Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
smithsummit
Posts: 36
Joined: July 14th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

Post by smithsummit » July 11th, 2021, 1:51 pm

HI Folks,

Anticipating a bit of a drive from Hillsboro to the Vista Ridge TH, and a hot day, my alarm went off at 3:30. In a fit of laziness, my feet didn't hit the floor until 4:30. Nearing the trailhead at a bit past 7:30.
1_first_thing.jpg

Not too busy at the the TH (half dozen or so cars). I cleared a few smallish trees on the way up. There are a fair number of trees across the trail, but all are easily gone over or around. Vista Ridge is the quickest hiking route into the Barett Spur area at ~2.5 miles and 1400 or so gain to the Timberline Trail; the down side this time of year being not a lot of shade.
vista_beargass.jpg

It was nice to see sizeable snow banks still on the mountain somewhere. They seemed to have chosen the trail as their place of residence, but were easily gone over or around.
vista_snow.jpg

After a quick trip up to the Timberline Trail, starting the Barrett Spur climb. Trail is on the left margin of the snow.
starting_up.jpg

Past the lower slopes and the mid-climb scrubby trees and headed for a nice viewpoint beneath the upper spur.
breaking_out.jpg

Nearing the base of the upper spur. Nice views from this area and family/pet friendly to this point.
getting there.jpg

Pausing for a scenery break while I contemplate the route ahead. About this time I started hearing rocks falling from the upper reaches of the mountain onto the snow below
lower_viewpoint.jpg

View from the first summit to the second. Route finding was not an issue and while the route was a steeper (made good use of my hiking poles and hands) the rocks were reasonably stable. View from the first summit toward the second.
false_summit.jpg

Nearing the second summit. Route finding more straight forward than it looks
nearing_second_summit.jpg

Immediately below the second summit. This appeared to be the most commonly used way forward. This section is perhaps 20 feet long. The rock is solid, but there is a healthy sense of exposure.
the_crux.jpg

From the second summit you can see my destination at the point of the green patch, center of the frame. A little more care needed here.
toward_finale.jpg

This is where I stopped and stayed for 30 minutes or so soaking in the awesome sight. I was able to watch and hear rocks falling every few seconds. Bottom-left you will see that the spur continues another couple of hundred yards. It's hard to tell from the photo, but from my vantage point out there would require traversing a narrow, steep-sided ridge of unconsolidated sand and rock. Probably an interesting view to the glacier below, but didn't line up with my not-in-my-twenties risk profile. :-)
furthest_extent.jpg

Descending toward Dollar Lake and taking a break in a small shady area.
descending to dollar.jpg

Dollar Lake. The water was cold and felt amazing on my tired feet. The fire ring seemed to have seen recent use.
dollar lake.jpg

Before heading back to the car I took a side trip over to Elk Cove. Damage from the Labor Day storm? The worst of it was very localized. Not too many trees down between Elk Cove and Vista Ridge.
elk_cove.jpg

All in all, I'd say this is one of the more interesting hikes on Mt. Hood. Whether you travel as far as the base of the upper spur, or continue up, there's something for everyone.

Happy Hiking,


Rob

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2606
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

Post by Chip Down » July 11th, 2021, 4:53 pm

All in all, I'd say this is one of the more interesting hikes on Mt. Hood.
I've completed 117% of the hiking routes on Hood, and I can't say there's anything finer than BS (although some certainly come very very close).

Pleased to see you made it to that broad open spot on the crest. As I was reading your report, I was hoping you would get at least that far. Although I've been to the end a couple times, I've found that spot to be a fine turnaround if conditions (ice, clouds, wind) don't warrant the last little bit.

Sounds like you need a hiking partner to drag your lazy butt out of bed. No, I'm not volunteering.

bushwhacker
Posts: 158
Joined: September 7th, 2009, 3:56 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

Post by bushwhacker » July 11th, 2021, 5:44 pm

Before heading back to the car I took a side trip over to Elk Cove. Damage from the Labor Day storm? The worst of it was very localized. Not too many trees down between Elk Cove and Vista Ridge.
That looks more like an avalanche. A big one too. Wouldn't have wanted to have been there when that happened.

Weasel
Posts: 4
Joined: July 28th, 2019, 12:48 pm

Re: Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

Post by Weasel » July 11th, 2021, 7:56 pm

The fire ring seemed to have seen recent use.
Oh, how I wish folks weren't lighting fires in the wilderness these days. It's too risky, despite care and attentiveness, it's better safe than sorry.

Great trip report! Would love to try this one day.

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5595
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

Post by drm » July 12th, 2021, 8:07 am

Weasel wrote:
July 11th, 2021, 7:56 pm
Oh, how I wish folks weren't lighting fires in the wilderness these days.
How else are folks to deal with the frigid weather we have been having of late? :o

User avatar
dirtman
Posts: 35
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 9:14 am

Re: Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

Post by dirtman » July 12th, 2021, 11:01 am

I did the same stroll on the same day, but started about an hour later. Only 4 other cars in the parking lot - lots more when we got back. Mine was the blue sports car (Chevy Spark).

User avatar
Water
Posts: 1298
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Barrett Spur -- 07/10/21

Post by Water » July 14th, 2021, 11:06 pm

thanks for the report. ive been up the spur twice until the 'family friendly' and only once to the end.. that was fun and magical.

Can I ask how bugs were? skeets bad high/low? all around? moderate? thanks
Feel Free to Feel Free

Post Reply