Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

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pablo
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Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by pablo » August 17th, 2008, 7:41 pm

For the past couple of months I'd been eying the Indian Ridge trail with its former lookout site as a possible jumping off spot for investigating the abandoned #511 South Fork Roaring River Trail as it approaches the Roaring River. At one time, the South Fork trail met with the now relocated #507 trail. The older #507 then climbed out of the Roaring River canyon to Abbot Road. For some reason I do not know, the #507 was relocated further upstream - must have been in the late 60's, early 70's. Additionally, older Mt Hood Nat'l Forest maps show a trail coming off from the Indian Ridge lookout site to meet with the #511.

1938 fragment with a trail coming off from the look out at the end of Indian Ridge meeting up with the old Corral Springs trail on the north side. No South Fork Roaring River trail at this time.

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1946 fragment with all the parts in place. Note the old alignment of the Corral Springs Trail coming out of the Roaring River at the confluence with the South Fork.

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Later in the hike I wanted to explore the side trail from Cache Meadow trail to Shellrock Lake trail but this proved to be out of reach for me on this very hot day.

I traveled the FR58 road to High Rock, which is a neat place, I'm going to have to make a special trip for that one - I did not have enough time to stop and take in the view from up top, darn. You leave the FR58 road and follow the paved part of the FR4610 Abbot road until just before the pavement ends to get on what Sullivan calls the #240 road - NG TOPO has it listed as the Indian Ridge Rd - and what an oil pan ripper that road is. I was on a motorcyle designed for this kind of stuff and was a little concerned about effect all the rocks were having on my tires. Not for the family car and were I to do this again, I'd park at the lower trail campgrounds at Shellrock or Hideaway Lakes and just hike up the small distance.

I departed the on the biker-hiker-horses only Shining Lake trail head from the Frazer Fork Mtn Campground around 8:30. Mosquitoes were thick.

It's pretty clear, no ATVs allowed on this segment:

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Some tank trap like berms to emphasize the point about no ATVs:
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No problem for ATV'ers, just make a new route around any berm or barricade, easy, huh? What a sense of entitlement these people must feel.

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There were a couple of spots off trail providing views and this whole area deserves some exploration. The little lakes in the Splintercat Creek drainage would be fun to visit and any of the ridges that branch off from the main ridge look to have rock slopes for great viewing.

Hood and Signal Buttes:

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There was an ATV and a couple of motorcycles parked at the start of the trail down to Shining Lake, I nervously took pictures of the scene, wondering what would happen if the owners of these vehicles observed my picture taking.

The rhododendron lined trail down to Shining Lake offered little in the way of views of the lake but at an opening I got my first look at the lake and the rocky slopes on the west end and decided then and there to take the rocky slope out as the views of the lake would be very good.

Here's a panorama of the lake the rocky bits are west and the opposite end of the photo is east.

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There is a rough trail around the lake, I passed the tiny outlet stream and headed up the rocky slope for better views of the lake and surrounding country. The view of the lake improved measurably from the rocky slope. The little spot in the lake was a person in a raft fishing.

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From a rocky outcropping above Shining Lake I was treated to terrific views of the Roaring River canyon.

Here's a panorama of the Roaring River area:

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I made my way back to the ridge line through a tangle of rhodies to get to the old look out site. Not much there but the foundation and the view is slowly being eaten away by the surrounding trees. I did get a shot of what I think is Grouse Point, a location I'd be passing on my return, I mention this now as Grouse Point is a place that guide books talk about but no one seems to ever be able to find it. It's the rocky spot on the ridgeline in the photo below:

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I was running late and it was getting warm so I wasted no time in heading down the hill to my possible meetup with the #511 trail. Just below the lookout site on the way down a rocky slope, the polarizer on one of my cameras decided to fly off landing in some deep hole in the rocks. I moved a couple of 200lb rocks and tried to reach the lens at the bottom of the hole but I was just short, visions of the guy who cut his arm off when a rock fell on him made me just chalk this one up to experience and I continued on my way.

