Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 2016

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pablo
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Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 2016

Post by pablo » April 17th, 2016, 1:14 pm

This is a 2-parter, part one the Starvation /Warren Lake/Defiance loop and part two the progress of construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH) segment from Starvation Creek Trail Head out to Lindsey Creek. Skipping to the end, the construction done for the HCRH could possibly make the old Defiance Trail Head next to Lindsey Creek a viable option for Defiance Trail access - what's old is new again.

Warren Lake

ImageWarrenLake

The loop hike from Starvation Ridge to Warren Lake with a return on Defiance is one of my favorite hikes - got everything; big views, a lake, sub-alpine environment, waterfalls, nice elevation gain, bit of snow travel, what's not to like.

Knowing that due to the weekday closures the pent up demand for hiking Defiance would lead to standing room only at the Starvation Creek trail head parking lot I left early. Good thing - as the lot was full and then some on my return.

Starvation Ridge trail is in good shape - a couple of downed trees but nothing serious. Likewise on Defiance trail. Some blooms to brighten the way:

ImageOrchids

A look at Dog from the viewpoint up Starvation Ridge.

ImageDog

There is a viewpoint just before Warren Lake where I got a look at Defiance and the snow levels.

ImageDefiance

The way to Warren Lake is mostly snow free as are the camp sites around the lake. The lake is still frozen over but melting fast.

ImageWarrenLakeShore

The cairns put in by the Forest Service a couple of years ago are still standing and if the trail was covered with snow would be useful I suspect.

ImageCairns

The newer blaze on trees was useful as I was the first up this day and previous tracks had melted out. The snow level is around 4100 ft. No spikes needed, the snow is pretty consolidated at this point.

ImageBlaze

In the boulder fields above Warren Lake are some great views.

ImageAdams2

ImageAdams

St Helens and the Mt Marge Backcountry.

ImageStHelens

On the way to Defiance Trail I stopped off in the snow for some looks.

ImageEast

I was all by myself up until the intersection of Mitchell Pt and Defiance Trail and then I started seeing lots of people. With the closure the weekends are going to be busy with folks getting their Defiance fix - get there early.

Historic Columbia River Highway construction

Rather than return all the way on Defiance Trail I took the abandoned section of Defiance Trail down to the power line access road and walked the section from there back to the trail head to explore the construction being done to this section of the HCRH restoration.

The abandoned segment takes off from the current trail shortly after the current trail turns east at the power line right of way and is still in good shape. The trail can be followed all the way down to the 1970s trail head off I-84. What I believe to be the old trail head marker is still there off I-84 last time I looked.

ImageOldDefianceTrail

In one of their hiking books, the Lowes describe this staircase used to connect the trail to the power line access road. Still got a few years left in it.

ImageStairway

You can go west on the power line access road to pick up the rest of the trail going down to I-84. Today I went east to explore the construction.

At the intersection of the power line access road and the HCRH work the westward route of the HCRH going towards Lindsey Creek is going to follow the shoulder of I-84.

ImageRoadsidePath

The construction follows the old roadbed.

ImageHCRHWest

I walked along the construction and came to the falls at Wonder Creek. As I passed by I noticed there was no bridge or culvert for Wonder Creek, curious. What happens is that Wonder Creek disappears into the rocky ground before it reaches the road.

Mysteries of Wonder Creek; the falls

ImageWonderCreek

The cascades:

ImageWonderCreekNorth

The vanishing - never to be seen again:

ImageWonderCreekGone

Next over going east is Warren Creek and the construction of a bridge. There is some strange construction going on here and I suppose it will make sense when completed.

Looking west from the west end of the bridge.

ImageWarrenCreekWest

There is this deep gravel filled hole that is obviously going to be the foundation of the west end of the bridge across Warren Creek. Warren Creek itself is just on the other side of that black barrier on the right in this photo.

ImageWarrenCreekBridgeWest

Here is the big pit and Warren Creek - really weird to look at - I'm surprised water from Warren Creek doesn't do some subsurface flow through the soil to fill the pit.

