Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
AlpenGlowHiker
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Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by AlpenGlowHiker » June 17th, 2020, 6:23 am

Norway Pass to Council Lake on Boundary Trail #1 // 1 night

I'm looking at doing this section in mid-July and was looking for information to see if there are a lot of blow downs, and where the reliable water sources are.

I've already exhausted other sources for mapping and satellite views, but I couldn't find any previous trip reports.

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BaileyBoy
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by BaileyBoy » June 17th, 2020, 10:25 am

Forest Road 25 is still closed by snow but expected to open late next week. Check this link for the latest beta on the trail.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/wash ... plore=true

johnspeth
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by johnspeth » June 17th, 2020, 12:52 pm

I've hiked the Boundary trail once per summer for the past two summers near the Hat Rock/Yellow Jacket Pass/Craggy Peak area. It seems the only people using this area, including the Dark Divide, are motorcycle riders. You might have some luck finding info if you check web sites related to that activity. The motorcyclists actually do a good job of keeping the trail open. They also do a better job of wrecking the trail. There are lots of examples of damage in that area.

I have no information about water sources.

johnspeth
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by johnspeth » June 17th, 2020, 12:56 pm

AlpenGlowHiker wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 6:23 am
Norway Pass to Council Lake on Boundary Trail #1 // 1 night
And that's a lot of hiking for two days! What do you suppose your mileage will be? The straight line distance is 22 miles.

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teachpdx
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by teachpdx » June 17th, 2020, 3:25 pm

That section of trail is in the neighborhood of 35-ish miles, if I remember correctly... easily doable in two days.
It's been ages since I have been up there, but there should be a few easy places to get water with no more than 8 miles or so between them. And places that would be dry by September will still have some water in mid-July.

As far as water locations, there's the small Badger Lake along the trail below Badger Peak, a small pond just down from Yellowjacket Pass, McCoy Creek, Dark Meadow (marshy), and then some ponds just off the Boundary Trail on the Table Mountain trail.

Enjoy all the motorcycles!
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drm
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by drm » June 18th, 2020, 7:16 am

Yeah, the motorcycle groups will clear out any blowdowns quickly once the snow is gone. Note that motorcycle "trails" are often wheel grooves 4 inches wide and 10 inches deep, with spinning wheels turning the soil into a fine-grained dust that hangs in the air. And it is very popular with said motorcycle groups on weekends. I recommend a weekday trip.

AlpenGlowHiker
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by AlpenGlowHiker » June 18th, 2020, 11:54 am

Ah, I wasn't aware of the popularity with the motorcycles. That's almost a deal-breaker, but i'm looking for some hard terrain as this is a warm-up hike for my 132 mile trek in August.

If there is another option with similar mileage and elevation gain/loss, I'd love to hear it. Preferably within a 3 hr drive from Portland.
johnspeth wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 12:56 pm
AlpenGlowHiker wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 6:23 am
Norway Pass to Council Lake on Boundary Trail #1 // 1 night
And that's a lot of hiking for two days! What do you suppose your mileage will be? The straight line distance is 22 miles.
Roughly 18 and 14 miles per day, with a fair amount of elevation gain/loss.

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teachpdx
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by teachpdx » June 18th, 2020, 2:42 pm

AlpenGlowHiker wrote:
June 18th, 2020, 11:54 am
If there is another option with similar mileage and elevation gain/loss, I'd love to hear it. Preferably within a 3 hr drive from Portland.
Why not just do a 2-day Loowit trip around MSH? Plenty of gain/loss, same mileage, and should be plenty melted within a few weeks.

My partner and I are gearing up for 110 miles in Yellowstone in September... we are using this as one of our training hikes in early July. Just 10 miles on the Loowit is more brutal than any of the 18+ mile days we will be doing in the Thorofare.
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drm
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by drm » June 19th, 2020, 7:21 am

Well, you could consider doing the Quartz Creek / Quartz Creek Ridge Loop, which spends about 1.5 miles on the Boundary Trail, so you can see what you are missing! The Quartz Creek section has rather radical ups and downs and be forewarned that there is no water on the ridge. The ridge is also open to motorcycles but unlike the Boundary Trail, relatively few do it. Enough to keep it clear of down trees, but for the most part it is in very good condition. There are some logs down on the 5B trail that connects the two, but only a few. Note that when going south on the Summit Prairie Trail (Quartz Creek Ridge) and it comes out into the parking lot, you ave to walk down the road a quarter mile to catch the Quartz Creek Butte trail down to Quartz Creek. This is a rarely done loop and while it is less mileage than you are looking for, it has a lot of EG. It won't be melted out till some time in July.

Otherwise by mid-July, the PCT would certainly be an option. Start at Panther Creek going north through Indian Heaven would be about 35 miles, and some decent EG too. Or continue on to FR 23. Could be lots of bugs, but that's true anywhere up high in July.

AlpenGlowHiker
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Re: Info on Boundary Trail - Norway Pass to Council Lake

Post by AlpenGlowHiker » June 21st, 2020, 8:52 am

teachpdx wrote:
June 18th, 2020, 2:42 pm
AlpenGlowHiker wrote:
June 18th, 2020, 11:54 am
If there is another option with similar mileage and elevation gain/loss, I'd love to hear it. Preferably within a 3 hr drive from Portland.
Why not just do a 2-day Loowit trip around MSH? Plenty of gain/loss, same mileage, and should be plenty melted within a few weeks.

My partner and I are gearing up for 110 miles in Yellowstone in September... we are using this as one of our training hikes in early July. Just 10 miles on the Loowit is more brutal than any of the 18+ mile days we will be doing in the Thorofare.
I would if I didn't have my dog with me, he has to do a training route too.
drm wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 7:21 am
Well, you could consider doing the Quartz Creek / Quartz Creek Ridge Loop, which spends about 1.5 miles on the Boundary Trail, so you can see what you are missing! The Quartz Creek section has rather radical ups and downs and be forewarned that there is no water on the ridge. The ridge is also open to motorcycles but unlike the Boundary Trail, relatively few do it. Enough to keep it clear of down trees, but for the most part it is in very good condition. There are some logs down on the 5B trail that connects the two, but only a few. Note that when going south on the Summit Prairie Trail (Quartz Creek Ridge) and it comes out into the parking lot, you ave to walk down the road a quarter mile to catch the Quartz Creek Butte trail down to Quartz Creek. This is a rarely done loop and while it is less mileage than you are looking for, it has a lot of EG. It won't be melted out till some time in July.

Otherwise by mid-July, the PCT would certainly be an option. Start at Panther Creek going north through Indian Heaven would be about 35 miles, and some decent EG too. Or continue on to FR 23. Could be lots of bugs, but that's true anywhere up high in July.
Doing the Quartz creek loop is interesting, I suppose I could just do it a few times depending on how fast I can get it done as well, to keep the mileage up. Are there adequate spots to camp along the creek?

I did think about the PCT, and that was going to be a last option, just because I don't really care for Hwy 14 to Trout Lake Creek, and I don't really want to go through Indian Heaven so early in the season for obvious reasons!

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