elk lake creek

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obladi
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Joined: April 16th, 2009, 6:53 pm
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elk lake creek

Post by obladi » May 10th, 2010, 11:55 am

I did a brief overnight trip along Elk Lake Creek starting at the lower north trailhead. The trail was very manageable up to the ford of Battle Creek were I spent the night. There was only a couple of fallen trees that were easily negotiable. There is also some spots where the trail is difficult to see for 30 feet or so but if you head generally upstream close to the creek you will pick it back up. It really is a nice creek surrounded by plenty of old growth forests, tall trees and some smaller waterfalls. The clear waters also make depth difficult to determine when fording so be careful even though it was a benign ford under this trips conditions (though I do think my legs were numb from the shins down by the time I got across!)

If anyone is planning on taking Elk Creek to Welcome Lakes or Mother Lode there is an easy way to eliminate two fords of Battle Creek over about 1/4 mile. About .1 miles before the first ford of Battle Creek there is a small campsite to the right of the trail. Just above the campsite is a small relatively steep slope which flattens out on top. Just climb to the top of this slope then head generally upstream where the terrain stays flat with some open area where you are not stepping over anything. Within about 1/4 mile you will most likely encounter the Mother Lode trail (#558) where you go right. Very shortly this trail reaches the Welcome Lakes trail (#557) where you can take this trail or go left to cross Mother Lode Creek and up trail #558. If you don't see a junction than you are on the Welcome Lake trail. There are some game paths you can follow to reduce impact.

There was no snow up to around 3400 feet on this south facing slope however snow on the north facing slopes across the valley seemed to begin a little lower than 3300 feet.
Attachments
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Elk Lake Creek
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Welcome Lakes Creek
Luke

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

http://home.comcast.net/~l.danielson/nw ... iking.html

RobFromRedland
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: elk lake creek

Post by RobFromRedland » May 10th, 2010, 8:58 pm

Nice posting. So you were able to drive to the Northern trailhead I assume? Road 6380 is snow free up there? That would be good news with all the late low elevation snow we have been having.

I think one of your trails is mis-named. Trail #557 is not Welcome Lakes, but is the abandoned Geronimo Trail. I've only been up the very lower part of that trail, but my understanding is that past the old mine, it is VERY steep.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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mattisnotfrench
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Re: elk lake creek

Post by mattisnotfrench » May 10th, 2010, 9:15 pm

RobFromRedland wrote:Nice posting. So you were able to drive to the Northern trailhead I assume? Road 6380 is snow free up there? That would be good news with all the late low elevation snow we have been having.

I think one of your trails is mis-named. Trail #557 is not Welcome Lakes, but is the abandoned Geronimo Trail. I've only been up the very lower part of that trail, but my understanding is that past the old mine, it is VERY steep.
Doesn't the Germonimo gain something like 2200 feet in 1.5 miles? I know it's an absolute gut-buster.

I'm dancing with joy at the thought of Elk Lake Creek being open. Another month and it should be *PERFECT*. Nice post!
Author of Off the Beaten Trail, 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region and PDX Hiking 365. Website: www.offthebeatentrailpdx.com

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obladi
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Re: elk lake creek

Post by obladi » May 10th, 2010, 10:35 pm

Rob, yes 6380 is snow free to the trailhead and I never ran into even a patch of snow up to 3400 feet (on the Geronimo trail). You are right it was the Geronimo trail and it goes up 2300 feet over 2.2 miles according to the forest service departments wilderness map. I'm not sure how much downfall there is between the Mother Lode trail connection and Elk lake but my understanding is that trailhead is more widely used and therefore kept up. I think a northwest forest pass is required for that trailhead also hopefully meaning the trail conditions will be monitored. I definately put this up with the nicest creekside hikes I have been on. It does remind me a little bit of Opal Creek, Trapper Creek and the Salmon River outside of Welches.

I am attatching pictures of the trail descriptions that were posted at the trailhead.
Attachments
smP5070003.jpg
Elk Lake Creek and Welcome Lakes trail description
Luke

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

http://home.comcast.net/~l.danielson/nw ... iking.html

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