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    Member Since July 2018

    Jeff Tipton

    Rapid City, South Dakota 

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    Jeff Tipton reviewed Mount Tamalpais via Matt Davis and Railroad Grade Trails

    7 days ago

    The views from the fire tower are fabulous (if there's no fog) but waaay too many people. Hordes of people in groups of 6 and 8 going in both directions on the weekend with no place to park on the highway. It thins out above West Point Inn but at that point you're walking along a road which isn't much of a hike. There is shade below the Inn but it's exposed above.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Slacker Hill and Hawk Hill via Coastal Trail

    11 days ago

    I did this trail today 09/05/2019. I went clockwise and added a side trip down to Kirby Cove and back. The views of the bridge, the bay, the ocean, and the city are awesome. It will be cold and windy on Hawk Hill and Slacker Hill so be prepared. Heavy fog can roll in at any time so be aware that if you're unlucky enough to be in a fog bank you may not see a thing. My trip counting Kirby Cove came in at 9.2 miles and 2031' of climbing. Not a bad way to spend a few hours.

    Note 1: If you go counter-clockwise as Alltrails shows you have to climb about 700 feet of steps up the west side of Hawk Hill.

    Note 2: As others have noted about half or more of this hike is walking along a paved road or walking a fire access road. Not much of this hike is an actual back-country trail.

    Note 3: The Conzelman Road leg of this hike will be crazy with tourists. Just remember you're one of them.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Lands End Trail

    12 days ago

    Easy hike with nice side excursions to the beach or to an overlook but it is very heavily traveled what with bus after bus of tourists coming into the visitor center parking lot.

    Jeff Tipton completed Lands End Trail

    12 days ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Benson Hut and Tinkers Knob Trail

    17 days ago

    I walked this trail today but stopped just short of Tinker Knob due to running out of time. There are great views along the ridge at Roller Pass and beyond. But the wind is fierce in this section - really fierce. Most of the trail is exposed but there is some shade early as you parallel Mt. Judah. It's very rocky early and then again as you go around Anderson Peak. There is still one snow bank on the trail at Mt. Lincoln you'll have to navigate around but it's easy.

    This is a long hike, you'll be out for at least several hours. I counted 15 other hikers on the PCT past the split with the Mt. Judah loop. Prior to that junction there are dozens of hikers heading up or coming down from Donner Peak or Mt. Judah.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Frog Lake Overlook Trail

    20 days ago

    I don't know why this trail is rated 'hard'. It's pretty moderate. The culvert under I-80 west bound has some water in it which you'll have to step through. About 65 to 70% of this trail is exposed with no shade. The views from the cliff overlooking frog lake are nice. Two hours up and an hour and a half back. I met a total of 4 hikers.

    Jeff Tipton completed Frog Lake Overlook Trail

    20 days ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Granite Chief Peak from Squaw

    22 days ago

    To be honest I'm not sure what trail I was on. I intended to follow this trail as shown on the map from the Olympic Village parking lot to Granite Chief and back. But at the parking lot I wandered all over the place trying to find the correct trail. It wasn't that there were no trails - there were multiple trails and paths leading everywhere and of course not a single one of them marked. Maybe I missed signs but after about 45 minutes I just started uphill figuring I would get somewhere. Sure enough, after about 20 minutes of hiking I saw a single sign 'Granite Chief'.

    This trail went through a moderate amount of overgrowth interspersed with long stretches over granite where you couldn't tell where a trail was. I made a couple more false turns but as far as I could tell I kept getting back to the Granite Chief trail. This trail is very rocky in spots with lots of sand and scree.

    After about 3 miles I dumped out on the PCT. At that point I knew where I was but that didn't last long. I followed the PCT south and again kept running into multiple unmarked paths leading in different directions. After several more false turns I eventually ran into a marker that said Tevis trail. I never saw any path that was marked going to the Granite Chief peak and as a result I gave up on that. I kept looking for a turn to the west and never saw one. So I kept on the PCT to the top of Emigrant Ridge at the historical marker. There the trail sign said I was on the Great Western trail which I had never heard of.

    But at this point my frustration coupled with being fairly pooped led me to decide to just head over Emigrant Ridge and down to the tram.

    I know my body's limitations and I can do about 6-8 miles with 2500' of elevation gain and still be ok. I was gassed. I think I did about 10 miles and close to 3000' feet trying to find the right trail. I have no idea where all I walked.

