Wygant Peak 5-12-19

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Wygant Peak 5-12-19

Post by bobcat » May 14th, 2019, 2:31 pm

Last year, I was on a few TKO work parties on the Wygant Trail as we repaired the tread to within ¼ mile of the summit. Sunday was the first time I’ve been able to hike the whole thing in a while, and it was interesting to see how the problem areas that TKO crews addressed are now seamlessly folded into the tread. The rampant spring growth took no time at all to disguise all the dirt and debris we cast downhill!

Poison oak highway, Wygant Trail.jpg
Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), Wygant Trail.jpg
Cook Hill from the Lower Viewpoint, Wygant Trail.jpg
Oaks and balsamroot, Wygant Trail.jpg
Perham Creek, Wygant Trail.jpg
Remains of Perham Creek Bridge, Wygant Trail.jpg
Mitchell Point from the powerlines, Wygant Trail.jpg
Feathery solomon-plume (Maianthemum racemosum), Wygant Trail.jpg

The Wygant Trail runs for most of its length in two State Natural Areas: Vinzenz Lausmann and Wygant. The short summit ridge is inside the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness. Poison oak is a feature of the hike for most of its length. I’d advise long pants at any season. Wygant and Viento Creek seem to be the places where it flourishes most profusely on the Oregon side of the Gorge, forming vast carpets under the canopy.
Leafy pea (Lathyrus polyphyllus), Wygant Trail.jpg
Orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa), Wygant Trail.jpg
Drano Lake, Chemawa Hill, Underwood Mountain from the Middle Viewpoint, Wygant Trail.jpg
Showy phlox (Phlox speciosa), Chetwood junction, Wygant Trail.jpg
Basil Clark sign, Wygant Trail.jpg
Pearhip rose (Rosa woodsii), Wygant Trail.jpg
Scouler's heliotrope (Valeriana hookeri), Wygant Trail.jpg
Looking to Whistling Ridge and Mt. Adams, Upper Viewpoint, Wygant Trail.jpg
Approaching the Upper Viewpoint, Wygant Trail.jpg

As most know, you can’t really do the Chetwoot Loop anymore. There’s a replacement Basil Clark bear sign at the lower end of the loop. At the upper junction, the bear sign is partially rotted away and also there is the 'corrected' Wygant Trail sign. Wygant itself has 35 switchbacks but also numerous viewpoints looking every direction but south.

Upland larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum), Wygant Trail.jpg
Dog and Wind Mountains, Wygant Trail.jpg
Starry solomon-plume (Maianthemum stellatum), Wygant Trail.jpg
Cascade Oregon grape (Berberis nervosa), Wygant Trail.jpg
Top of Wygant Peak, Wygant Trail.jpg
View west, Wygant Meadow.jpg

I met a pair of hikers and two runners, not bad for Wygant as we rarely encountered other users of the trail when we were doing trail work. From the summit cairn, I took the now well defined trail down to the meadow on the southwest slope, getting views west to the Viento Ridge, Mt. Defiance, Indian Point, and Table Mountain.

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Re: Wygant Peak 5-12-19

Post by Chip Down » May 15th, 2019, 6:23 pm

I encountered a work party last year. Perhaps you were there when I strolled through. I actually liked the trail the way it was, but Wygant is horrible for PO and ticks, so a wide trail has its advantages. There's one more off-trail route I want to try, and then the trail back down. I was hoping to do it last winter when it was cold and dry, but that never happened (I didn't want to do it in deep snow).

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Re: Wygant Peak 5-12-19

Post by sgyoung » May 16th, 2019, 8:51 am

I wonder if we met - I did a TKO work party on Wygant in April last year. It was a fun experience and also my first time on the trail.

Thanks for the pictures and trip report. This is a really excellent - but seemingly overlooked - trail with great gorge views.

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Re: Wygant Peak 5-12-19

Post by chrisca » May 16th, 2019, 1:50 pm

Thanks for bringing this trail back from the dead. Now, let's do Shellrock Mountain!

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Re: Wygant Peak 5-12-19

Post by woodswalker » May 16th, 2019, 4:49 pm

Hi, I was out there on the 12th as well. It was looking good. Thanks for all the trail work ya'll. Did you by chance find a sun visor on the 12th? My hiking buddy lost it, pretty early on. Really fun place to explore. Did a bit of rambling and had a lot of fun.
Colette Grace

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Re: Wygant Peak 5-12-19

Post by Chip Down » May 16th, 2019, 5:56 pm

I too would like to see something done with Shellrock. There's remnants left, and it's worth restoring. But with the fire damage, possible safety concerns, and HCRH construction, maybe think of it as a long-term possibility.

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