Agenda Discovery Week Month

Curated for Me

Rock of Ages loop hike/scramble

NW Wilderness
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Endorsed by Curators:
Jun 24 7:30AM - 8:30AM

Not to be confused with the multi-rappel version of this crazy scramble from last May (Mystery Trail), this is a challenging adventure in its own right. The sensory overload of fun ridge scrambling, panoramic views, stunning waterfalls, and a unique rock formation are some of the features that make this one of my favorite hikes in the Gorge!

Check back soon- When Katya and I get back from our Central Oregon adventure (tomorrow's French's Dome climbing MeetUp is cancelled due to rain), I'll add some of my Instagram photos here from last year's exciting ROA scramble.

Difficulty: Difficult (Steep and strenuous for the first 3 miles, some exposure, some non-technical scrambling, creek crossing)

Hiking distance: About 10 miles

Elevation gain: 3738 feet (based on my stats from last year)

Total hiking time: 5-6 hours (possibly longer, depending on group pace, photo breaks, and our 2 bonus scrambles)

Total driving distance: Just over 70 miles RT; $7 to drivers please, unless drivers determine otherwise

Dogs: Not on this one

In the unlikely event of wet weather, we may hike an alternate trail in the area... and I would reschedule this adventure for another weekend. Well want dry conditions to do this safely.

The most fun and challenging section of this loop will come as we initially set out, gaining 3,000 feet in only 3 miles! Starting from the Horsetail Falls trailhead, well take Trail #438 to the top of Horsetail Falls and soon cut over to the unmaintained Rock of Ages trail. This steep trail will take us up to and across the potentially scary (and optional) Devils Backbone ridge, including side trails with multiple photo opps of the actual Rock of Ages formation, Saint Peters Dome, Beacon Rock, Hamilton Mountain, and miles of Gorge views. Be prepared to use both hands and feet extensively on this part!

The route mellows out for the remaining 7 miles, as we reach the high point and get back onto an official trail. Well descend into the Oneonta Creek Gorge, winding through an old growth Douglas Fir forest, crossing creeks, and passing Triple Falls, Middle Oneonta Falls, the top of Lower Oneonta Falls, and Pony Tail Falls on our way back to the trailhead.

Our adventure will be a slight variation of the Rock of Ages loop hike described here:

My usual hiking style is fairly brisk (2.5-3 mph or faster when not running), but I welcome trekkers of all reasonable hiking speeds IF you are comfortable with some steep hiking and scrambling. A good pace would be great, but I dont want anyone to feel rushed. We will enjoy short breaks as needed for snacks, photos, and viewpoints.

Bring: Gas money, 2+ liters of water, food/snacks, warm layers of non-cotton clothing including rain gear, a camera, and shoes with good traction. Poles could be useful.

It is also recommended that hikers always carry the Ten Essentials:

1. Navigation (map, compass, and an awareness of our route)

2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)

3. Insulation (extra clothing)

4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight and extra batteries)

5. First-aid supplies

6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)

7. Knife/tools

8. Nutrition (extra food)

9. Hydration (extra water)

10. Emergency whistle and general preparedness in the event that you become separated from our group and/or have to spend the night in the wild.

PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK; Northwest Wilderness Group organizers are volunteers. We come prepared to lead you on a trail or off trail hike but assume no liability for your safety getting to or from the trail-head or on the hike. In case of accident, illness, or other incapacity, hikers must pay for their own medical and/or evacuation expenses, whether or not the hiker has specifically authorized them.

How to find us:Green Jeep Wrangler (Soft top down); SE corner of parking garage, by elevator

Upcoming Events

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Mt. Rainier Climb Emmons Route. Summer Solstice 2018

Mt. Rainier Climb Emmons Route. Summer Solstice 2018

Jun 22 5:30PM - 6:30PM
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Mt. Rainier climb. DC route

Mt. Rainier climb. DC route

Jul 27 7:00AM - 10:00AM
We will climb Mt. Rainier on Disappointment Cleaver route. a good way to start my summer vacation. Absolutely no rookies on this one. You've decided to climb Mt. Rainier, but you want to take the…