First trip since the road reopened. Given all the rain and some apocalyptic-sounding trip reports on Alltrails, I was half expecting this to be a swim. Alltrails warned of "miles" of standing water, many downed trees, and the succinct "worst hike ever."
In fact, it was… totally normal. Better conditions than I would have thought, actually. A handful of small trees that were easily stepped over or around, water in the usual places but to a pretty modest degree, and very little mud.
Started from the parking lot going clockwise. From there to the service road is where I ran into most of the downed trees for the day, but typical stuff and NBD. Don't think I saw any more until I was up out of the crater to the rail bed on the other side.
No water or really even mud on Multnomah Creek Way to the junction with the Spur Trail. I took a detour to recon the East Fork crossing, which looked surprisingly doable. The crossing rocks were mostly above water, if a bit mossy and slick-looking. I was tempted to change plans and just go that way, but my fall-phobic brain wasn't having it.
Back to Multnomah Creek Way, with its wholly seasonally-appropriate occasional puddles of water. Pretty simple to get past most of this with dry feet, and very little mud elsewhere. The remains of one or two trees that had broken down to sodden mulch, but generally no issues in the crater.
Up on the rail bed there was still snow on the trail in a few places, and a couple more small trees. As I headed towards the Oneonta junction I started thinking how much easier I always found the East Fork crossing coming from this direction. Next thing i knew I found my feet hanging a left on Oneonta.
Downhill here is where I found the one and only large tree down on the trail, but even that had a chunk out of it that served as a convenient foothold to climb over. A bit further on was yet another surprise, with the closed signs gone at the Bell Creek junction. It still says closed online, but there was a permit box that looked recently serviced, so I suspect it's really open(ing)?
The crossing did indeed prove fine, and I returned from whence I came and called it a day. Think I saw two other parties all day. Unless the section of Oneonta back to Larch Mountain Rd that I skipped is an utter disaster zone, I don't know what the Alltrails folks were on about.
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The section of Oneonta back to Larch Mt Road today was great. Very little mud and the trail was mostly dry. There were lots of Trillium and Glacier Lilies. On the whole loop we saw minor and easily passable mud sections. The downed trees were as previously mentioned. Was perfect weather for this hike today. Did not see another hiker until the road walk back to the parking lot.Also saw along the trail an old stump where loggers had cut springboard notches for inserting springboards. It was neat to see these are still visible. We also saw a huge ant hill on the Larch Mountain Road (right side) walk back to the parking lot. All the little dark flecks are ants.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir
— John Muir