Sunday, October 25, 2020
Today we headed to the east side of Mt. Hood intending to do the Eightmile Creek Loop, although it didn’t quite work out that way.We left home at 7:10, and when we reached the Bottle Prairie Trailhead at 9:15 it was a very chilly 13 degrees! There was still snow on the trees and on the ground from Friday night, much to my surprise, but obviously the temperatures hadn’t gotten warm enough for the snow to melt.
The trailhead is just a small parking area off to the side of Road 120:
We set off on Eightmile Loop Trail #496.
It was half a mile to the junction with Bottle Prairie Trail #455 and we took a 0.3 mile detour here to visit Perry Point.
After a brief hunt we found the geocache hidden here. There was once a crow’s nest lookout at Perry Point. I think I may have found the big old tree it used to be in. There were two boards with nails sticking out of them and they were leaned up against the trunk of the tree:
From Perry Point we had a view of Lookout Mountain:
Then we retraced our steps back to the junction:
We turned left and followed the trail for one mile until it met up with Road 120:
We got off the trail and road hiked 0.6 miles up to the lookout on Fivemile Butte:
Greg couldn’t feel his fingers and I couldn’t feel my thighs. We decided we would not complete the whole loop and would instead make Fivemile Butte our turnaround point. Normally this lookout is rentable year-round but it’s currently closed due to COVID and there was no one around when we arrived. We climbed the stairs to the locked gate on the catwalk where could see some of Mt. Hood:
The wind was bitterly cold, so we could not stay motionless for long. We picked up the Eightmile Loop Trail and started heading back to the car:
We could see a few larches in color down by Eightmile Creek. If we had continued on the loop our hike would have taken us down through that area:
We followed Road 120 back to the car:
We saw a few larches along this stretch, pale yellow instead of vibrantly gold.
When we reached the trailhead at noon there were two other vehicles there. It was now 20 degrees. We had only done 5 miles instead of 7.5, and while it felt wrong to spend more time in the car than on the trail, it was just too dang cold!
Gaia stats: 5 miles, 600′ elevation gain