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  1. #1

    Default Pct Mt Hood and north into Wash

    Trying to decide where I want to spend my vacation hiking this summer. Iíve never been to Washington or Oregon so would love to hike part of the PCT in both states.

    Got my eye on starting at Mt Hood and going north for 8 days. Looks like shuttles/public transportation is fairly easy from Portland airport to Mt Hood. Then just hitch back best I can to Portland to fly home.

    Trying to figure out the mileage I can do there. Iíve hiked from Waterton to Twin Lakes on the Colorado trail. Would the Pct here be about the same as that. Looking at elevations it looks similar maybe even a little easier. Just wanting something to compare to that Iím familiar with. I think I can hike about 15 or more miles per day here. So maybe about 120-130 miles.

    Also thinking of September timeframe.

  2. #2
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    I hiked from the Bridge of the Gods to Highway 12 this past summer - it was MUCH easier than the Colorado Trail (although Hope pass is just after Twin Lakes) - the trail in Southern Washington is easy.

  3. #3

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    Check on fire damage between Mt Hood and the Columbia. Could be a factor.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  4. #4
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    Unless something has changed the OR public bus systems will get you from Portlandia to Government Camp(basically a small town) not to Timberline Lodge area where the PCT is. GC is near the base of Mt Hood. Twice I did this. Once through Salem OR after a stay in Portland(so went from Portland) at another hiker's home and once after a Mt Ranier NP 90 mile hike. I hitched up to the PCT which is rather easy and straightforward since many in GC are going to Timberline Lodge.

    After Bridge of the Gods and Cascade Locks for some miles into southern WA IMHO is not the most scenic nor representative of the best the PCT in WA has to offer. As the esteemed colleague from Asheville stated teh southern WA PCT is rather easy.

    From Mt Hood to Cascade Locks via the Eagle Creek Tr(if it has been reopened, last I heard it was closed because of a slide) is a nice PCT segment. it's good going the other PCT equestrian way too but EC T is better and more scenic overall IMO. I just don't think the short amount of distance on the WA PCT in southern WA gives you a good feel for the PCT in WA.

    IMHO, if I had never been to OR and WA and even though it's logistically more complex I'd bounce. Why? The best WA and OR PCT segments that most represent the highlights of the PCT in those states are too far apart for your time frame. If I was never to OR and wanted to get the highlights of the OR PCT in addition to Timberline Lodge/ Mt Hood to Cascade Locks segment I'd include Crater Lake NP, volcanic fields and obsidian areas around Santiam or near McKenzie Passes around Sisters(Bend area or accessed via Eugene's AP), and Jefferson Park around Lake Detroit off the top of my head.


    For the best of WA I'd want to go further north than the very southern WA PCT areas.

  5. #5

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    Thanks everyone for the quick responses.

    I figured southern Wa wouldnít be the best of the state so I may just concentrate on either Wa or Oregon.

    One of my goals is to hike/ backpack every state so was hoping to get these two knocked out. I know itís maybe a dumb thing but something I want to do.

    Maybe Iíll extend my hiking in Oregon and just hit two days and one night in Wa since it may be a while before Iím able to get back there.

    This gives me something to think about while I plan and I appreciate all responses.

  6. #6
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    Here's another opinion as one who has hiked in a wide diversity of locations in OR and WA beyond, but also including, the entire PCT. The PCT is for the most part what most eastern based hikers know. It's what most gravitate to because of it's very high familiarity ease. But the PCT is rather but a small representative sliver of OR hiking! For example, you never experience Oregon's high desert to the east and you never experience Oregon's coast to the west. You don't even get to see the Pacific Ocean. IMO that's pretty darn significant for never having been to OR and WA and wanting to experience OR and WA hiking.

    A far better sampling of OR and WA hiking options is had by not just thinking along lines of longitude but latitude and perhaps by doing away with the unbroken linearly fashion type of thinking, and hiking, as prevails in U.S. culture.

    The OR and WA coasts and inland should not be discounted in importance to these states hiking options. One of the things the PCT route does is make it hard to get a deeper feel for how waters start out on the crest and gather and flow west to the Pacific. You're going to go "west" to experience western hiking and not experience a Sequoia or Coastal redwood either if you stay to the PCT? I tell PCTers all the time go experience the Tuolumne Sequoia grove near Crane Flat less than 20 miles and 25 mins away from where the PCT crosses Tioga Rd(Hwy 120) at T Meadows, an EASY thing to experience by getting on a YARTS bus at TM and getting off at Crane Flat. It's like I'm speaking Latin. Gotta go; times a wastin'. I find it analogous to those who spend an hr at the S Rim at the Grand Canyon at the Bright Angel TH after traveling so far from the eastern U.S. and imply they've experienced the Grand Canyon while they've chosen to spend 3 hrs of their precious GC NP visitation vacation time in the trinket shops buying pics plastered to coffee cups and calendars and in the southwestern styled food buffets. UGGGH!



    The intent here is not to turn a 8 day hike into 6 months exploring. The intent here is suggesting to use time wisely and in picking out a broader representative of these states hiking options to truly get a better feel for the hiking available.


    Your trip. HYOH and all that. Spend your time as wisely as possible.

  7. #7
    Registered User levibarry's Avatar
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    You can now get from portland to Timberline Lodge om public transit.
    Portland to Gresham on Trimet.
    Gresham to Sandy on S.A.M. (Sandy Area Metro)
    Sandy to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood Express.
    Web site: https://www.ci.sandy.or.us/schedules-sam

  8. #8

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    You are right Dogwood. I would hate to travel that far and not see the Pacific.

    Itís just so hard to decide where to go. So many places I want to see.

    A simple hike for 8 days has some merit also. Just hiking for days clears the mind without having to think too much. I may do a combo of a four day hike then rent a car and do some day hikes and camping in the area.

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Olympic National Park.
    Beach hiking and camping.
    Mountain backpacking.
    Fly in to SEATAC airport. Rent a car. Have fun.
    Wayne

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