Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started
  • Stats
  • Activity
  • Completed
  • Recordings
  • Lists
  • Reviews
  • Photos
  • Profile
  • Recent Activity

    erik berglund reviewed Opal Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    erik berglund reviewed Opal Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    It only seems like a quick little out n back.

    6.4 mi if you're just gonna take a mellow walk to one of Oregon's smallest towns with a population of less than 20--though they do have their own hydroelectric power plant, a lodge, and cool little cabins.

    So if you want a flat n easy 3.2 out, 3.2 back with some decent swimming holes here in there, go for it: anyone can make it. It's a flat and easy gravel road through some nice old growth that's as mellow on the feet as fat aunt Sharon's orthotics.

    Start venturing off the trail, however, and you'll begin to find remnants and massive machinery from over a century ago when it was an active mining community. There are enormous boilers and hulking gear-and-pulley systems from times before there was power in the area. Many (giant) pieces of machinery were run from high-pressure steam systems, not to mention and gravity-fed mining hydro-systems. You'll find a little of this if you poke around off the main trail, but the hikes that aren't listed here are the ones that start at Jawbone Flats--and they offer some amazing glances back at a time and way of life long-forgotten.

    Head east past the town, follow a spooky old sign pointing to the mines, and you'll find yourself on an amazing dark old growth over-canyon trail for a mile or two with remnants of old train tracks, machinery, and things you'd expect to see in grainy black-and-white Ken Burns photo-montages.

    There are other cool creek trails with roots and medium-easy footing challenges south past the trail to the Opal Pools. if you want to explore some pleasantly deserted creek trails (with a decent spot or two to camp if you can handle some spots of tricky footing with your pack and gear).

    But if you make it to the mines and start exploring in earnest, you'll discover that the trail didn't always end there. Find the remnants of a gigantic bridge and structure that probably washed away 50 years ago and you'll start finding things: like a trail that can connect you with the Bull of the Woods systems.

    Moreover, not all of the mines are barred-off and closed. Make the dog-leg to the Ruth mine a little longer before you head-back on the upper trail a bit longer, and explore to the east, and maybe try-out the remnants of a road or two that looks like it hasn't been walked/used in 30 years, and you might find things. Also, look up/explore the canyon if you find the leftovers of a 15-ft wide bridge (and be careful on the rocks/over the stream--no one will be coming by if you make an error).

    Anyway, it's an easy and popular hike if you like it easy, but if you're a bushwhacker's bushwhacker and have some time to explore and hop a stream or two, there are things to be found in the Opal Creek wilderness. And exercise caution if you poke-around: you'll often be the only one around for miles if you find something cool, and some of then old stream crossings/bridges are tenuous. Moreover, the navigation of trails that suffered a washout or haven't been maintained since the last century can be a challenge. And also a reward.

    erik berglund reviewed Opal Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    erik berglund reviewed Opal Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    erik berglund reviewed Opal Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    erik berglund reviewed Serene Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Great to backpack, but it's a little extreme to call this one "moderate" in difficulty.

    People talk about a rough road and 4x4s only, when there's no real reason to take the 4x4 road. Start from Shellrock Lake, and it's a dead-easy 6mi of friendly, even trail with minimal (mayyybe 1500 ft) gain. As of fall 2018, there are very few sections with roots/tough footing/blow-downs. Unless you're (mentally) unstable or have a new 4Runner you want to try out, there's no reason whatsoever to shave-off 1.9 dead-easy miles by attempting a Gresham "truck nuts" approach. I drove to Shellrock in a 40 year-old German convertible and it was fine. Your 1999 Honda Civic with the huge muffler, ground effects, and the 4ft fin on the back? It fine. Trust me. I mean, no one likes it and--contrary to popular belief--that bass *will not* get you women, but your sick whip?? It'll do just fine, bra.

    So let's rate the difficulty, as these reviews make this wonderfully peaceful, friendly, and mellow trail sound like trying to do Dog, Defiance, and Devil's Rest in the same day with a 60lb pack (and yup, that's called the TripleD: only really bored Mazamas, tweekers, and--for whatever reason--mechanical engineers like doing that.)

    So if the PCT from Mexico to Canada is an 11 on the 1-10 scale of backpacking difficulty, and you were bored/silly enough to want backpack Defiance (9), then this is maybe a 3.5. Maybe. Mind you, on this scale walking to PSU from the Pearl with your Jansport full of books is a 1, and Mirror Lake with a tent, a bag, a sixer, and Cheetos (no Tom/Dick/Harry) is a 2.

    The Serene Lake backpack is great, easy to drive to, and most any first-time backpacker could make it. If you stopped every 30 mins for rest, you'd be fine if you started before noon: it's only 6mi to the lake. Also, so many little baby lakes and mellow camp spots are peppered throughout this hike. Even if the 8 or so decent lake spots were taken, there are a ton more cool flat spots within a mile of the lake that'd be great if you just ported h20 in your Camelback.

    Oh, and take the wonderful "long way out" heading west out of Serene Lake on the return and use the Grouse Point trail to then head back east. It adds another mile or two and maybe an additional 6-700ft of overall gain, but is equally mellow given enough time.

    Anyway, loved this backpack. It'd be a go-to for taking first-time backpackers who wanted to do something that was quiet and friendly, but gave you that (priceless) feeling of being more than 10 miles away from a Plaid Pantry.