No trail bench was seen on the way down, the 1938 map had this as a lesser standard trail so my expectations were low. Not a bad descent but overly long - I had wanted to criss-cross the lower part in hopes of hitting a trail bench or blaze for the #511 but lateness gave me just one try before crossing the South Fork - no trail was seen. Better luck next time. I did a log crossing of the surprisingly high South Forth and stopped at the other side to Steripen water and hydrate as much as possible as it was getting really hot by now.

I planned on intersecting the #517 Grouse Point Trail and then hike on out, but having never been on this part of the Grouse Point Trail I relied on the USGS TOPO location of the trail to set my waypoint. Lucky for me I just happened to pick a spot where the USGS and the actual trail agreed, had I taken a point further up the hill I could have been in real trouble as the divergence of the paper trail and actual trail would have sent me up a steep, brushy slope with no trail. By now the heat was really getting to me in spite of all the water and Pedialyte I'd been drinking. I was getting leg cramps, heat exhaustion, trouble.

I hit the very faint #517 and headed up the hill, heavily blazed with ribbon here an there, it was still hard to follow and I could have easily gone across it and missed it. I love these kind of trails. I walked off the trail only once at a camp with a fire ring and another time I got a little perplexed but the trail is fairly free of blowdown. Very steep in spots. See the map at the end of this report to see how far off the USGS trail location is - not even close to ground truth.

Once the intersection with Dry Creek Trail the tread quality improved as did the number and size of all the spiders and spider webs across the trail. My hiking staff became a cobweb remover but even then I'd periodically walk into some spider's home, they are probably used to it.

Another spot where the trail and the map do not correspond is at the location of Grouse Point - USGS maps show Grouse Point as being on the trail, actually the trail doesn't even come close - I could see that from the GPS track while I was there but I was to bothered too much by heat exhaustion to make the attempt. I plan to return to this segment and mark out the Grouse Point viewpoint - there must be a use trail to it.

I made the Serene Lake intersection and had considered returning via Rock Lakes but made the decision to go for a short bushwhack to the Frazer Mtn Rd. Stopped for a view of Serene Lake.

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I was bone tired when I finally met up with the Frazer Mtn Road and made my way out. It was getting towards evening and ravenous hordes of mosquitoes kept me moving even though the cramps in my legs were telling me to stop. I made it back to my ride and without wasting a minute put on my helmet and rode out of that cloud of bugs - once a mile or so down the road, I stopped and put things away in a mosquito free environment. Never seen so many, I was bit 15-20 times and I'm the itchy and scratchy show.

A great day, I was disappointed in the #511 no show. I also wanted to explore the trail in the saddle off the Cache Meadow trail discussed in this report from the archive. Note Tom's map in the discussion attached to the afore mentioned report. I had planned to visit that part on the way back but I guess not this time.

A great day, some great off trails experiences, lots of places found for future explorations, and heat exhaustion is to be taken seriously.

The map below show on/off trail segments and note the difference between the USGS location of the #517 trail coming out of the Roaring River canyon and where it actually is. Also look at the piece at Grouse Point, the trail goes right around it.

Approximately 15 miles, 4400' cumulative elevation gain. ~11 hours

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The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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Splintercat
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Re: Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by Splintercat » August 17th, 2008, 11:31 pm

Wow - great report, Paul! You weren't kidding about the 517 trail being a "bit" off from the USGS location. I wonder if it was reconstructed in the new alignment at some point? That's quite a difference.

I've been wanting to explore the Cache-Shellrock trail, but am familiar with the clouds of mosquitos in the area..! In fact, my very first backpack at the age of six was to Serene Lake, and our family copy of the Lowe's "100 Oregon Hiking Trails" literally has a squashed mosquito on the Serene Lake page, as a momento..! No kidding!

You passed very close to one spot that I've been wanting to visit when you did your cross-country shortcut to the Frazier Mountain road -- I'd like to summit that little peak. The top seems open, and it looks like there might be an interesting view down into Middle and Upper Rock Lakes. What was the ridge to the west of Frazier Mountain (along your bushwhack route) like?

Thanks for another great lost trail report, Paul - bravo!

Tom :)

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Splintercat
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Re: Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by Splintercat » August 18th, 2008, 12:09 am

BTW, your views of the RR, Hood and Shining lake from the scree slope are great!

-Tom

joerunner
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Re: Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by joerunner » August 18th, 2008, 7:19 am

Cheers to another most excellant Pablo adventure. You earned your trail points on that day with the heat and the bugs.

