Gunsight Butte, 7/21/11

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Gunsight Butte, 7/21/11

Post by cfm » July 22nd, 2011, 7:58 am

Jane had a nice TR on this hike a few years ago, but I wanted post a new one because conditions are perfect right now.

I started at the Gumjuwac TH on highway 35, which is located between mp 68 and 69, where the E. Fork Hood River goes under the road. No forest pass is required to park here. The trail is in good condition with just a few blowdowns to climb over. The grade is mild with plenty of switchbacks. You climb about 1500 feet through forest until you get to a rocky outcrop and some views. The path is lined with vanilla leaf and other understory bloomers, and I saw many of these exploded puffballs ( earth stars?)
exploded puffball.jpg
After the rocky outcropping, the trail is lined with huckleberry bushes and I saw lots of green fruit on them. As you near the top, the forest opens up and you start to see the meadow flowers.
upper gumtrail.jpg
A little more elevation gain, and at 2.5 miles, you pass right over Jack Spring and reach Gumjuwac Saddle.
saddle sign.jpg
The Bennet Pass road passes through here, and there are multiple trail options. You can turn north to go to Lookout Mountain, or cross the road and head down to Badger Lake. I turned south onto the Gunsight Trail which goes through the burn area Jane visited in 2006.

This trail is a delightful ridgewalk and there are masses of polemonium and phlox in bloom now, with other flowers about to open. Intermittent views of Mt Hood to the west, and the Badger Creek Basin and Tygh Valley to the east.
Just a few small snowdrifts remain, and I was lucky enough to find steershead blooming at the snowmelt margin.
Near Gunsight Butte, there are some interesting slabby rock piles squeaking with the peeps of pikas.
I had lunch overlooking Badger Lake.
Badger Lake.jpg
No shooters today to disturb my alpine reverie. I saw no people today, and there were NO BUGS!!

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Re: Gunsight Butte, 7/21/11

Post by Koda » July 22nd, 2011, 8:48 am

Beautiful hike CFM. Glad you got to enjoy the solitude. I did the trail 458 from Badger Lake up to Lookoout mtn last weekend and the wildflowers are beautiful in this area right now.
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Re: Gunsight Butte, 7/21/11

Post by justpeachy » July 22nd, 2011, 12:39 pm

Never heard of this hike, but it looks great! Might have to check that out this weekend.

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