    Many thanks to a very nice lady named Shelly who took pity on me and tried to help me. Ultimately her directions got me to Emigrant Ridge and on to the tram. I saw about 8-10 people on the lower trail but once I got on the PCT it was like Grand Central Station or something with a steady stream of hikers.

    Also, walking down to the tram a coyote walked out of the underbrush right in front of me, stopped in the path and paid absolutely no attention to me. I thought with my luck it'll be rabid so don't walk towards it. But he never moved and finally I had to yell and throw rocks at it to get it off the path. The last I saw of it, it was headed down to the tram. I guess he needed a lift, too.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Donner Peak and Judah Summit Loop

    24 days ago

    This is a nice hike. The trail is quite rocky at the beginning but that disappears after a quarter of a mile or so. The views from Donner Peak are as described. You feel like you could just reach out and take hold of everything in front of you. I did the loop on towards Mount Judah and back around and down. It took me a little less than 3 hours counting time for lunch. Mount Judah had flies and bugs all over the place. So I didn't stay there long.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Castle Peak Trail

    about 1 month ago

    I wondered why this trail was rated hard. Boy, did I find out. Of the 1800+ feet in total elevation gain, you gain 1100 feet in the last mile and 1/8. In addition, the steep path is covered in sand, gravel, and scree increasing the likelihood of a fall. It's also a bit confusing as there are many different paths that branch off. While most of the side paths end up at the top, some of them lead elsewhere. Don't underestimate this trail - in addition to being hard it's moderately dangerous.

    Jeff Tipton completed Castle Peak Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Mount Rose Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Trail is easy to follow. Rocky and slippery in spots. Steep toward the top. The last 1.5 miles is hard. The last 0.5 miles is damn hard. But the views are stupendous. There isn't a lot of room at the top, enough for a 15-20 at the rock summit and another 10-12 at the wind shelter. Oh, and the butterflies are otherworldly.

    Jeff Tipton completed Mount Rose Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Relay Peak and Mount Houghton Trail

    about 1 month ago

    From the parking area I went up the fire/access road to the comm tower then swung over to Relay Peak and had lunch. Then went over to Mount Houghton and then down the trail to the intersection with Galena Falls trail. I went the falls trail back to the parking area. Taking this route I only encountered a handful of other hikers.

    The butterfly migration is fantastic. The westerly winds on Mount Houghton are pretty cold. There are still piles of snow on the trail between Relay Peak and the comm tower, but it's no big deal to go around it.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Marlette Lake via Chimney Beach Trail

    about 1 month ago

    I hiked this trail today, 08/09/2019, exactly as shown on the Alltrails map. The trail is easy to follow, is mostly hard-packed or loose sand, and isn't overly steep although you should get a good workout.

    It's a weekday so there weren't very many bikers, I only saw two on the trail, several more at the lake, but I have a feeling on the weekend you'll be dodging bikers the whole length of this trail.

    It was cool today with a breeze, almost chilly. The lake is beautiful, I ate lunch at the site of the old cabin.

    The views of Lake Tahoe are only so-so on the way up. There are too many trees blocking the view. And once you get over the lip of the ridge to head down to Marlette Lake, you can't see Tahoe at all.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Jones and Whites Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Challenging hike. I went clockwise. Decent views of the valley from the spur to Church Pond. It wasn't too bad but the length of the trail gave me a little trouble as opposed to the elevation gain. At about the 8 mile mark I was ready for the finish.

    Church Pond is full of water and the butterflies are all over the place.

    On the way down the far side I met a hiker who said a mountain lion was spotted the day before crossing the trail. I saw nothing but be advised this is a wilderness area.

    Jeff Tipton completed Jones and Whites Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Garfield Peak Trail [CLOSED]

    about 1 month ago

    The trail is not closed. There is one spot about 2/3 of the way up where there is snow on the embankment next to the trail and the snow-melt has the trail wet for 30 feet or so. Other than that, there is nothing to stop you and you can get all the way to the top. Great views and a moderate climb. About 45-50 minutes up and about 40 minutes down. There is plenty of elbow room at the top, too, unlike the Mount Scott fire tower where it is limited.

    Jeff Tipton completed Garfield Peak Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Mount Scott Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Great views and a moderate climb. It'll take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to get to the fire tower. I strongly recommend hitting this trail as early as you can. There is limited room at the fire tower and as I was leaving and walking down the trail it was like a column of ants of people walking up the trail. There is no room for that many people at the fire tower. I hit the trail at 9 am and was up in an hour. There were 4 people ahead of me and 2 of them were leaving so I had some elbow room. Also, in the morning it will be chilly, so long sleeves or a light hiking jacket won't hurt.

