It was so nice to be in the middle of nowhere hiking again today. Sometimes you have to “hike” in town but it’s really just not the same. After the Alameda Ridge trail last week, I did a solo walk on the Springwater Corridor. It was good exercise, but it was no hike. Hiking is different. I enjoy it so much more.
After a snowy week, a majestic Mt. Hood hike was definitely out today. I wanted something with some elevation to it, so we ended up back in Timber, Oregon, very close to where the Wolf Creek Trestle hike began. Today we did the Gales Creek Trail. It is a 12 mile trail but we only did a 3.4 mile portion (6.8 miles in and out) from Reehers Camp to Bell Camp. It has 1450 feet in elevation. However, all of that was in the last mile. It was very steep, probably the steepest thing we’ve hiked besides Hamilton Mountain. The first 2.4 miles meander around beautiful scenery. Then you cross several logging roads and basically head straight up. We were up to the challenge today. We barely stopped to rest at all.
Close to the end of the trek up, we started hearing chainsaws. Instead of assuming that some totally normal person was cutting firewood, we assumed it was a chainsaw massacre ahead and we walked with much more caution. It was a chainsaw massacre. There was blood everywhere. Just kidding, it was a family getting firewood. They waved at us. We always imagine our hikes to be much more frightening than they are.
Because of the steepness, reaching the summit was quite a feat. We were ecstatic when we did. We had already eaten our Subway in the car, so we took a couple swigs of water and headed back down. Besides the people cutting wood, we saw no one else. It was a lonely beautiful day in the Tillamook National Forest. Through the trees we could see Mt. Rainier, the vastness of the Tillamook Forest and sun-speckled fungus that covered the forest floor. Some even looked like coral. It was crazy. For my friends who ride mountain bikes, the trail is also open for that and it would be incredibly fun. Do it!
For information about Gales Creek Trail click here.