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Old Baldy 18-Sep-09

Posted: September 19th, 2009, 1:56 pm
by VanMarmot
This is a short, pleasant hike overlooking the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness. The only tricks were in finding the trailhead (which is not marked) and a good viewpoint. The hike is described in Lorain's "Afoot & Afield Portland / Vancover" but you have to pay close attention to the specific driving mileages given. I found the TH at 14.4 mi from the T-junction of Surface Road and Squaw Mountain Road - it was the only pull-out blocked by large boulders. The trail starts just behind the tree behind the boulder on the left.
(1) Trailhead.jpg
The trail is evident once you find the end of it and is easy to follow, but the first "official" trail sign doesn't appear until after about the first mile.
(2) Sign.jpg
There's an "Old Baldy" sign at 1/2 mi from the top - which is an old lookout site but now a clearing with no good views.
(3) Old Baldy.jpg
However, it made for a good lunch spot and I got to see a wonderously colored snake that was basking in a spot of sunlight.
(4) Snake.jpg
The viewpoint was harder to find and I missed it on the way out. It's about 3/4 mi back from the summit and one of the few obvious places where the trail comes close to the rim and an opening in the trees. From there I had views of Hood (3rd time in 3 days)
(5) Hood.jpg
but also of Rainier and Adams.
(6) Rainier & Adams.jpg
This trail is only 7.6 mi RT and 1200' but it rolls along the ridge so there's no "up to the summit, down to the car" but rather up & down, up & down, etc. - not a bad workout for a short hike.