ImageWarrenCreek

This is a look at the whole bridge layout from the east end looking west.

ImageWarrenCreekBridgeEastEnd

Another puzzling piece of construction - what is this going to be? That is Hole-in-the-Wall Falls in the background. Observation platform?

ImageWarrenCreekStructure

Finish up with a shot of Hole-in-the-Wall Falls.

ImageHole-in-the-Wall

Nice outing and interesting construction. In my mind not that useful without the section around Shellrock Mountain to connect the whole thing with Wyeth.

--Paul

edit: Hole-in-the-Wall rather than Tunnel
Last edited by pablo on October 4th, 2016, 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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Peabody
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by Peabody » April 17th, 2016, 1:43 pm

pablo wrote: Another puzzling piece of construction - what is this going to be? That is Tunnel Falls in the background. Observation platform?

ImageWarrenCreekStructure

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Limey
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by Limey » April 17th, 2016, 5:28 pm

Peabody wrote:
pablo wrote: Another puzzling piece of construction - what is this going to be? That is Tunnel Falls in the background. Observation platform?

ImageWarrenCreekStructure

"Splintercat's soapbox"

Too funny! :lol:

northridge
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by northridge » April 17th, 2016, 6:43 pm

When we were out there last week we were also puzzled by the two semi-circle ditches in front of Hole-In-The-Wall Falls. Last week the orange fencing was not present, but the ditches looked as in your photo. With all the clearing in the area it seems you get a "far away" view of the falls that I don't recall previously, but maybe I never noticed in the past.

I wonder if the completion of that construction will lead to a resurgence in interest of the old trail on Lindsey Ridge, either involving Defiance or Wyeth as the other part of the loop, with easier connection of the loops down by the highway then now exists.

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miah66
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by miah66 » April 18th, 2016, 12:27 pm

pablo wrote:
Nice outing and interesting construction. In my mind not that useful without the section around Shellrock Mountain to connect the whole thing with Wyeth.

--Paul
I agree! Maybe that section needed to be done to make it easier to lobby for funding to get the largest section completed? I wonder if it will ever happen, as it's going to cost ALOT of money to do it (tunnels, almost 12 miles of trail built to rigid specs and strict regs). I'm hopeful, but skeptical?
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pablo
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by pablo » April 18th, 2016, 12:49 pm

I located some planning documents at:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/HCRH/Pag ... ports.aspx

Specifically:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/HCRH/NSA ... 20C_LA.pdf

The curious round thing at Hole-in-the-wall Falls is a picnic area. There is going to be another one at Wonder Falls.

From all this I conclude the parking lot at Starvation Creek is not going be nearly large enough to handle the traffic these improvements are going to generate.

Here is the image of the picnic area - there will be a table there that Spintercat can stand on while holding forth on the virtues of restoring Warren Creek Falls.
Hole-in-the-wall.png
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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miah66
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by miah66 » April 18th, 2016, 1:08 pm

pablo wrote:
From all this I conclude the parking lot at Starvation Creek is not going be nearly large enough to handle the traffic these improvements are going to generate.
Parking?! Since when was that ever a priority!? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Peabody
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by Peabody » April 18th, 2016, 3:32 pm

miah66 wrote:
pablo wrote:
From all this I conclude the parking lot at Starvation Creek is not going be nearly large enough to handle the traffic these improvements are going to generate.
Parking?! Since when was that ever a priority!? :lol: :lol: :lol:
It's different this time! They added........wait for it........10 more spots.
Starvation Creek Parking.jpg
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miah66
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Re: Warren Lake and HCRH Construction Project, April 16, 201

Post by miah66 » April 19th, 2016, 7:23 am

Well I guess that's something. John Yeon is actually the spot where they need additional parking. In addition to popular hiking trails beginning there, like McChord, Elowah, Nesmith Pt it is also the start of the paved HCRH trail. The last year or two the amount of cars piled up at that trail head and along both sides of the road now is staggering.
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