I use endurolyte(salt pills) caplets on long trail runs, usually 1 and hour unless it is really hot then 2. I haven't tried the pedialyte.

RobFromRedland
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Re: Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by RobFromRedland » August 18th, 2008, 7:27 am

What a trip! Some day, I'd love to accompany one of you animals on one of these adventures. My fear is that I couldn't keep up! 15 miles with 4400' of elevation gain! WOW! With the heat, I don't think I could have done that....

When my daughter and I backpacked into Shining lake a few years ago (before the tank traps were installed, I think), there was actually a small PICKUP at the top of the trail down to Shining Lake! They came in after us, and camped at the campground top of the hill and brought down an inflatable boat to fish the lake. There were barriers to trucks coming down the road, but they had done a similar thing in that they had gone around into the woods and made a new "trail". So much for obeying the "rules".

Congrats on another great adventure! I love reading them.

Rob
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

pablo
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by pablo » August 18th, 2008, 10:46 am

joerunner wrote:Cheers to another most excellant Pablo adventure. You earned your trail points on that day with the heat and the bugs.

I use endurolyte(salt pills) caplets on long trail runs, usually 1 and hour unless it is really hot then 2. I haven't tried the pedialyte.
Thank you for the tip - I will try the endurolyte - looks like it has all various salts one would need. I thought by running on every hot day so far this summer would have inoculated me from this - I now know better. The pedialyte weighs too much and likely no better than a sports drink, next time out I'll try your solution and carry a sports drink for backup. That and scale back the distance on obvious hot days. The cramps scared me.

Thx,

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

pablo
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by pablo » August 18th, 2008, 11:00 am

Splintercat wrote:Wow - great report, Paul! You weren't kidding about the 517 trail being a "bit" off from the USGS location. I wonder if it was reconstructed in the new alignment at some point? That's quite a difference.

I've been wanting to explore the Cache-Shellrock trail, but am familiar with the clouds of mosquitos in the area..! In fact, my very first backpack at the age of six was to Serene Lake, and our family copy of the Lowe's "100 Oregon Hiking Trails" literally has a squashed mosquito on the Serene Lake page, as a momento..! No kidding!

You passed very close to one spot that I've been wanting to visit when you did your cross-country shortcut to the Frazier Mountain road -- I'd like to summit that little peak. The top seems open, and it looks like there might be an interesting view down into Middle and Upper Rock Lakes. What was the ridge to the west of Frazier Mountain (along your bushwhack route) like?

Thanks for another great lost trail report, Paul - bravo!

Tom :)
The blaze on some of the trees looked pretty old so if I were to bet on it, they just got it wrong. The 1938 MHNF map trail seems to match my GPS track but the photo I took of the map is not so hot in that region.

The Frazer summit is on my list and the bushwhack along the ridge was pretty easy where I was, no big thickets of rhodies to negotiate. I was thinking of just going up the big boulder field off Frazer Mtn Rd.

Thx,

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

pablo
Posts: 1442
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Shining Lake and the #511 South Fork Trail - Aug 16, 2008

Post by pablo » August 18th, 2008, 11:10 am

RobFromRedland wrote:What a trip! Some day, I'd love to accompany one of you animals on one of these adventures. My fear is that I couldn't keep up! 15 miles with 4400' of elevation gain! WOW! With the heat, I don't think I could have done that....

When my daughter and I backpacked into Shining lake a few years ago (before the tank traps were installed, I think), there was actually a small PICKUP at the top of the trail down to Shining Lake! They came in after us, and camped at the campground top of the hill and brought down an inflatable boat to fish the lake. There were barriers to trucks coming down the road, but they had done a similar thing in that they had gone around into the woods and made a new "trail". So much for obeying the "rules".

Congrats on another great adventure! I love reading them.

Rob
You could come along and be the voice of reason, I came a up little short in the common sense department on this one.

Those berms the FS put in there must have cost a lot of money as they were not the typical pile-of-dirt berms one usually sees. They were obviously engineered for the purpose of keeping out the ATVs. No different than shooting signs, just wanton vandalism. I should have notified the FS about and may still do that.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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