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    hiking
    6 days ago

    9/14/19: I picked up the Deer Butte Trail from the Robinson Lake TH. The road to Robinson Lake TH was 4 miles of good gravel that most any car could handle. I took the short detour to Robinson Lake and marveled at having this pristine lake to myself. I got back on the Deer Butte Trail and followed it towards Kuitan Lake. The trail to this special lake was unmarked. Look for it before the two mile mark on your left. At around 3 miles, you come to the turn for Hand Lake, but I went past it. At 4 miles on the Deer Butte Trail, there is a short section of burn area. You soon come to a swampy lake that I could not find on the map. Here the trail seems to disappear. Walk along the marshy land until you find it heading back into the woods. There was some pink tape marking the way. This spot could be a good spot to turn around for a day hike. I walked further but then turned around for a 10 plus mile hike. The forest is lovely, lush, and remote. I didn’t see anyone else. Both lakes were empty in mid-September. I tried this TH the week before and didn’t like the camps set up at the TH. I guess timing matters.

    Sept 1: I’ve reviewed Browder before, but I wanted to put a little info about the Heart Lake trail. I went in from Browder today for the day and a 12.4 round trip hike. The junction is not signed and hasn’t been in years. Look for it at 4.5 mi from the Browder Ridge TH. It is a left that goes uphill right away. Follow the trail through forest, along the ridge line and past the left turn split to summit Browder. Keep going and you will notice the trail begin to head downward. This will be the trend all the way to Heart Lake. Some confusing places where the trail is nonexistent or obscured are marked with fluorescent tape. This helped immensely. It is a little steep going down, and you will have the climb back out. The trail was hard to find in a few places but remarkably defined most of the time. Heart Lake was very pretty, and I had it to myself on a holiday weekend. Some downed trees and a little muddy, I imagine navigation would be harder in snow.

    August 31: This is a terrific area to explore. The hike to Duffy Lake is through lush, green forest. It makes for a great day hike in itself. I have been twice and both times it was fairly quiet-even on a holiday weekend. I met a ranger who asked for my self-issued permit and wanted to know my plans. She was cordial and shared some good info. I appreciate the effort to keep the place clean and fire safe. Anyway, I hiked to Mowich and Alice Lake and found the trail up Red Butte. If you use the interactive map, it will point you in the right direction. The trail up the butte is discernible but has some downed trees. It is a relatively easy climb with big payoffs in views. Jefferson and Jorn on one side and Jack on the other. Jorn from above is stunning. Plus, you can see so many lakes and other peaks. Don’t miss the butte climb and plan on close to 13 miles round trip if you include it. Biggest surprise, how much of this hike is through thriving forest. Yes, you travel through some burn area, but not for miles on end without relief. No mosquitoes.

    hiking
    1 month ago

    I really enjoyed this hike on August 20th. No mosquitoes and really quiet. There was no creek left to cross. Just rocks. Duffy Lake is lovely, and the journey through lush green forest is cool and serene even on a hot day. Timing is everything. I look forward to further exploring this area.

    The first 3.5 miles or so are through the burn area. It is still lovely with new growth, wildflowers, and views. Consider starting early or hike on a cool day. The best part of the journey imo is before the 4 mile mark when you come to the thick, green and shady part of the forest. It is lush for the area and elevation. Continue on the PCT until Jack comes into view. Both the scree section of the PCT to the viewpoint and the climber’s trail give you great views of the mountain and surrounding peaks. I took the climber’s trail for a bit. I only completed about half of it and had a round trip hike of 12 mi. The mileage listed on AllTrails is incorrect to the summit. Find the climber’s trail using the interactive map. It is before you hit the scree on the PCT. Notice a small clearing to the right with a cluster of tree trunks practically conjoined. You will see a trail heading off near those trees to the left. You can hike up part of the climber’s trail without going to the sketchy parts. My understanding is that the top is exposed and requires skill and equipment. Parking lot was packed but trail usage was moderate.

