Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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poppacouch
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Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Post by poppacouch » August 19th, 2019, 10:32 am

Trying to get my family out for 2 nights in a few weekends. But have 2 criteria that limit my options, so looking for suggestions.

1. Need to be kid friendly (ages 9-13). All have done this before, successfully. So, 3-5 miles is probably reasonable.
2. TH not toooo far from Fairview/Troutdale. One member of our group must leave and return in the middle of the trip to accommodate a previous obligation. Ideally, it wouldn't be more than an hour drive and then hopefully a quick walk out (sans full pack).
3. Really prefer a lake/river at camp.

Ideas?

I suppose, the west side of Hood, anything from the gorge (that doesn't have huge elevation gain?), washington?

I was planning (and really excited) to head back in to Indian Heaven Wilderness. But it's a bit of a drive getting to Thomas Lake TH...

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teachpdx
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Re: Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Post by teachpdx » August 19th, 2019, 11:10 am

Look into the Salmon River. There are so many nice campsites within the first 2.5 miles from the trailhead, and it's mostly flat. Fits all your criteria.

jtschanz
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Re: Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Post by jtschanz » August 19th, 2019, 11:24 am

It might be at the limits for distance from Troutdale (1 hour exactly), but Twin Lakes on Mt Hood is really nice. You can camp at the first lake, or hike to the upper twin lake. Perfect with kids, and not too much elevation gain. You park at the Frog Lake/PCT trailhead on Hwy 26 just past the 35 split.

https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... Lakes_Hike

-Jim

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drm
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Re: Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Post by drm » August 20th, 2019, 6:47 am

Trapper Creek, north of Carson, has the Terrace Camp area not far in with multiple separate sites. The creek is down below.

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poppacouch
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Re: Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Post by poppacouch » August 20th, 2019, 10:43 am

Thanks for responses!

I've taken my family to Twin Lakes already and recently, else that was a great choice.
I think the salmon river trail is just the ticket. Just so long as I can avoid road noise - really can't stand the idea of hiking along a road. Am I right that Old Salmon River trail runs along the road (off and on), while Salmon River Trail continues on further, gaining elevation eventually, but moving away from any road? Guess we can try for an early start and see if can get a campsite before the hordes of pdx show up too...

I've also already been up to Soda Peaks Lake - that was a grueling climb! So, this is a chance to see some new country.

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teachpdx
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Re: Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Post by teachpdx » August 20th, 2019, 12:08 pm

poppacouch wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 10:43 am
Am I right that Old Salmon River trail runs along the road (off and on), while Salmon River Trail continues on further, gaining elevation eventually, but moving away from any road?
That's correct. The Old Salmon River trail is of no use for camping, etc. I think they actually prohibited camping along that stretch a couple of years ago. But the Salmon River Trail leaves the road immediately at the bridge and there are probably 10-15 really good campsites before the trail starts climbing away from the river around mile 2.5.

It's one of my favorite early/late season easy backpacking trips, and I'm sure you all will enjoy it!

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drm
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Re: Looking for backpacking destination near Troutdale

Post by drm » August 20th, 2019, 2:08 pm

poppacouch wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 10:43 am
I've also already been up to Soda Peaks Lake - that was a grueling climb! So, this is a chance to see some new country.
There are two routes to Soda Peaks Lake. One is a lot shorter than the other but both are very steep at least part of the way. Trapper Creek itself is not, and is not nearly as popular as the lake. There is one uphill section, but not as steep as SPL. So maybe worth a try in the future.

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