I did a solo hike up to Change Peak today, via the standard route: Mt. Washington trail to Great Wall connector, to the Great Wall, and up the unofficial Change Peak trail to the summit of Change Peak.
Sadly, I screwed up saving the track somehow – it isn’t on my Garmin – but by good chance I took mileage readings today at key points.
I parked in the Exit 38 Mt. Washington lot. From there to the Mt. Washington trail was .3 miles. 1.65 miles to the former Sallal View trail; 1.9 miles to Owl View; 2.3 miles to Great Wall connector; 3.5 miles to the Great Wall (that is, 1.2 miles on the connector trail); 4.8 miles to the Change Peak Trail; and the Change Peak trail is .3 miles, but highly unofficial and involving a scramble up and over some boulders.
So about 10 miles round trip. Nice hike, I saw no one all the way up and only 3 people on the way down, and that was after I hooked back up with the Mt. WA main trail. Sweet.
Great, sunny and warm day but I left my car to go up the trail at 5:25 am so most of the elevation gain was before it got hot.
Perfect views, and the Great Wall connector trail is still one of my favorite forest trails.
5.5 hours all told.
We are going to hike somewhere Saturday, not sure where.
We went up Change Creek to J’s Landing, took the trail that connects J’s with the service road at 3,400 feet (not much of a road at that point, actually) then went all the way around the Hall Creek Gorge, descending via Zig Zag.
A few sections were pretty brushy but it could have been worse. Someone had trimmed back some of the worst sections since Derek and I were up there a few weeks ago. However, the bushes have grown energetically since then as well.
About 7 miles, 2,700 feet of gain (most in the first 2 miles), almost 4.5 hours, a terrific hike and workout with Carl, who had not done this hike before and enjoyed it immensely.
My plan today was to hike past the lakes Derek and I saw in early June, the day we hit Truck Summit from the south and east, and take what appears on Google Earth to be a service road that snakes up south and east to the vicinity of the western stretch of the McClellan Butte trail.
Sadly, moron that I am, I failed to bring my rain pants along and when I got to a longish stretch of total wet brush I had to choose between turning around and getting completely soaked.
I turned around because the last time I got soaked I had my rain pants to change into but this time, not so much.
So I got up to about 3500 feet, just nearing the point where the Mine Creek gorge starts to turn west, 3 miles from the car (parked at IHT and Garcia) and I could see that the only way forward was to bushwhack through wet brush. Cursing my lack of foresight I turned around, acknowledging my pathetic failure to carry through on my plan.
This is near where I turned around, before it turned into total brush:
The views up there are nice:
About the only useful thing I can say is that there is still some snow up there. Clearly, the west side of the McClellan Butte trail is still covered in snow, and the route up there looks fairly rugged – but hopefully, doable.
We were surprised to look at the Garmin when we (finally) got back to the car to learn we had only hiked 12.5 miles. It felt more like 20.
We left the car at 4:20 pm and went up the Mt. Washington main trail. It was definitely hot, pushing 90, and we did encounter a few hikers coming down.
We took a left at the Great Wall and from that point forward saw no one (except, on the IHT just before we got back to the car there was a couple in a hammock strung on the Change Creek Bridge – how romantic!).
We took the Great Wall to the southern-most service road that is outside the forbidden Watershed boundary and, at the intersection of several old service roads just east of Greenway, we headed left towards the peak that Google Earth tags as Little Mountain and that local lore tags as Chester Mountain.
Whatever you call it, the fact that we were pushing a time limit – we didn’t want to be route-finding in the dark – precluded figuring out how to summit.
What we did was follow the service road that runs around the perimeter of the Hall Creek gorge, until the service road disappeared and it was very rugged bushwhacking until we finally hit the trail (or mountain goat path) south of Truck Summit.
We were pumped to get to Truck Summit, dark as it was getting, since we had a trail to follow the rest of the way. It is fun hiking with the headlamps, that’s for sure.
Along the way we noticed a trail heading towards a local summit, something we want to check out when we get a chance:
I was happy to hike today with Finley, Camden and Derek to Twin Falls – actually we went a bit past the falls – on a beautiful summer day. I’ll be able to do this any time I want next January when I retire.
This is definitely a nice family hike. Finley walked the whole way, no carrying. Great job! We did about 4.5 miles, maybe 1K elevation gain (my Garmin misfired again) and had fun on the way. For example, we met a fairly tame chipmunk who is apparently used to treating humans like gumball machines:
We did get a few breaks and Fin brought her new mini-drone along. We played with that for awhile, had some snacks and took our time. Why not?