    For a challenge, might be cool as a snowshoe.

    5 stars. And I'll include a complete trail map from the Shellrock Lake start point in my profile photos with a title if that's of use to anyone.

    erik berglund completed Serene Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    erik berglund reviewed Northwest Leif Erikson Drive

    4 months ago

    The headlands for all downtown Portland mountain biking excursions (gravel grinders welcome too).

    Drive/shuttle up and approach it from Skyline Blvd where there’s ample parking, or just start on your Surly at the waterfront and ride Thurman *all* the way up for 10 miles of well-compacted graveled glory.

    Lief Erickson is basically an extension of NW Thurman St. and you can ride it all the way up or down through its beforested wonder; that is, with at least 10 good options for serious downhill side-excursions along the way.

    Start at the top and bomb down through the quiet woods or start in the Pearl and ride all the way up. Actually do both: ride up 10miles through the beautiful forest, hit up the utterly amazing and “local-secret” Skyline Tavern for a pint of Boneyard. Or three. Then head back down, but this time take one of many fire lanes and choose your own adventure as to downhill glory.

    Alternatively, fly your gravel grinder back down averaging 30mph and—towards the bottom—come out of a corner so fast that you pull a 20ft front-wheelie.

    Everyone will say “whoa... cool!” And they’ll have no clue (none) that you were just braking as hard as you could to avoid hitting hikers with baby strollers while flying insanely fast through an amazing forest. Totally didn’t happen. Last month. Wasn’t the fault of Boneyard RPM, Skyline Tavern, and sheer happiness. Nope.

    Anyway, if you like bikes and Portland and haven’t done this ride... you’re a tourist.

    erik berglund reviewed Todd Lake Loop Trail

    4 months ago

    Bring the whole fam for this one! Mee-Maw and Pop-Pops? They can nail this utterly flat 1.7mi. LIttle cousin Timmy? He won't even need coddling or an extra juicebox to complete this tourist-laden lakeside loop. And fat Aunt Sharon? She'll recall days of yore when it was just "Shari" as she mobs around this short loop like the spritely cross-country runner she was back in college.

    It's flat, dead-easy, and on weekends the parking lot is a circuis. Is Multnomah Falls your jam? Cool. Then so is the Tood Lake Loop Trail.

    But maybe when at Multnomah Falls you're all "eff this." Maybe you tend more towards the 16mi Larch Mountain trail up and out of M. Falls? If so, then check out the 15-17 mellow miles of the Todd Lake/Soda Creek/Brokentop Trail that ends above the ridge at No Name Lake. It starts here and, well, "it good."

    But if you're into kids, tourists, dogs, and "RV people," well, then the Todd Lake Loop Trail may be your Valhalla.

    erik berglund completed Todd Lake Loop Trail

    5 months ago

    erik berglund reviewed Broken Top Trail to No Name Lake and Bend Glacier

    5 months ago

    The easiest 15-17mi you'll ever love. You know the 16-ish mile Larch Mountain trail up above Multnomah Falls in the Gorge? That is, before some Walmart shopper's kid burnt down the Gorge?

    Well it's like that: miles and miles of trails so mellow, root-free, and mild that Wilford Brimley's (ghostly) diabetic wheelchair could do most of it. Great for trail running if you're into that sort of thing. But if you are indeed "into that sort of thing," be a little ashamed at all the wonder you're missing as you glide by huffing and puffing in your hot pink Nikes.

    But back to the trail: unlike Larch Mountain's 3,000+ft of boring and slow gain, this hike is utterly breathtaking--replete with lush mountain meadows, streams, and an unending supply of Brokentop, South Sister, and Central Oregon views.

    Yes, there's a gate (NF370) that's now open and you can drive up much of it instead of hike the Soda Creek/Brokentop trail. But do the whole 15-17mi: you can wander around 10 Barrel or the new Boneyard later on in the day if you want tourists, dogs, kids, and noise.

    Start at the Todd Lake trailhead, then take the Todd Lake Trail up and out of Todd to the Soda Creek trail, then to the Brokentop trail all the way up to No Name Lake--then jump in that mofo and wake yourself up with a gloriously icy dip.

    Make sure you do the last little steep section to the ridge overlooking all sisters, Washington, Hood, and as far as the eye can see north up the cascades. It's utterly wonderful.

    erik berglund reviewed Quinault Loop Trail

    5 months ago

    Small, quiet, old-growth-y. More walk than hike, it's something to do if hanging at/visting the lodge. Might be a bit tame, but Mee-Maw, Pop-Pops, and even faut Aunt Sharon can do this one with ease.

    erik berglund completed Quinault Loop Trail

    5 months ago

    erik berglund added Lava Canyon Hile

    almost 2 years ago

    erik berglund added Wahkeena Devil Angel

    almost 2 years ago

    erik berglund added Wahkeena Devil Angel

    almost 2 years ago

    erik berglund added Wahkeena Devil Angel

    almost 2 years ago

    erik berglund added Pechuck Lookout

    almost 2 years ago

    erik berglund updated Middle Sister Trail

    almost 3 years ago

    erik berglund updated Middle Sister Trail

    almost 3 years ago

    erik berglund updated Larch Mountain Trail

    almost 3 years ago