Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shorthorn Hike, Mt. Adams Wilderness Area

Why hike the Shorthorn Trail?

The Shorthorn trial provides peaceful, gentle hike through the woods. Just past the open meadow, with the view of Mt. Adams’ snow-capped top, is a meandering creek that remains green, and cool, even on this 86-degree day. It’s an inspiringly beautiful place to eat lunch. Today’s photos are here.

Where is the Trailhead?

Washington State – Gifford Pinchot Forest – Mt. Adams Ranger District.

About 25 miles north of Hood River, Oregon is Trout Lake, Washington. When you get to Trout Lake, take the right fork at the gas station. It’s about 25 minutes up Forest Road 80, and then 8040. Park at the Morrison Creek Campground, where there are outhouse facilities.

How strenuous is it?

It’s a gentle, consistent climb from about 4,650 feet to about 5,800 feet. A leisurely hike up and down took us less than 3 hours this day. The trail is often powdery, which can mean dusty.

Tell me more.

The trial is mixed firs and pines in the Mt. Adams Wilderness Area. At times, Morrison Creek runs near the trail. That creek was dry today. At other times, the bear grass can be stunning, as these photos from 2009 show.

One hiking book does not even mention the best pay off – the beautiful creek past the mountain meadow. The water looks pure enough to drink, and it nourishes green grass and lovely flowers under the forest canopy. For us on this day, it provided one of those wilderness, “ahhh” moments that makes us glad to be alive in the Pacific Northwest.

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