Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

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Jewelle
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Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by Jewelle » July 20th, 2008, 4:49 pm

I headed out Saturday to Coffin Mountain, west of the town of Marion, in the Cascade Wilderness. Wasn’t hard to find as I thought it would be since it’s on a forest service road. We all know how well they’re marked sometimes. From highway 22, about 20 miles southeast of Detroit Lake, take a right at Straight Creek Road, a.k.a Road 11 for about 4 miles. There was a sign for the trail, but gave no directions on how to get there.

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Travel about 3 miles further up the road to a gravel forest road, 1168, on your right. It is labeled, but with a small sign. About 4 miles up is the trailhead, on a spur road, on your left. There’s a small parking area, and a kiosk warning of potential fires. The trail starts at the kiosk. (If you go straight on Road 1168, you'll head towards the trailhead for the Bachelor Mountain Trail.)The trail was a single track, and through ton’s of wildflowers.

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All up the trail was view upon view of every cascade mountain, all the way down to Diamond Peak, by Crater Lake.

Mt. Jefferson:
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3 Fingered Jack:
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Mt. Washington, and Broken Top:
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Diamond Peak:
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The trail was a moderate one, with a few steep spots, but very simple to follow. At about ¾ of a mile up, I hit a good amount of snow, and a pack of people trying to negotiate up, on, through, and around it. From here I was able to see my first vision of a lookout tower, and the ranger spying on us with binoculars. I bet they were laughing at us.

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I left the pack of people and headed out west bound, looking to see where the snow ended. I was not giving up since I came this far. Sure enough, the snow pack ended and I was able to get around it. Minus the last little bit of walking on it. I yelled down to the others that I got around, but they apparently didn’t hear me, and they never made it up. Once out of the snow, it was about 1/8 of a mile to the tower, and the summit. Once at the top, you could see all the way to Mt. Rainier, and even a bit if Helens too.

Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams:
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There was a helicopter landing pad at the summit, for those emergency situations.

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The Sisters:
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Mt. Jefferson was so incredibly close that you could see dirt on the glaciers. Almost like you could throw rocks and hit it. The lookout staff were very nice and answered all my lame questions about the area, what they do, etc. They quizzed me on my cascade mountains too. You could see for miles up there. There was a bit of smoke from the local fires, but not to bad. Detroit lake was visible too.

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This was by far the coolest hike I have been on. A moderate trail, awesome views of the cascades, and cool lookout staff. I highly recommend this hike to anyone, even my parents, who are not fond of hiking. On the way down I took a million more pictures, all of which I had taken on the way up, but you can never have enough pictures of the gorgeous views that I had. -Jen

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BCJ
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Re: Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by BCJ » July 20th, 2008, 4:58 pm

Very beautiful! I've never been there but may have to put it on the list for when I'm out that way. Thanks for sharing.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by Don Nelsen » July 20th, 2008, 6:33 pm

Nice job, Jewelle and great pics. I've always found lookout staff to be happy to see the occasional hiker and also full of good info on the area they oversee. -

So, are you ever coming north?

-Don
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Jewelle
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Re: Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by Jewelle » July 20th, 2008, 7:01 pm

Thanks Don, I had an awesome time there. I even asked if I could stay the night cause it was so peaceful up there. :lol: Now that I have weekends off for a while, my weekends are for hiking. So, let's hit those cabins!!

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by Waffle Stomper » July 20th, 2008, 7:08 pm

Thanks for the trip report. A new trail to try out sometime.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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kelkev
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Re: Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by kelkev » July 21st, 2008, 5:12 am

Great trip report! I've done this one a couple of times, it's one of the best for 360 degree views. Bachelor Mountain (just up the road as you noted) is another great hike with a similar view at the top. Love the beargrass blooms -
"Going to the mountains is going home."
— John Muir

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fettster
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Re: Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by fettster » July 21st, 2008, 8:43 pm

Wow, quite a smorgasbord of great views on that hike, and still an impressive pile of snow up there. That's entertaining to read about your route finding to bypass those other hikers. Are there any places to camp along this trail? I'm guessing one would have to dry camp if there are any spots.

Oh, and nice to read how much more you enjoyed this hike!

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Jewelle
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Re: Coffin Mountain Summit 7-19-08

Post by Jewelle » July 21st, 2008, 9:32 pm

The signs that I saw Fettster were day use only. 1 was at the trailhead, and the other about 1/8 a mile from the lookout tower. I asked the staff too, and they said they frown on it, but stated that nearby Bachelor Mountain was open for camping. There were a lot of places to camp up there, and I wanted too, but didn't pack for an overnighter. I will eventually do an overnighter up there, only because the pics in the early morning hours I know would be awesome. And yes, I absolutely loved this hike. A ton better then what I did the week before. :)

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