    August 16: This is one of my favorite destinations in the state. No Name Lake in Broken Top’s crater is stunning. It makes getting there worth it however you choose to go. If you are a hiker, I recommend taking the Todd Lake Trail. It is approximately 14.5 mi round trip, and this includes trails to the viewpoints at No Name Lake as well. Please don’t miss the additional 0.5 mi climb for amazing views of the Sisters and other peaks. I did this as a day hike. It took 6 hours, but I was at the lake for at least an hour just taking in the views. Todd Lake and Soda Creek are lovely trails that meander through forest and meadows. Wildflowers are still blooming, and those that have passed are starting to turn brilliant shades of red and orange. Streams are sparkling in the sun and easy to cross at this time. Broken Top Trail is sun exposed, and it is best traveled in cooler times of the day if possible. There are still some snowfields, but they are easy to cross. I got there early for easy parking and no crowds.

    Aug 14: Just sharing some info on this as a shorter out and back. One reviewer described it well as a 10 mi round trip to reach Broken Hand from Tam Rim. The trail up until this point is mostly straightforward. I took a left and followed the rock ledge on Broken Hand. There is a scant trail. I matched it to the interactive map, and it was close. I traversed the side and then cut around a corner (through a tree) and was greeted with stunning views of Broken Top and its hidden lake. It still looked pretty far out, and I could not discern a clear path off Broken Hand. That being said, I am sure you could scramble down and pick up a trail to the lake. I was pleased with the viewpoint and decided not to scramble further. I finished at 10.3 mi rt. Tam Rim is a great hike, but I recommend going beyond the rim even for just a mile or two. Great views of Broken Top and the Sisters. You can see all the way to Hood in one direction and Diamond Peak in another on a clear day. Views are calendar shots.

    hiking
    1 month ago

    This is one of the area’s most beautiful hikes, and everyone seems to know about it! Consider getting there early. I arrived at 9:30 am on a Monday in mid-August to find the parking area was packed. Follow the signs for Jack Lake and stay on 1230. I had no issues with foliage scratching my car. Be advised though that it is a rocky, windy road to the trailhead. Most cars can make it, but the last 5 plus miles require some caution with potholes and sharp rocks. The hike itself is awesome. Use the interactive map to Cirque Lake which is accessible on the “not maintained” part of the trail. This is a steeper, rocky climb with the option to continue to the saddle. I saw just one goat. The flowers are past peak but still very pretty, and the streams are flowing. Five star destination and hike. I gave it four due to the road and crowded parking area. No issues with mosquitoes today!

    hiking
    1 month ago

    The views are fantastic, and you can avoid the stopped traffic at Glacier Point. Looks deceptively steep as you approach the dome, but it is a relatively easy trip to the top. This area is worth visiting from the valley. Don’t miss it!

    I took this trail from the Ahwahnee at 6am. There were no people all the way to the lake, but there were tiny swarming flies that were annoying. If you can get past these harmless pests, the trail is interesting with large rocks, caves, and wildlife. It was 4 mi rt from the hotel. Mirror Lake has receded in August, but the views are still awesome of Half Dome and other surrounding peaks as well as the remaining pools of water. I saw some geese flying over the lake but no bears.

    We hit this trail at 6 am to try to get a coveted parking spot at the trailhead. We could have waited another hour to 90 minutes as there was no one there! There are at least 8 parking spots that are not handicapped for the taking before the shuttle service closes the road at 8. You can always drive out of the gated road from the trailhead even with the buses running. The giant sequoias are worth seeing. Use the All Trails map for navigation and do the loop. I don’t recommend Wawona Point unless you have nothing better to do. There are far better views in Yosemite.

    We hiked this trail later than planned and encountered it all...heat, crowds, probs parking, and traffic. It was STILL worth it! There is enough room on most parts of the trail to pass politely when needed. As past reviews suggest, the trail thins as you approach Nevada Falls. Making the loop with the John Muir trail is wise. It keeps you from having to climb down the crowded stairs. The waterfalls are epic and still flowing strongly in August. This is an iconic trail. We could not drive directly to the TH. There is a shuttle, but we hiked the mile or so in.

    hiking
    1 month ago

    Tried to do this trail in July. Although it includes the Santiam Wagon Road, it is an OHV area. I tried to park and hike in, but the dust and danger factor from the dirt bikes had me quickly heading back to my car. I will try during another season.

    hiking
    1 month ago

    This trail is quiet with super green foliage and a gently flowing, clear river. This path travels through a small campground, but you can avoid it by taking one of the off shoot trails closer to the river. Bridge offers an extended hike on other bank. I am not sure if this trail makes a complete loop though. Guard station is charming from the outside. No mosquitoes on Aug 2.

    hiking
    1 month ago

    Detour through some muddy woods. The planks in the area are rickety and not nailed down in some spots. Watch your footing and leave time as it is slower going in this area. The views of the Bubbles are great, and there was a loon nesting area with a lovely loon by the bridge.