    Jeff Tipton completed Mount Scott Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Misery Ridge and Summit Trail Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Not much to add to what's been said. It wasn't crowded at all (Monday) but it is blazing hot with no shade. I went up Misery Ridge, down Monkey Face, around the backside and up Summit trail, down Burma Road or whatever it's called, and back by the canyon river trail. It took about 4 hours and 20 minutes but I spent over an hour at lunch and another half hour just general sight seeing.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Grey Butte Trail via Burma Road Trail

    about 1 month ago

    If you like solitary hikes this one is for you. But I had some trouble with it and rated it low. The combination of length, elevation gain, brutal sun, and a slippery, rocky, gravel-covered trail made it an endurance test for me.

    If you take this hike cover yourself up - the trail has zero cover and the sun was brutal today. The summit where the communication towers are has no cover and no good place that isn't rocky to sit. Take at least two big bottles of water - I took two and needed three, When I got back to the water fountain next to the river at the start/end of the trail I was parched and made people wait for 2 minutes behind me while I gorged on water. Hiking poles may help on the way down as it is so steep in spots yet covered with pea gravel that slipping and falling is a real possibility.

    The trail is in four sections: The start from the parking area includes the river and canyon and is flat. Then you get the big uphill at Burma Road and the scar. Then a long, long flat haul with some ups and downs of about 2.5 miles, and finally a huge push of about 1300 feet uphill over about a mile and a quarter of trail to the top of Grey Butte. It's not easy. It's damn hard.

    Your lungs will be gasping, gasping, gasping, and your heart will be pounding, pounding, pounding, and your legs will be burning, burning, burning, and your back will be aching, aching, aching, and your inner voice will be screaming go back, go back, go back. Too late. It's a lot of fun.

    It took me 3 and a half hours up and 3 and a quarter hours down with two 15 minute rest stops, 45 minutes at the top for lunch and several 2 minute breaks scattered throughout. Total time from car back to car was 8 hours. I am 62 and hike slow and deliberate, your time if younger and fitter will be quicker. But if you do the entire 13 miles and 3000+ feet uphill, then count on it taking several hours.

    I like deep forest hikes or lush mountain hikes. This one didn't do it for me. You will get great views of the central valley from the summit, however. You can see 360 degrees for miles and miles and miles.

    One other thing: At the start of the butte climb at about the 4.5 mile mark, two guys were herding cattle. Darndest thing ever. There were about 40 head of cattle, one guy on a 4-wheeler, and another driving a pickup truck with a flat bed. And they were blowing the horns and screaming wildly trying to get the cattle off the trail. Weird.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Wahkeena Falls to Devils Rest and Angels Rest Loop

    about 1 month ago

    I started at the Wahkeena Falls parking lot, went up to the intersection and went left to Devils Rest trail 420C and followed it to Devils Rest then continued to Angels Rest and then went back on trail 415 to the parking area. It took me about 1 hour and 55 minutes to get to Devils Rest, but I am a slow 62 year old hiker. Counting time for lunch, rest stops, and viewing at Angels Rest, it took 5 hours and 40 minutes out and back. If you are going to do this hike, then you have to understand it's the activity itself that is the reward - there are no views at Devils Rest, although there is a gap in the trees on the way up due to the fire that allows you to see Mount Adams, and there are little in the way of views anywhere else excepting Angels Rest which will probably be packed with flip-floppers that came up the Bridal Veil trail. Overall the trail is easy to follow although very overgrown in several spots. Foxglove trail looked impenetrable.

    Jeff Tipton completed Latourell Falls Loop Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Latourell Falls Loop Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Nice hike. Up 700' or so over a couple of miles. Latourell Falls are about as picturesque as Multnomah Falls with FAR less crowds. Do the loop and enjoy.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Wahkeena Falls, Wahkena, Larch Mountain and Multnomah Falls Loop [CLOSED]

    about 1 month ago

    I did this loop today 07/22/2019 starting at Multnomah and never saw a trail closure although there were sawhorse warning signs in a few spots. It's quite obvious a fire came through but it's regrowing. At the Multnomah side of the loop it's total insanity - packed with thousands of people and you'll feel like shoving half of them off the cliff. Well, hopefully not But after the top of Multnomah you'll have it mostly to yourself until Wahkeena Falls and it'll get crowded again although nothing like the Multnomah side.

