PCT Hiking: Trout Creek Trailhead

We got denied our original hiking goal by lousy trail conditions, in our quest to finish a trail section in Section H of the Pacific Crest Trail. We gambled on an early season start, hoping snow levels would be minimal, as we were not at elevation. But oh those cold low areas…..

We got dropped off at the Trout Creek Trailhead early in the morning. Our goal was heading south for the Columbia River, doing this in the opposite direction of most people. This section of the PCT isn’t glamorous and holds few views. Even the forest isn’t very spectacular. But if one wants to hike the PCT, then one must do all the miles.

On the massive bridge over Trout Creek.

The trail passes through mostly forest, but periodically gave cool areas to stop at. It was one of the few views we got.

The forest varied from hillside hiking through second growth forest.

To where we met the snow. So much snow. Deep in the coldest areas of the dense forest.

We popped up onto forest service 412 road that comes from near Trout Creek and it was snow covered deeply.

We followed the PCT in some areas only due to the signs on the trees.

Miles of this just sucked. Steve on top of an area Ford and I had to climb up on.

The breaking point was a section after we rounded a curve on a ridge to walk across a steep snow covered trail, on the edge of the trail, holding onto Slide Alder. It had lost any fun doing this.

The trail dipped down and lost elevation, and it was downright spring like down low. However our miles were so low due to the hours wasted on the snow miles. We hit the low point, crossing a major forest service road (2070/Red Bluff Road) and came to the decision to bail. We knew we’d be climbing again and facing more snow miles.

However we had no idea how many miles we’d be hiking down this road. As the day lengthened we slowly walked the road, half a prayer we’d see a car. We walked the short spur, and joined the main road.

We passed Rock Creek Campground and kept going, with nary a car.

We came up to Steep Creek Falls. What a gorgeous waterfall.

And then we saw it. A car! A big car! It was a couple from Portland and they took sympathy on us, and it was totally Ford that won us a ride. We didn’t look scary with a kid. They gave us a ride out, and even took us to meet up with Steve’s sister in law, so we could get our car back.

We didn’t make the whole trail, but it was OK. We still got in a chunk of miles.


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