    July 26: North Bubble summit was neat with nice views of Jordan Pond. I would personally skip the South Bubble and Bubble Rock although it is quick to loop around to see these. The journey to Conners was pretty with views of Eagle Lake, and it was an easy scramble up Conners. This is an iconic hike and short enough for all to just visit the Bubbles. I turned around after Conners but the trail seemed to continue. I did not realize the Bubbles Divide extension led to the shores of Jordan Pond. Go early as it gets packed.

    July 25: Ascended Beehive, dropped down onto Bowl trail and took the trail up the south ridge of Champlain. I started at 5:30 am and summited Beehive by 6 am. I had the whole trail to myself. Views were outstanding, and I loved the challenge of the climb. It was totally doable if you don’t mind heights. The journey to Champlain summit was beautiful with some fun scrambling. It was worth the extra distance. This led to other hikes like Precipice which was closed and the north ridge of Champlain. I didn’t hear voices for two hours until I neared the Bowl on my descent. On the way to car, I saw groups heading toward Beehive with small children. One group was playing loud music. Hike early. You might be able to hear the birds.

    hiking
    2 months ago

    July 20: Just sharing my experience in this area—please note that this trail has a west and east TH as well as access through the Gordon Meadows TH. I took FSR 2032 for 5 miles to reach the Gordon Lakes TH west aka Falls Creek TH. At mp 5 you will see a hiker symbol on the right. Take a left into a large parking area on road 325. Look for an uphill trail towards the end of the road to the left. This trail is not marked but looks like a defined trail. Follow this overgrown trail crossing two roads. Nothing is marked, and you won’t see a sign until about 3.3 miles. The signage confirms you are on the Gordon Lakes Trail and after a bit gives you the option to take the Gordon Meadows Admin Trail. This is a good climb through the forest but does not provide direct access to the meadows. Continue on the main lakes trail which travels alongside the meadows. It eventually climbs away into the forest on its way to the lakes closer to the east. I did not go to the lakes today. If there is a trail traveling through the heart of the meadows, I did not find one. After climbing the admin and continuing on the lakes trail along the meadow area, I turned around for a 10 mile rt day. This was my second attempt to access this area. Gordon Meadows TH is on rough spur road 345. I turned around 1.5 mi from that trailhead due to the conditions of the road and being unsure about the gps directions. In my opinion, it is easier to hike in at the 5 mi mark. If using the interactive map, you will be off trail as that map is the route from the east. Beautiful area, quiet and remote.

    hiking
    2 months ago

    July 17: This hike is also referred to as Echo Basin. The road to the TH leads to a small parking area and then into the brush. It is a decent dirt road with only one tricky spot. Park here before the road narrows and gets grassy. The trail is not marked except for a small dedication. There is a large sign post though. The first part of the trail is steep and rocky. It eventually levels off to a marshy loop. Although the trail needs love-uneven boardwalks, holes, overgrowth, etc., it is a gorgeous area. Wildflowers galore in July. It is beautiful because it is wild. If you are sure footed and a slip wouldn’t be disastrous, it is worth doing. Wear good boots and pants. The devils club is pointy and making its way onto the trail in some places. For as wet as it is, bugs surprisingly weren’t an issue. I didn’t see a single other person. A little spot of paradise.

    I only hiked to the first waterfall for a rt of 5 mi. The waterfall itself is 5 stars. If you are sure footed, you can take a steep path off the official trail to see it unobstructed. The hike itself is through a burn area so it is best to do it early on a summer day or during another season. The drive in from the road to Three Creeks is tiresome. It includes washboard gravel for miles and a sharp rocky road for the last mile. GPS took me to the wrong dirt road. Follow the signs. The turn to the TH is to the left before the bridge. In my opinion, there are more beautiful hikes in the area, but the waterfall(s) in 5-6 mi respectively make the trip worthwhile.

