Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Twin Lakes hike- Mount Hood

Mid-climb, Mount St. Helens last Saturday:  Craig's SECOND best photobomb of the day

Last Saturday's jaunt up to the rim of Mount St. Helens (another training climb before we tackle Mount Rainier) was the most fun I've ever had climbing that mountain. Check back here soon for a Mount St. Helens post, featuring some wonderful friends!

But first, I'm sharing about a laid back hike on Mount Hood that a different group of us breezed through last month.

Rayven and Tony at Upper Twin Lake

Mount Hood provided us with one last chance this season to hike in cool weather last month.  The 7.5 mile Twin Lakes loop is a moderately graded, shady hike though forests and a lakeside campground.

Melissa, Rayven, Tony, Therese, Dan, and I carpooled from Portland in various vehicles to meet Kevin in Sandy.   We then caravaned from Sandy to the Frog Lake Sno-Park.  Sections of the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 and the Twin Lakes Trail #495 were included in our short trek.

Setting out from the Frog Lake trailhead, off of Forest Road #3531

The rolling 1300 foot elevation gain was not a problem for any of us. Even with my painful new orthotic inserts and a diverse hiking party, we easily reached Upper Twin Lake within a couple hours for an early lunch break.

Upper Twin Lake

Rayven texted me her pic of this comically big sandwich Kathy bought for me

Kevin and Melissa consult the topo map

The mostly flat trail became the slightest bit steeper, rockier, and narrower as we dropped down into Lower Twin Lake. As with Upper Twin, we had the misty views and tranquility all to ourselves.

Lower Twin Lake

Hiking out

We looped back around to the Frog Lake Sno-Park to complete the 7.5 mile loop in less than three hours. Mike stayed behind on Mount Hood to cache food and supplies for an upcoming multi-day backpacking trip.

The rest of us split up, with some heading home and some of us stopping in Zig Zag for a scrumptious meal at the down-home Skyway Bar and Grill.  Next time, we'll stay later to hear the local bands play. The Skyway seems like it would be a fun, cozy live venue!


Susan Hamilton said...

What beautiful scenery! Love these photos, Garth!
Love, Vive

Garth Hamilton said...

Thanks Vive! You ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until you see some of my more recent hiking and climbing photos!