Timberline Trail tips?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
Crushedplush
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Timberline Trail tips?

Post by Crushedplush » February 15th, 2019, 9:12 pm

I’m hoping to hike the Timberline Trail this summer, either in August or September. I’m just now beginning my research, training, and planning. Going with a friend, thinking it will be a three day/two night excursion.

Those of you who have done the full Timberline Trail, do you have any words if wisdom to impart? Most of what I see folks talking about is the river crossings. Hoping to plan it so that I go over those as early in the day as possible. I’ve also seen some people recommend going counter clockwise, taking alternate side trails, etc.

Are there places on the trail that are falling off a cliff risks?

I know in the past few years a handful of people died on the trail. I just want to make sure I’m not getting in over my head. I hike often but don’t consider myself an expert. Thank you so much for your input!

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adamschneider
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by adamschneider » February 15th, 2019, 9:58 pm

Crushedplush wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 9:12 pm
Are there places on the trail that are falling off a cliff risks?
No. The only even remotely risky parts of the TLT are the creek crossings.
Crushedplush wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 9:12 pm
I know in the past few years a handful of people died on the trail.
Someone was washed away during a flash flood on the Ramona Falls trail, and a couple of girls fell off a waterfall near Rushingwater Creek (but they weren't on the trail). Have there been others?

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retired jerry
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by retired jerry » February 16th, 2019, 6:27 am

Field guide has a bunch of info, click on "field guide" at the top, then "mt hood",...

Early August a bit early depending on the year, there could be some snow making river crossings worse

Check trip reports here ahead of time for conditions, there's usually some reports by August

September can have rainy periods, like the lady that was washed off the Sandy River. Check weather reports and avoid if there's a bunch of rain

Crushedplush
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by Crushedplush » February 17th, 2019, 9:29 am

The other person I was thinking of got lost in the fog towards the end of his hike, back in October maybe? I don’t remember cause of death.

Thank you for your input! I just want to make sure I’m not getting in over my head.

I have done the Sandy river crossing on the Ramona falls trail as well as a river crossing (can’t remember which one at the moment) by cairn basin. Not my favorite thing in the world, but I’m hoping to plan the hike in such a way where I get the river crossings out of the way early in the day.

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retired jerry
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by retired jerry » February 17th, 2019, 10:40 am

I don't think you're getting in over your head, a lot of people do this including inexperienced people

Just be cautious and be prepared to bail, especially early in the trip. A couple years ago my knee was bothering me so I just went about 1/3 of the way, then turned around. That was a great trip too.

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adamschneider
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by adamschneider » February 17th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Crushedplush wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 9:29 am
The other person I was thinking of got lost in the fog towards the end of his hike, back in October maybe? I don’t remember cause of death.
Oh yeah. That was weird. He got off the trail less than a mile from Timberline Lodge and then climbed more than 3000' UP the mountain. Don't do that.

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retired jerry
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by retired jerry » February 17th, 2019, 1:51 pm

oh yeah, I was walking by there after that and I can see how that would have happened.

About 1/2 mile before the end of the hike at Timberline Lodge, the trail leaves the ridge and traverses over towards the lodge. The trail becomes indistinct going on sand. Normally, you can see the lodge and it's not a problem. Don't go above about 6000 feet elevation. Also, the trees thin out if you go high.

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drm
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by drm » February 18th, 2019, 7:49 am

For busy periods I do recommend CCW. Most people go CW so this allows you to not be in a herd and have an easier time finding camps. But that also assumes you are doing a standard 3 or 4 day itinerary. For example next time I go, I thinking of getting a leisurely afternoon start and camping at Newton Ck. This allows me to do the big Gnarl Ridge climb first thing in the morning, and would get me away from anybody's standard itinerary.

Squirrel Therapy
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by Squirrel Therapy » February 18th, 2019, 10:02 am

I'm also planning to do this Sept 1-9th range. Is this considered a busy period, where CCW is preferable? Do people opt out because of rain or less than sunny weather, typically? Aside from flash floods near the crossings, and not camping above tree line during inclement weather, is there something else I should worry about? Not trying to hijack the thread - didn't see a reason to make a new one!

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drm
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Re: Timberline Trail tips?

Post by drm » February 18th, 2019, 10:20 am

If it's a weekend, it's a busy period, and the start of your period is the Labor Day weekend, especially busy. But that's when I did it a couple years ago, and was so glad we did it CCW then. If you go midweek it probably doesn't matter.

Everybody has different tolerances and preference re weather. Some people hate heat and would prefer cloudy.

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