Spending time like this gives the word ‘fun’ a new meaning.
And in the fairly near future I get to hike Little Si on a Friday with Finley and her Girl Scout troop. I am looking forward to that one!
Carl and I hiked up to Mt. Washington today via the Change Creek Trail.
Carl and Ken and I did Change Creek to J’s Landing a few weeks ago and Carl liked the trail and, having seen the “Mt. WA 6 miles” sign near the start of the trail, he wanted to give it a try. Today, we did.
Our mileage is just under 12 because we halted a bit short of the summit. It wasn’t weather or trail conditions or being worn out. We could see that the summit was a madhouse with dozens of people hanging out and we wanted to sit down and eat our Cliff Bars in peace.
So by common consent we backed down the short and very steep connector trail that runs from the service road that bisects the Great Wall, found a peaceful spot and took a well-earned short break.
As always, the Change Creek Trail is steep and uncrowded (we saw 3 people today along that trail, and on a beautiful summer Saturday when Mt. WA trail was packed) and the Great Wall affords gorgeous eastern views.
We also like the woods along the edge of the Watershed:
Along the Great Wall we saw an unusual carving. Anyone know what it is?
6 hours, 11.5 miles, almost 3,400 feet of elevation gain, a wonderful hike today with Carl, who enjoyed his first hike up Change Creek all the way to Mt. Washington.
We did a nice long hike yesterday, 14.5 miles, 4K elevation gain, 10 hours – we were bushed, particularly since so much of the hike involved bushwhacking and route-finding.
We went up Change Creek Trail to beyond J’s Landing, planning to hit Songbird Peak from the north, following a trip report. Derek had the right idea but I led us astray. So we went down and through a nasty stretch of trail that featured closely overgrown wet bushes. I had to take off the shorts I was wearing, hang them on the back of my pack, and put on my rain pants.
Anyway, we went down and then, using our map and GPS devices, figured out a twisting route back up to the 4,000 foot level where we approached Greenway Mountain from the east and went up and across.
Back to the service road (it is the northern boundary in that area of the Watershed, so legal but just barely) and then to Songbird Peak.
Back to the service road and up to Change Peak for our three peak day. We went back via the Change Creek trail and back to the car. Nice hike!
A stretch of the Great Wall is being converted to a mountain bike trail – this is the one that will ultimately stretch from Cedar Butte on the west to McClellan Butte on the east. The trail is nice and we ran across a ramp they put up so the bikers can get some time in the air:
I think we blazed a new trail today, almost certainly a new way to get to Truck Summit.
The typical way to Truck Summit is from the north. Last September, Derek and I approached it from that direction and explored the ridge that runs south from the truck. While looking at that track, we noticed that it appeared the abandoned service road designated NF110 on the maps wound around the Mine Creek ravine/canyon and ended abruptly just below where we turned around that day.
So today we parked at the Garcia/IHT intersection and started up NF9021. Not long after we started Derek noticed a little boot path heading up through the woods so we took it straight up, cutting off a bit of the service road. We discovered an extreme mountain bike trail – hard to believe people would barrel down the side of the mountain like that, but we saw the bike tracks. It is nothing I would try:
The trail goes OVER that log, and others even bigger.
On the way up NF110 we came across an old piece of logging gear:
We kept trudging up the old service road, coming across several spots where gunnuts shoot at clay pigeons and various other targets, and we kept going up and around the ravine.
We looked across the ravine to try to find some way to get up to the ridge on the other side. It did not look promising:
Although we did not know it at the time, our target spot to bushwhack up the side of the ridge was in the notch in the middle of the picture above.
As we got closer we took a compass bearing on the spot, and focused on a large dead tree for reckoning. Then we just went straight up the side of the ridge, doing our best to keep making progress towards our immediate goal:
The photo above shows our target at the point where we went up the ridge.
So, we made it to the Truck and went down the service road, which in today’s nice weather, was very nice:
Up much higher Derek noticed an interesting looking cave, that might be worth exploring some day:
The Garmin Adventure server seems to be down so I cannot upload the track as usual. Will get it in when the server is working.
In the meantime, here is the Google/GPS Visualizer look at our route:
Our path was right-to-left (east to west, generally). Towards the beginning you can see how we cut off some of the service road by bushwhacking on the way up. We took the road on the way down because the old guy’s knees were talking.
About 9.2 miles, 6.5 hours, about 3K elevation gain. And who has ever done this route before?
Update 6/9 – Garmin server back online, here is the track: