Author at Dry Creek Falls
Mid-October, high-30°s and some sunbreaks at a trailhead in the early morning – – – what a great way to start the day. I was standing 15 miles south of Mt. Hood in a large sub-alpine meadow near the Little Crater Campground. In a short distance I reached Little Crater Lake, 100 feet wide, 45 feet deep and crystal blue to its very bottom where an artesian spring feeds the lake. Another one-quarter mile led to an intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. Turning south, I began the long loop hike around Timothy Lake, an impoundment on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River. The 100-foot compacted-earth dam was built on Timothy Meadows in 1956 to regulate flow to a lower impoundment on the River. The brilliant yellow, oranges and reds of vine maple leaves lined the trail in open areas. Some late colorful berries also lent some beauty along the way.
The magnificent view of Mt. Hood over Timothy Lake has been the source of a multitude of magazine covers over the years. Sad to say, but low-lying clouds covered the mountain on this day. At the 10-mile mark, I took a side detour to Mediation Point on the north side of the Lake. After a short rest and a snack, I completed the last 3.3 miles to the Trailhead. I thought to myself – – – Is there any prettier place in the world than the Pacific Northwest on a autumn day?