There is some misinformation in the description for the Wahtum Lake Trailhead, http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org ... _Trailhead.
First, the campsites you need to pay for are the ones with picnic tables and rest room on the ridge next to the parking lot. The designated backcountry sites down at the lake are free. I confirmed this with the Hood River Ranger Station this afternoon. So unless you camp up on the ridge by the road, you don't have to pay to camp. No camping or fires closer than 200 feet to the lake. I was really puzzled when I read your description, because the lake itself is inside the Hatfield Wilderness and therefore can't have an improved campground on it.
Second, the stairs on the "Wahtum Express Trail" down to the lake aren't nearly as bad as the description makes them sound. Per William Sullivan, there are 252 of them. I went down and back up this afternoon, and that seems about right, although I didn't bother counting. If this old lady (not in very good shape) can go down and back up without having to huff and puff for breath, there certainly aren't a thousand!
Third, the access roads are all paved. Somewhat potholey, but definitely paved. It says this down in the driving directions, but the first paragraph says that the last few miles of the access road are gravel. The one caveat is that there's a very short section of FS 1310 , shortly after the misspelled sign, where you need to watch out for fallen rock. There's a sign on FS 1310 about storm-damaged road, but the only damage as of today consists a few very small rocks fallen onto the road. Things might be a bit more dicey after a heavy rain.
Post comments or questions about the Field Guide
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
How about changing the last sentence for the first paragraph: "There is a small fee campground here with picnic tables, fire rings and a pit toilet. The parking lot is mostly shaded."
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey