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I hike this trail twice as a kid with girl scout camp. So beautiful! Time to go again

This trail was close to 13 miles from the Bonneville trailhead. Most of the trail is on the moderate side of hard, except the final maybe 1/2 mile push up the Butte, but the trail is road size width. My alltrails app has been malfunctioning past couple of hikes. You walk around and to the south. At the Carpenter lake/PCT/ Table Mountain/ Two chiefs trails you go onto the Carpenter lake Trail and follow it to the west side of the lake ( you can also get to table mountain and cedar creek mountain via Aldrich Butte, but I am unaware of the trail conditions at this time. On the table Mountain hike from this route you would have to cross cedar creek, which is pretty raging this time of year) where the trail veers and goes up hill. The last part up to the butte is long and steep. Great views of the gorge and hardy ridge from the top of Aldrich Butte. On the carpenter Lake trail there is a sketch bridge, the trail is overgrown and not very well kept. It looks like not many people hike this trail since the closure of the hot springs. Also lots of knew debris on the PCT since the recent wind storms. Wind gusts were reported at up to 80mph at crown point in the gorge on 1/14/19 and on the weather apps it said North Bonneville was 25mph. My moving time was 6hrs 30 mins and total time was close to 8 hours. I started at 5:30am in the dark and finished at 1:11pm. Saw no people the Entire hike until I was finishing and close to the Bonnevile/ PCT/ Bridge of the Gods trail junctions, a woman and her leashed pup. No cars in the parking lot when I started and 3 other cars in the lot when I finished. One bathroom stall was open this week. Trail parking area and trash were clean. You do need a NW forrest pass, national parks pass or $5/day parking pass to park here. If doing a day pass you can pay at the trailhead or pay and print online.

01/13/2019
Arrived at 8am on a Sunday to only a few cars in the parking lot. Did the full loop with my dog and was back at my car by 10:45am. Passed a few people on my way up but otherwise only came across one other person the entire hike, until I got back to the junction and went the last mile ish back down the main trail, at which point there were lots more people and a full parking lot.

Towards the top parts of the trail were quite wet, some patches of snow all over the top but not much. It was extremely windy - actually quite dangerous considering some of the ridges. My 30lb dog was blown about five feet sideways and I thankfully had her on the leash. The guts would’ve knocked me over if I weren’t braced against them. I recommend avoiding this hike if the Gorge is windy on arrival.

The upper half of the hike has a lot of rocky / semi-scrambling parts. Hard on the knees but nothing like Munra Point or some other areas of the Gorge. I imagine these areas would be tricky if the ground were at all icy.

Overall great hike, good views at the top. Just get there early to avoid crowds.

Hiked the trail on Sunday 1/13/19. It was chilly but not too cold with a blue sky. Recommend using trekking poles and shoes with good grip. Take snacks and water too. It’s definitely a hard hike up but even kids were doing it with their parents. Pace is key. Worth the view.

The full loop is a TOUGH 8 mile hike with elevation of 2200 incline and decline. Amazing views and worth every minute. Dog friendly.

hiking
5 days ago

The trail is in great condition right now, and the warm winter means no snow (just a little frost at the summit.) Lots of people had the same idea, and met a lot of nice people on my descent.

The weather tracker as part of Alltrails is spot-on accurate. Make this hike while the weather is good.

Great views. Do not go counter clockwise.

Great hike, beautiful views up Elk mtn. However, my gps recorded the loop distance at 8.12 miles, NOT 7. I thought that was an important correction to make!

Very difficult hike indeed with a steep terrain (great for cardio and calf work). There are some spots with views along the way to catch your breath. Took me about 1h30 to get to the top. I hiked in the rain and fog so no idea how the views look like on top (going with clear sky definitively recommended...). Enjoy!

Started at Bonnevile trailhead on 12/31/18 at 5:30am. Bathrooms were locked due to the government shutdown and you need to have a northwest forrest pass, national parks pass or there is a fee deposit box at this site to park here. my alltrails app was glitching this day so i took a wrong turn onto the bridge of the gods trail and had to backtrack to the trail junction for gillet lake (the right way). There is no info at this junction for table mountain. Beautiful forrest and as you near table mountain there are several trails that intersect with no information so its helpful to have a map or pre recorded track. I went up the westward trail, it is very steep on this side, (don't let the signs below fool you. Both acensions are equally hard.) Once you get out of the treeline you are hiking/climbing up rocky, steep and at times bushy terrain with sheer drop offs on one or both sides. There was also snow and ice there, but not bad enough at the time I went to need microspikes, but do carry them if you are going to make a go of this in the winter(westward trail is 1.7 miles,but feels so long in the moment!). Hiked around the west side of the butte and the forrest up top to get views from the top on all sides (there is about a couple feet of snow in non forrested areas and a foot of snow maybe in the forrest. Breathtaking views from the top. Descended down heartbreak equally difficult took me about 3 hours to get down 1 mile of pure nasty

One of my favorite hikes! Minimal views compared to some other hikes in the gorge, but not as busy and with nice paths for my dogs. Very dog-friendly, people frequent with horses so please be respectful and keep them leashes.

Dog review: Took two of my dogs in December. It was a fun hike, with lots of PCT intersections near the loop part. We got a little off track, but glad I had my All Trails map (on phone), it was easy to right ourselves. Little frosty snow since we went early, the dogs loved it. Nice and easy on the knees since not a lot of elevation and only saw 2 other groups the whole hike. The lake is neat, but my favorite part was near where we got lost in the loop area. Definitely will be back to explore and off-shoot that connects to the PCT and has a little bridge that leads to some nice ridge views - sometimes getting lost is beneficial lol. Took the dogs and I just a couple hours. Pretty wide paths the whole time with minimal rock scramble, so nice on dog paws. Trail was so fast and there was so much water around we didn’t need to get into the dog pack for water at all.

Dog review: This trail was the perfect length for a moderate outing. Took my four dogs and I about four hours. The way up can be a little sketchy with dogs because it’s steep and slippery this time of year. My guys have great leash skills so getting everyone up steep switchbacks and walking on narrow areas wasn’t a problem, but could be for a dog in training or inexperienced pup. Though the trail up has a couple steep switchbacks, the way down is wide and even suitable for horses, VERY easy if you have dogs. Way up is alright as long as you have good control. Only a few rocky areas, no booties needed for my guys. Lots of puddles and streams so you can pack less water than normal for the pups.

Fun hike on New Years Day. Not at all crowded early but quite a few people later in the day making their way up.

A little dicey coming off the summit. I can’t imagine going counter clockwise, waaay too steep. Overall a gorgeous hike and it’s nice to end with an easy walk down by the water.

Great hike, however I would rate as easy. Little muddy, so make sure you take extra shoes and socks, and towels for pups feet, or wash off in the river. Short distance that older kids can conquer, fun for whole family.

Went ccw was so happy I did, walking sticks required and well supplied by nature. First part will kick your out of shape butt, if you can push trough cardio into a runners high, be prepared to use your hands, and go down steep rocks butt first. After the peak expect your heart to break as it is just enough, up and down. After half way it smooths into a atv sized trail, all down hill, save your joints and use some walking sticks found along side the trail.

Good hike. The early on waterfalls after 1 mile in were the highlight of the hike for me. A little muddy due to the rain around this time of year.

I’d rate it as moderate-hard.

Did this hike yesterday. Great views and a solid workout. Conditions when I went were good - no snow and dry trails.

First one on the trail and in the parking lot at 7:05am on 12/24/18. Hiked 8.9 miles counterclockwise from Herman Creek to Gorton Creek to Nick Eaton trail and back to Herman Creek. ( I had a pre recorded map, very helpful to have.)

I tried this trail a couple of years ago before I got into shape and I could not finish it, it was brutal and I was, barely move sore for days after. I've been hiking practically every weekend this year and I finally was able to finish this trail!!!

