PCT: Scott Trail to Obsidian Trail

This PCT section hike completes a good segment of the PCT (in my terms) from Devil’s Lake / Moraine Lake Trail to Mckenzie Pass, Hwy 242. The southern most section was completed last week with an ascent of S. Sister (part 1 | part 2). Last year, I hiked Scott Trail to Mckenzie Pass w/ hiking buddy.

I left home very early forgetting what it is like to drive up Highway 242 at night, yet arrived at the Scott trailhead before 06:00. It was so cold that I put on socks, shoes and packed my bag in the car – tho chose to hike in shorts albeit with long sleeve shirt.… Read the rest


South Sister & a PCT twist: part 2

Part 1 was the up / down South Sister to Moraine Lake Trail- post.

Starting from Moraine Lake trail, getting to the PCT starts with more alpine meadow views of South and then into burnt forests until Middle Sister appears.

Much of this section was a blur given the fatigue and need for water! I original planned to camp at Mesa Creek where I did finally get good water, but it was too early to stop ~2:30pm. I talked to a PCT thru guy who told me about a pond / lake that would be a great camping spot about 2 miles further … off I went with good water, and what a decision!… Read the rest


South Sister & a PCT twist: part 1

Last year I said that I would NOT scramble up South Sister again given the over crowded trail (post). Well, I did it again, but I decided to add a PCT twist. Hike up South with full overnight backpack and then take on another chunk of PCT returning to Devil’s Lake trailhead. Original plan.

An additional post from this trip is here, and this post will have two parts: 1 – Up/down South Sister (USFS), and 2 – Moraine Lake trail to PCT to Obsidian Creek (& back) post.… Read the rest


Mt Thielsen via PCT

Day 1 of 3 … Drove straight to the trailhead – North Crater Trailhead which is very close to the northern entrance road to Crater Lake National Park.

This was my first experience on Thielsen, and the PCT southern approach in August was not the best choice … dusty, dry and hot. There some thru hikers going south, but for the most part, I had the trail to myself until I reached the climber trail.

The trail starts off in the now familiar ‘bent knee’ forest.

bent knee forest

As the PCT climbs higher to the ridge that intersects the climbers’ trail, more views of Bailey, Thielsen and Diamond Lake appear and one gets a good idea of what is ahead.… Read the rest


Mt Bailey via Silent Creek

After awaking to the singing of multiple coyotes, day 2 was set aside for Mt Bailey. I had even thought about punting on it and redoing sections on PCT, but kept with the original plan and headed out for Bailey … walking from Broken Arrow.

The start of the trail – Silent Creek – hits the lake as one of those slow lazy central Oregon trout creeks. That quickly changed to a faster moving creek with all these blowdowns across the creek, and every tree was covered, i mean COVERED, in pretty little yellow flowers.… Read the rest


Mt Thielsen via Thielsen Creek

Day 3 of 3 had me heading back to Mt Thielsen, after a less than wonderful day 1 on PCT, but getting on the trail early so I could make it home for happy hour. I hit the trail from my car a bit before 07:00 … i spent a bit of time taking sunrise pics over the lake – see ’em here.

Heading up the mountain from the NW side via Howlock Mt trail (from the pony pens) to Cedar Ridge trail (back down via Thielsen Creek Trail) to PCT and then back up the climbers’ trail.… Read the rest


3 days @ Diamond Lake – WOW!

With little input to planning than Diamond Lake is central to 3 hiking adventures: 1) cover more of PCT south of Willamette Pass, 2) hike Mt Thielsen, and 3) hike Mt Bailey. Diamond Lake is a gem of a place to base day adventures (pun intended); I was surprised at every turn around the Lake with things to do and see – all without feeling like I was on top of other people.

The first morning at the lake, coyotes singing woke me around 4:00 – they sang back and forth for about 5 minutes – some closer than others, but truly beautiful.… Read the rest


Mt Hood – Timberline Trail

This will be longer than normal – heads up … (covers 4 full days) –> reminder to click on (open) images to see high quality media.

My hiking buddy for this trip is an experienced backpacker and this was not his first circuit around Mt. Hood; another key factoid is our average age is 66. We’re slow and we both have severe rubbernecks with scenery – i also take pictures (over 450 this trip). We also met very few people our age past car accessible areas.

We started at Timberline lodge around 12:00 Thursday and were back to the car around 12:00 Monday (5 days but 4 hiking).… Read the rest