree about the nature of the old friends. So much to enjoy about the high desert and the canyons. Hope the PDX crowd is awed.