    Difficulty is moderate but if you ascend on the Wahkeena side and take the path to Vista point, that is a ball-buster. Be prepared to work your butt. If you descend this route be prepared for your quads to burn a bit. The route as shown here by Alltrails through Wahkeena Springs avoids scaling Vista Point.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Dog Mountain Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Ditto what everyone else has said. If you plan on going to the top bring two bottles of water and lunch. Sturdy hiking shoes are a must. I see so many people in flip-flops and sandals, what are they thinking?

    The first few hundred yards from the trailhead are steep, then it's an average climb for the next mile and a half or so, and then the last mile is a ball-buster. Your quads will definitely be on fire after you finish.

    I'm ambivalent about hiking poles - mostly they are just something extra to carry. But they may help in several spots on the way down. I saw one hiker slip and hit the ground hard and several other people, including myself, slipped but didn't fall. The steepness coupled with so much loose gravel in spots makes it easy to fall.

    The trailhead sign says it's 3.8 miles to the top.

    Jeff Tipton completed Dog Mountain Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Mickinnick Trail

    2 months ago

    I liked this trail very much. It's a hard climb but not overly so. You'll definitely get a good workout. The trail is rocky in spots and overgrown in a couple of spots but overall easy to navigate. The trailhead marker says it's 3.5 miles one way which makes it 7 miles round trip, not the 6 that Alltrails shows.

    The views of the lake are stupendous!

    Jeff Tipton completed Mickinnick Trail

    2 months ago

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Canfield Mountain Trails 1562, D, and 3 Loop

    2 months ago

    I did this loop exactly as shown on Alltrails and it's pretty good. It was raining lightly most of the way which meant I didn't have to deal with bikers and ATV's. The trail up gets really steep at the approach to the communications towers - that's where most of the elevation gain comes from. You'll be huffing for sure on this section. There are some fantastic views of the lake from the top. Well worth the hike. I did see one snake so be aware, and several deer.

    The trail back down follows the tower road and is basically just trudging along a dirt road. There are dozens of intersecting trails and paths, however, so if you don't want to walk the dirt road, you've got options. Lots of these trails aren't marked, though, and even the ones that are you have to look around to see if there is a teeny-tiny sign nailed high up on a tree. Not the best but it is what it is.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Mount Coeur d'Alene via Caribou Ridge Trail

    2 months ago

    I hiked this trail to the top Saturday 07/13/2019. It's a nice trail but nothing spectacular. With only a couple of exceptions on the initial ascent, the trail is entirely a forest trail thru the woods. There are no spectacular views of the lake. As mentioned, on the initial ascent you'll have a couple of opportunities to see the lake looking northwest but that's it.

    The trail is kind of in three sections - the initial ascent which is moderately strenuous and very rocky and not very wide (watch your footing!) along the face of the mountain at the trailhead, then a long gradual uphill thru the forest, and lastly another push uphill (but nothing really strenuous) to get to the end.

    I saw no snakes (whew!), passed a couple on their way down who said they only went a bit farther than where I passed them, and after summiting the top, I was passed by several bikers on their way down. They had to have got to the top via the road.

    The trail is rocky and slightly treacherous at the beginning, moderately wide and flat the rest of the way, There are several sections that are overgrown with weeds and bushes you'll have to push thru but it's not too bad.

    I think the trail is longer than the 9.8 miles Alltrails says it is. I don't have a GPS so I cannot be sure, but the marker at the intersection with Coeur d'Alene Mountain Road says it's 4.6 miles from there back to the trailhead at Beauty Creek. I estimate I went 3/4 of a mile past that to the summit which would make the one-way distance about 5.3 miles and the round trip 10.6 miles. It took me about 2 and 1/2 hours up and 2 to come down. I move slowly these days at 61 years old.

    The parking at the trailhead is very limited - there is room for three cars and then you're going to either be on the road, in the ditch, or in the campground. Beauty Creek is also dry, no wading necessary.

    One other thing - I have no idea what the difference is between this trail and the trail named Caribou Ridge National Recreation Trail, which Alltrails shows taking the exact same route yet is rated as hard and has a different length and elevation gain.

    Jeff Tipton reviewed Leverich Canyon Trail

    3 months ago

    Nice wide trail for the most part but too short and not enough of a climb. The views are terrible - there aren't any. On the downhill side (west side) if you are on foot be very aware of bikers. They can come fast and furious from behind you. The last mile or so to the trailhead from 3rd street is a terrible road - rocky, rutted, potholes, you name it.

    Jeff Tipton completed Leverich Canyon Trail

    3 months ago