Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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vinnyhitsthetrail
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Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Post by vinnyhitsthetrail » September 14th, 2017, 11:11 am

Hi all, I had been planning on a 4 day solo trip loop over Columbus Day Weekend (10/6 - 10/9) starting at Eagle Creek Trailhead outside of Portland, looping south towards Mt Hood, and finishing heading North on the PCT back towards the trailhead. That entire area is still on fire at the moment, so I think I'll need a new plan.

Any other ideas for a 4 day trip in the area, preferably within 2 hours or so from Portland? I don't mind an out and back, I just wanted some quality time on the trail. I hiked the Appalachian Trail 2016 NOBO so I'm decently in shape. Hoping to get to an area where I won't be breathing smoke from the fire... Maybe west of Portland?

I'm very unfamiliar with the area so looking for any and all suggestions. Someone suggested the Timberline trail which I feel I could do, except that is getting a bit late in the year, right? Seems like I'd be dealing with sub-freezing temps every night at that altitude.

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drm
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Re: Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Post by drm » September 14th, 2017, 12:06 pm

Assuming all south-side Gorge trails stay closed long after that, this is a hard hike to replace at that low altitude. If you get some decent weather in October, some nearby options might be in Indian Heaven (4-5000 feet altitude), or a shorter version in Trapper Creek (1-4000 feet altitude). As to Mt Hood, even if we don't get too much snow up there by then, creek rock hops could have a layer of ice on them for October mornings.

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justpeachy
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Re: Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Post by justpeachy » September 15th, 2017, 6:54 am

Indian Heaven Wilderness is closed right now due to the East Crater Fire, but we're about to get some rain (finally) so it may be open again by the time you arrive.

Last year it started raining in early October and kept raining for seven months. Don't know if that will happen again this year but wherever you go, be prepared for possibly soggy conditions. October can be beautiful here, but some years it's pretty dang wet.
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vinnyhitsthetrail
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Re: Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Post by vinnyhitsthetrail » September 15th, 2017, 8:48 am

justpeachy wrote:Indian Heaven Wilderness is closed right now due to the East Crater Fire, but we're about to get some rain (finally) so it may be open again by the time you arrive.

Last year it started raining in early October and kept raining for seven months. Don't know if that will happen again this year but wherever you go, be prepared for possibly soggy conditions. October can be beautiful here, but some years it's pretty dang wet.
Do you have recommendations on a trailhead or route in the Indian Heaven Wilderness? Any favorite sections?

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justpeachy
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Re: Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Post by justpeachy » September 16th, 2017, 8:31 pm

The hike to Blue Lake is nice (http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Blue_Lake_Hike). You could make a base camp there and then explore north and/or south on the PCT.
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retired jerry
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Re: Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Post by retired jerry » September 19th, 2017, 7:03 am

I think that's a perfect time - no bugs, few people

How many miles do you want to do?

I think there'll be enough rain so forest fire smoke will be minimal

You have to look at weather reports just ahead and if a rainstorm is blowing through, adjust your plan.

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Re: Eagle Creek Fire - Alternative Plans?

Post by OutdoorOregonHiker » September 19th, 2017, 7:52 am

Gearhartt Wilderness is a little bit of a drive for you, but it is not on fire and has some beautiful views. Blue lake down where is stocked with fish and you can get some beautiful views from the rocks!

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