    July 13: Picked this trail up from Bachelor TH, but I have also caught it from the Bugaboo TH. It is bursting with wildflowers. Clear trail, muddy in only a couple of spots, gorgeous vistas...took Bugaboo to Bruno Meadows. Bruno Meadows has peek-a-boo views of Jefferson and a cool rocky viewpoint showcasing it fully, but the trail is overgrown with deadfall. It needs love, but Bugaboo is in awesome shape. It is so quiet with few hikers.

    hiking
    2 months ago

    July 13: Beargrass display is absolutely STUNNING. The problem is that everyone knows about it. Consider hitting the trail on a weekday or early morning. All Trails and Apple Maps routes you a somewhat challenging way. You can also pick up 1168 after following Straight Creek road for 4.1 miles forking uphill to the right. Other options in this area include Bachelor Mountain to summit or Bugaboo Ridge which is bursting with a rainbow of wildflowers but not the crowds.

    hiking
    2 months ago

    July 10: Only one large snow patch to cross at the top, and it does not obscure the trail. No bugs. First 2.5 mi is all burn area before it starts to improve slightly. Do on a cool day or early morning as no shade. Great workout as trail climbs 3.5 miles to a very cool summit with great Cascade views.

    hiking
    2 months ago

    Trail steadily climbs after the first mile or so. When you arrive at the meadows in July, the wildflowers are beautiful. This year, the bear grass is special. Crescent has the best display I’ve seen. In recent years this trail has grown in popularity with mountain bikers. All have been pleasant and happy to share the trail. Great climb and views at the top are awesome. Jefferson is the focal point, but don’t forget to check out pretty Crescent Lake below to your left.

    hiking
    2 months ago

    Having done both, this is the most efficient way to Browder summit. It cuts 3 mi off the hike as opposed to starting at Browder Ridge TH. Trail is in great condition. Bear grass is plentiful. It is getting popular though so start early on July weekends and holidays. Wildflowers are magnificent.

    hiking
    2 months ago

    Hiked on June 28th. As per the last review, mosquitoes were already ramping up. I only made it 3 miles before turning around due to thunderstorms. Nice trail with minimal blowdown. Cool forest, shady with views of lake off side trails. No bear in sight.

    hiking
    3 months ago

    This is a great hike. The elevation gain is steady, but it isn’t treacherous as the trail undulates and sometimes gives you a break. Plus it is short. 2.7 mi to the lookout. There are rocky sections in which you have to navigate ankle turning stones so wear good boots. Go early to avoid the heat. I had the trail to myself on a Saturday in June but it was filling up as I returned to my car. BTW, I hiked this in middle June, and the forest was blooming with rhododendron and bear grass. At times it felt like a fairyland! I went the extra mile and back to the true summit. Pretty wildflowers and some cool views but the trail is thin, less frequented, overgrown, and at times tough to navigate. Slightly better view of Jefferson but the real view of the old Cascades is at the lookout. If you love venturing where most don’t go and can’t get enough of the trail, the true summit is worth it too. Road to trailhead not good, but cars were navigating it fine. Just go slow with the potholes.

    Hiked Round Mountain North on 5/18/19. Google maps driving directions through the app brought me to a random spot right before Walton Campground. Pass it on your left and see the road to the TH on your right soon after. Trail is quite muddy and there is still enough snow to mask trail in some of the higher parts. It took a bit of route finding in spots. There are downed trees too. North trail is closer to 8 mi round trip as an out and back. Beautiful beginning spring bloom of wildflowers and meadows of corn lilies.

    hiking
    4 months ago

    Did this trail first weekend of May. It was epic. I would rate it is moderate due to elevation gain and loose footing. Rocks, ruts, some spring runoff still...it is a real hike through wilderness. The color of the river is magical. Exactly 4.5 miles from TH to bridge at campground. The pools are the destination.

    hiking
    4 months ago

    Blowdown is bad first 1/4 mile or so. It gets better although still some downed trees on climb. Did Rooster Rock as an out and back 4.5 mil total and 2000+ feet of gain. Good conditioning hike through lovely forest. Not meant to be Iron Mountain...thankfully, as less people. Pretty viewpoint and rock is massive. Worth doing.

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