Gnarl Ridge, Elk Meadows and Bushwhacking too


Gnarl Ridge, topped by Lamberson Butte, is one of the most scenic areas on Mt. Hood.

Toss in a trip around Elk Meadows and you have a hiking trip among the best to be had.

The only problem is the bridge-less crossing of Newton Creek below Gnarl Ridge. In the morning I found some logs previous hikers had put across the raging creek, making for a reasonably safe crossing.

After the ten-mile hike to Lamberson Butte and Elk Meadows, I returned to Newton Creek. Alas, the creek had risen considerably due to the daytime warming of the Newton-Clark Glacier. And, sad to say the heavier flows had washed away my logs used to cross the creek in the morning.

Knowing that fording creeks and small rivers is one of the most dangerous activities for a solo hiker, I decided to follow the creek down to Highway 35.

It turned out to be a 4 1/2 hour excursion covering about seven miles in total. At several points I had to climb the steep slopes of Elk Mountain to bypass cliffs. Most of the remainder of the time was spent climbing over and around large rocks and logs left by springtime freshets.

As a side note, I found many deer and elk beds, and in fact spotted a few deer.

Finally, I found a crossing close to the highway. After reaching the road, a kind couple gave me a ride back to the trailhead.

Whew! I was very happy to be back at the car after spending 10 1/2 hours hiking, much of the time off trail.

Hiker and his dog taking a break on Gnarl RIdge wit Mt. Hood's Newton-Clark Glacier in the background

Hiker and his dog taking a break on Gnarl RIdge with Mt. Hood in the background (notice the lenticular cloud building up on the summit of the mountain)

Blacktail Doe

Blacktail Doe

My log crossing over Newton Creek in the morning

My log crossing over Newton Creek in the morning

Newton Creek in afternoon, higher and it's washed away most of my crossing (notice the chocolate color caused by the daytime melting of the Newton-Clark Glacier)

Newton Creek in the afternoon – – – it’s considerably higher and my log crossing has disappeared (notice the chocolate color caused by the daytime melting of the Newton-Clark Glacier)

Upper meadows on Gnarl Ridge

Upper meadows on Gnarl Ridge

Grouse silhouetted in a tree

Blue Grouse silhouetted in a tree

Timberline Trail high on Gnarl Ridge with Cooper Spur in the background

Timberline Trail high on Gnarl Ridge with Cooper Spur in the background

Rocky Summit of Lamberson Butte

The rocky 6,600-foot summit of Lamberson Butte

Newton-Clark Glacier

Newton-Clark Glacier

A portion of Elk Meadows

A portion of Elk Meadows

The sturdy footbridge over Clark Creek

The sturdy footbridge over Clark Creek

 

 

Categories: Oregon Cascades Hikes, Personal ReflectionsTags: , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Sounds like an adventure John great pics

    Like

Leave a Reply to Geoff Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: