Oregon

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.

Snow near Mt. Thielsen

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By: Susy
June 15th, 2015

Attempted OR section D on June 4. Three miles north of Hwy 138 started hitting up to 5′ snow drifts over trail; still navigable. Some downed trees, nothing big. Near Mt. Thielsen Trail met two southbound hikers who came from Windigo Pass, said 9’+ drifts for about 15 miles on and off between Thielsen & Windigo, especially around Sawtooth.