Oregon

Eagle Creek bridge damage and trail status

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By: JH
March 31st, 2016

A bridge on the Eagle Creek Trail alternate route is closed due to a large tree that fell during a storm last December 2015. This is the northern-most section in Oregon leading to Cascade Locks (halfmile map Oregon section G page 6 and 6A). The Eagle Creek Alternate Route is a spectacular and popular 15.4 mile route used by many [probably most] PCT hikers.

The creek is not safe to cross [during periods of high runoff] and the bridge won’t be repaired for at least a year, said Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area recreation staff officer Stan Hinatsu.
“It’s going to be a big challenge to make sure folks aren’t crossing the creek,” Hinatsu said. “We can’t be there 100 percent of the time and folks will go around any barriers.”

Official notice is here (scroll down to “Closures” section):
http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/crgnsa/alerts-notices

Oregon US 20 closure impact on PCT

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By: J.
March 30th, 2016

ODOT will be doing a road closure on US20 that will affect travel from the PCT to Albany/Corvallis, and vice versa. Travel to Bend and the trail, Salem to the trail and Eugene and the trail will not be affected.

US20 will be closed west of the trail for all of August and September of 2016. It may reduce vehicle traffic past the PCT and potentially affect hitchhiking from the trail into Bend. Here is a link to more information: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION2/Pages/US-20-Sheep-Creek-Bridge-Phases-1-and-2–.aspx

Crater Lake to Fish Lake water sources

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By: JaNell
July 23rd, 2015

My friend and I just did the 50 mile hike between Fisher Lake and Crater Lake. For the most part there were many places to find water. For those who are planning to refill your water at Jack Spring you won’t be able too, the spring has dried up. The next closes place to refill is Ranger Spring which is south of Jack Spring and 1 mile off the trail. It’s a beautiful place to stop and cool off. There are still plenty of small streams between Ranger Spring and Devil Peak. The other place we had counted on was Snow Lake. Which we either missed or the sign was burnt in the last forest fire. Fortunately we had filter extra water at Christi Springs.

Oregon Skyline Trail Alternate Route

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By: Laurie Meade
July 16th, 2015

I just finished a three day loop along the suggested Alternate Route (Pacific Crest Trail guide book)of the old Oregon Skyline Trail from Santiam Pass, starting at Santiam Lake Trail #3491. The trail was clear for the first six miles to Santiam Lake. Beyond that it is NOT MAINTAINED. Four miles of blow down and bush-wacking to the Marion Lake Trail #3437. This trail up to the PCT at Wasco Lake is also in need of clearing. Best to stay on the PCT north of Santiam Pass.

Oregon: North Crater to Odell Lake – starting June 28

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By: Dave Brook
July 16th, 2015

I recently completed this section – taking the Oregon Skyline Trail alternative at Windigo Pass. Very few mosquitos in most places and only 2 patches of snow on the trail (gone by now, I’m sure). Overall, this stretch of the PCT is in great condition and because of water drops is not as daunting as it sounds, even for a 12 mile a day section hiker.

There was water being delivered to the North Crater trailhead (only 1/2 mile off the PCT). As reported on the Half Mile maps, the first water was at Theilsen Creek. Since this is a popular overnight, if the campsites along the PCT are occupied, just hike 1/4 mile down the Thielsen Creek trail and there are many more, nicer ones, along the creek

I was doing 12 mile days so chose Maidu Lake. Already warm and it has a firm bottom so is very nice for swimming. The abandoned trail that contours back up the PCT was easy to find but got sketchy higher up. Nevertheless, even if you bushwhack, you’ll come to the PCT.

Lots of water being cached at Windigo Pass. The guidebooks are confusing about finding the Oregon Skyline trail (to Nip & Tuck and other lakes) – just walk down the road 1/2 mile and the trailhead is clearly signed. It’s beyond the first cleared area you come to. Nip and Tuck lake on the OST was also nice swimming.

Getting through the Crescent Lake area over to the Whitefish horse camp area was VERY confusing. Somehow I missed the cutoff and ended on the road. I finally got back to the trail which paralleled the road, but even this trail was confusing and I eventually just walked along the road and into the camp. There are water spigots everywhere in the Whitefish equestrian campground and the trailhead to Odell Lake via Diamond View Lake is at the back of the loop at the top of the camp (keep left). Diamond View Lake was also great swimming. I really enjoyed talking with the volunteer trail crew from Eugene that was removing a number of large trees that had fallen over the trail down to Odell Lake.

The store at Shelter Cove has showers ($1.50; bring your own towel and soap). The only prepared food available is pizza and hot dogs/bratwurst. Follow the instructions for getting back on the PCT as walking the road up to highway 58 isn’t very inspiring.

Oregon Crater Lake to Fish Lake Trees Downed

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By: John Livingston
June 29th, 2015

Starting June 20 hiked south from Highway 138 to Highway 140 around lower trail west of Crater Lake and south to Fish Lake. Of course mosquitoes very heavy and variable. Hundreds of trees down across lower trail and many trees across trail south of Mazama Campground to almost Fish Lake. Bear spotted near Christi’s Spring but ran away. Several large old forest fires had many trees across trail. Some signs burned. Area needs trail crew.

Bone Dry Stream Beds

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By: Laurie Meade
June 29th, 2015

Every stream bed I passed from Elk Lake to Cliff Lake #1942 was dry on 6/21/2015. There is water in the larger bodies of water and lakes. Please be mindful and carry enough water to get you past any and all seasonal streams as they may be dry already this early in the season.

Oregon Section G – Barlow Pass to Preachers Peak 6/8-6/11

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By: Redtail
June 15th, 2015

Very light snow year. Snow is already COMPLETELY melted off trail, except for 20-foot stretch near Timberline. A number of small downed trees near Barlow Pass, but otherwise, Hood-area trail is clear and clean.

Water access abundant with a number of on-trail creeks flowing; special mention to an on-trail spring at mile 2109.5 JSO ridge above Zigzag River. Zigzag is an ankle ford. Sandy was knee- to thigh-high with strong current at an evening crossing. We heard from southbounders that the bridge was still washed out at Muddy Fork, and to avoid an even worse ford we took the Ramona Falls/Timberline Trail alternate route. NOT recommended! There are three bad washouts on steep cliffsides on the north side of Yocum Ridge, dangerous to traverse with a full pack. However, the three Muddy Fork crossings on the Timberline alternate route were calf- to knee-high with mild current.

From Lolo Pass to approximately 1 mile north of the Preachers Peak saddle, trail is clear but mosquitoes are extremely aggressive. On-trail streams flowing both JNO the pass and on the switchbacks beneath Preachers Peak.