I did this trail counterclockwise, starting with Gorton creek was long (when you get close to the top the snow begins and much of the flat trail on Nick Eaton is covered in snow, it was not icy, so no microspikes needed 12/24/18.), with lots of switchbacks and a creek crossing and on the way down on Nick Eaton trail was brutal, my toes were smashed against the tips of my boots with every step, there are steep switchbacks on the tail end for me of this hike. My feet were so sore when I got to the Herman Creek, Pct trail, otherwise I would have gone down to check out the Herman Creek Bridge (next time!). Finished the hike at 1pm and was hiking for around 6hrs. Most of the trail is really steep so be prepared! When I got back to my car there were 4 other cars in the lot. The parking lot holds 10 cars. You must have a NW forrest pass or pay $5 day use fee. There is a pay box here. The campground when I came here is closed. The bathroom is vaulted toilet and was clean when I got there in the am, but on the smelly side when I left in the PM. I saw 6 people on the trail and all were on my descent, so after 11:30am or so. All of this trail above the power line road was affected by the eagle creek fire.

I did this hike in October, and it’s probably my new favorite. It’s not too strenuous, but I’m also very active and do a lot of hiking with elevation gains, so it may be more difficult for people not as used to a lot of steep elevation gain. There are markers tied to the trees along the trail that indicate which way to go, which is handy because there are a few off-shoot trails and shortcuts that branch off and can make it confusing. Went in POURING rain and it was pretty slippery, but I had trekking poles so it wasn’t too hard to deal with. The viewpoint towards the top is really cool, but the view from the actual summit is the one you really got to push for! Definitely recommend it, can’t wait to do it again. Highly recommend sturdy shoes and trekking poles or a walking stick.

Entire trail is either charred or burnt from the Eagle creek fire... but the trail is still awesome and the veiws are incredible!.. about 1/2" snow at the top as of today

Wonderful day hike.

Beautiful view of a snowy MSH. Saw a bear in the lower clearcut area.

Visited 12/8/18. Beautiful area to stop at for hiking, sightseeing and a great lunch spot with a couple picnic tables next to Viento falls. Paved trails look very new. Bathrooms were flushing toilets and very clean inside, but only have air dryers, no paper towels for drying your hands. I've seen this place a bunch of other times while visiting the gorge and have always wanted to stop by and check it out. I came here to hike mt defiance trail. The trailheads are easy to find. Mt defiance, starvation ridge and a couple others are on the 14 going west when you walk on the paved path. Starvation ridge from historic trail paved path is closed but you can reach it on mt defiance trail. I did not complete trails because there were creek crossings on both mt defiance and starvation ridge that had no bridges, I was wearing my summer hiking boots (not wanting to get them wet in the water), it was cold out and I was hiking alone. This area is a must stop if you have the time to check it out. I will definitely be back to hike again. Counted 4 waterfalls.

trail running
1 month ago

Fun long run with my lab today. First time being on the trail. Passed 8 people, all but 1 were within the first mile. Trail is marked efficiently so you do have to look for the markers in a few areas, specifically the road crossings.

Great hike, challenging! Did up and back in just under 3 hours. Some reviews mention rock slides, I felt that it was rocky at points but not necessarily a rock slide. Good boots are a must! Trekking poles are not necessary. Snow at the top in December!

This is one of my favorite loops for a scenic, slightly challenging day hike. It’s not too muddy yet, but high traffic areas around the Pool of the Winds are getting there. Be sure to pack a coat, as well as some gloves and a hat for the summit; there’s already some snow accumulation, especially on the north face of Hamilton Mountain.

Great hike! Beautiful views. My 7 year old daughter was able to hike it, but she is a pretty determined kid.

Great hike with incredible views. Do not be mislead by the trail that takes off from the parking lot--the actual trail starts down the gravel road a little ways and is marked by a sign about not spreading seeds and a boot scrubber. The route that takes off from the parking lot is a social trail that has been created recently--unimproved and poorly routed, don't add to the damage by taking this route! The actual trail is well maintained, with a few slippery spots and two small logs to cross. Dog friendly. Please respect the cultural significance of this site and not disturb any rocks at the summit. It was disheartening to see how much disturbance has occurred in the last couple of years.

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