14 miles of hiking • 2500' elevation gain •
Set out to explore again away from crowds. Started at Trout Creek Trailhead, onto the PCT.
First creek crossing made a little difficult with a newly fallen huge tree. What looks like it used to be a rock hop is now a balanced log crossing unless you want to get wet. The tree was so large that it also blocked the trail prior to the crossing. We passed it and wondered what we were getting ourselves into for the day. We ran into one more large blowdown and one slide, annoying but both easily passed. Another obstacle was a huge pond that had taken over the trail, but we bushwhacked through the forest around it and were able to meet up with the trail and stay dry. Part way up, there is a wonderful viewpoint of Trout Creek at a cliff edge.
Going through the Yacolt burn it was interesting to compare old forest with new. There was still some old growth that hadn't burned, but most of the largest trees in the area were snags.
After a bit of gain, we finally reached a junction with an abandoned forest road, and opted to take it to get up to Mowich Butte. The road did have some snow, and we saw many cougar tracks. It was a super pleasant stroll after working hard to switchback up there.
We finally reached the viewless summit, (trees block any view) and sat for lunch. Looking at our gps, we were suprised at the additional mileage. It was further than the Oregon Hikers entry. It must have had quite the view before the trees grew tall. But now, it is just a high point to say I have reached.
Only ran into two backpackers on our way back out - otherwise total solitude. They must have had a saw with them because our tree crossings were slightly easier on our way back, as they had cut a partial path through.
Excellent day in the woods.