Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grassy Knolland up to Big Huckleberry Mountain near Carson, Washington

Grassy Knoll and up to Big Huckleberry Mountain near Carson, Washington.
hikin_mike1960 (just myself)
Distance 11.3 miles
June 14, 2010

OK, first things first.... How in the heck do you get there?

From Portland, drive east on I-84 to Cascade Locks. Cross the Bridge of the Gods and turn right on Highway 14. Drive east for 5.9 miles, through Stevenson. Turn left on Wind River Road, following the signs for Carson. Drive north 4.0 miles, through Carson. Turn right on Bear Creek Road. Bear Creek Road is a narrow paved road. After 3.6 miles, the road turns to gravel and becomes NF-6808. Continue another 7.2 miles to an unsigned road junction at Triangle Pass. Turn left here and drive 2.1 miles on unsigned road NF-68. Turn right on unsigned road 511. The trail head is right at this last junction. Parking is on the right and the trail heads uphill to the left.

What a great day for a hike. The weather never reached the for casted temperature of 85 degrees and ended up at about 76 degrees with a nice breeze. It felt nice on the sweaty body and helped kept the flying biting bugs in check. I was on my own today. Southern Jim had to work and Kpine doubled booked the day. Well that left just me wondering the trails. After what I saw on this trip I will make sure I rub it in a little bit.

I love to read the information board at the trail head before I hit the trail to see if there was any good news. One of the things I saw was a sign stating this was a difficult hike for man or beast. I knew already the trail started out with major uphills but wow, it was a climb. Or in simple terms it kicked my butt and then some. It improved to me I need to get into better shape and I really felt it for days after. One the positive side of it, there were wild flowers all over the meadow at the start of the trail head.

So as I wandered up the trail, sucking in the "O's" and sweaty heavily, I was treated with some great views, Mt Hood and Mt Adams. Along with 1000's of Glacier Lilies all over the meadows. This was a beautiful treat and I have never seen so many in my life in one place. Once past the meadows, I wandered up and around Grassy Knoll. There was once a fire lookout station there but only some metal supports remain. The wind really picked up across the knoll and I lost a lot of body heat quickly.

With a quick look around, I started up the hill again to Huckleberry Mountain. There was not too much snow, a few die hard drifts fighting to stick around. Trillium were everywhere along the trail. Once on top I found a very place to sit and have a relaxing lunch. The view was breath taking and the time past quickly. I packed up ready to leave when a host of hikers popped over the raise and the peace time disappeared.

The trip home was a lot quicker then the up. Less picture taking and stops to catch my breath. I forget about the down hills I did on the way up and was reminded of them climbing back out. I thought I heard a bear in the woods but I think my mind playing tricks on me. This was a great hike and the first time I was ever up there. Not too much running water, only a couple of running streams. It was a great day and I am sure I left off a bunch of details. Oh well, I guess I have to go back sometime. Be safe out there and I hope you find Mother Nature and peace.

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