Hiked up to Wildcat Mountain and McIntyre Ridge yesterday. I parked at the quarry trailhead along the Douglas Trail, which I won’t do again. Everywhere is evidence of the unsavory crowd who hangs out here. The place is a dump. Here is a shot-up tape deck, complete with cassette tape (there were other pieces of electronic equipment nearby too).
This glass bottle on a boulder had clearly been used for target practice. This is right where you leave the quarry to get on the trail, meaning that people were shooting in the direction of the trail.
I hoped I wouldn’t find my car gone, burglarized, or full of holes when I got back and quickly headed into the trees.
I saw the tallest pine drops I’ve ever seen, about four feet tall!
Wilderness boundary sign shot to bits.
Not far off the trail I spotted this metal survey disk that marked the boundary of the wilderness. I’ve seen plenty of USGS survey markers, but I’ve never seen a NF wilderness boundary marker like this.
I reached the junction with the spur trail up to Wildcat Mountain. No signage of any kind, but the trail is easy to spot. It is, however, getting quite overgrown with rhododendrons. Many spiders had made their webs across the trail, so the going was VERY slow as I waved my hiking poles around in front of me to knock them down (I’m sure THAT would have looked funny to any bystander!). Damn I hate spiders. After what seemed an eternity of the rhodie/spider hell I reached the summit.
A fire lookout stood here once but is long gone. The trees are growing up but you can still get a peek at Mt. Hood.
Bill Sullivan’s hiking book recommends pushing through the rhododendrons to the edge of the summit for a better look at Mt. Hood. I attempted this and all I got for my troubles were two bleeding scraped-up legs. Rhododendrons are pretty to look at when they’re in bloom but they are hell to navigate through.
On my way back I took the side trip out McIntyre Ridge to the bench at the awesome viewpoint. (Once again, no signs at this junction. It’s like the MHNF has forgotten about this area of the forest.) I had the viewpoint all to myself so I just sat and enjoyed the scenery for awhile. The wildflowers that bloom here earlier in summer are all bloomed out, but the view made up for it.
And then I headed back down to my car, which was safely intact. It was nice to check Wildcat Mountain off my list but if I ever hike someplace in the “Hwy 224 corridor” of the Mt. Hood National Forest again I won’t go alone.