Deadwood and Ridge Camp Conditions?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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OneSpeed
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Deadwood and Ridge Camp Conditions?

Post by OneSpeed » June 29th, 2020, 8:59 am

Hello all,

I've been meaning to explore the upper Herman / Green Point / North Lake / Defiance area for a while, maybe a 2- to 3-night backpack, and am wondering about conditions at Ridge Camp and Deadwood Camp. Also wondering about conditions of trails up there post-fire, as I have been a little confused trying to work through trip reports.

Basically I figured day 1 up to Cedar Swamp, do Tomlike from there, then move on to Rainy or North Lake for a night, go up Green Point / Defiance from there, then head down via Gorton Creek, maybe with an overnight on the way -- Ridge or Deadwood. I just don't know what the fire did to that last section, in particular.

Any advice, or even discouragement, would be more than welcome!

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drm
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Re: Deadwood and Ridge Camp Conditions?

Post by drm » June 29th, 2020, 2:42 pm

So I've heard that:
1. Deadwood Camp no longer exists, it is full of fallen trees.
2. Just got a report last week that the Herman connector from Cedar Swamp up to Gorton has dozens of trees down on it.

We have also had bad reports about Gorton Ck trail above the old Deadwood site but they were a while back. I have no idea about Ridge Camp, but I think it was always a dry camp.

But Cedar Swamp to Tomlike should be decent. I was up Herman Ck there recently - there are trees down across Herman once you get past Noble Camp, but it's not too bad, just a few. You could also camp at Mud Lake to be higher up and then take Anthill/Rainy-Wahtum over to Green Point plateau area.

Or you could start from the Rainy Lake area. You know Rainy Lake is a car campground which isn't even right next to the lake? Most of Rainy Lake is surrounded by marsh. North Lake is the one of those two for backpackers.

PS - There really isn't much if any burn in upper Herman. I think the last major burned area going up Herman Creek is a couple miles before Cedar Swamp.

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Charley
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Re: Deadwood and Ridge Camp Conditions?

Post by Charley » June 29th, 2020, 3:01 pm

I haven't seen Deadwood or Ridge Camps but Cedar Swamp was beautiful, well-watered, unburned, and I could hear no highway traffic when I camped there last year. So that'll be a good night!

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Bosterson
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Re: Deadwood and Ridge Camp Conditions?

Post by Bosterson » June 29th, 2020, 3:11 pm

I only went by the Deadwood site in winter conditions, but it did seem gone, and there were downed trees everywhere. I was on the Herman cutoff a couple times this past winter, and there were probably a few trees down, but not enough for me to really notice it. (The last time was back in Feb though, so maybe they came down since then as things melted?) Cedar Swamp to Tomlike is fine (or, at least it was in Feb) - the whole HC trail is smooth sailing, and the burn doesn't even reach Cedar Swamp. Really, on the trails that are open, I haven't seen anything that's tricky to navigate (though Nick Eaton may be an overgrown jungle right now, but still navigable). Haven't scoped the upper portion of Gorton yet though.
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OneSpeed
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Re: Deadwood and Ridge Camp Conditions?

Post by OneSpeed » June 30th, 2020, 9:19 am

Thanks, all. I decided to just blow all the way through on my third day from Rainy to the trailhead, and I'll post a report here when I get back.

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bobcat
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Re: Deadwood and Ridge Camp Conditions?

Post by bobcat » June 30th, 2020, 11:14 am

I've done all of Gorton Creek since the fire and updated it in this FG entry:

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

PCTA worked Gorton Creek to just above Deadwood, which really is gone under a jumble of burned vine maple. The trail has not been maintained from there. There were a couple of "disappeared" but short trail sections on the ridge above Deadwood. Ridge Camp is out of the main fire zone and exists as of old (but I still haven't seen its water source), with only a couple of small spot fire occurrences on the rise to the Green Point platter.

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