Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Trails Around Multnomah Fall: A quick Guide

For the past few years I have been doing a lot of day hikes around the Multnomah falls area. It is pretty close to Portland, It has some nice elevation (exercise), usually has parking, and can be hiked in most weather for most of the year. There are also a number of different loops and semi-loops that can be added together to form many different hikes of different challenges. I thought I had written about most of these but I must have gotten mixed up with some Facebook postings.

Interesting, you can say "Facebook" on this blog site.

Anyway, I decided to put together a general map and trail description of the area with pointers out to any more detailed blogs I may have done.

I have provided links to any in-depth blogs I may have generated over the years.
I don't like the map they hand out or post on the trails. I think it is misleading. So refer to the one below instead. You may want to print yourself a copy. I don't think Google will mind.

I have tried to place markers for the trail start and stop options. Some of the actual trails I have marked. The back way to Devil's Rest (Neskia Lodge Road) is a somewhat notional marking as it doesn't appear to be on maps anymore. Working with Google maps on that one.

Starting Points: (Well, technically end points also)

1)  Angel's Rest Trailhead
Unless you are really in for a big hike, you only start here if you are just doing Angel's Rest. I like Angel's Rest a lot, but the trail up can be pretty slippery and muddy.
There's a medium amount of parking. A lot of parking if you are OK leaving your car on the side of the road. This can be a very popular hike in the summer.

2) Wahkeena Falls
A small parking lot at the trail head. Really only meant for cars for tourists stopping to see the falls. Still, if you get there early, or just get lucky, you might find a spot. If you can't park here, you can park at Multnomah in the main lot or the highway 30 lot and take the half mile feeder trail above the road to start your hike here. This is a good starting spot for any of the loops or extended loops.

3) Multnomah Falls.
If you like people watching, this is a good starting spot. Lots and lots of parking, but there can be lots and lots and lots of people. Getting here around noon on the Fourth of July, for instance, is craziness. Using this as a starting point is pretty much identical to starting at Wahkeena. The connector trail is less than a half mile and you can do the many loops in either direction. And here there be soft serve ice-cream.

Loops and Loop Segments (Meta loops?)

1) Multnomah Wahkeena
Start at either of these falls. Go either direction. Change it up a bit. Hike past these 3 intersections: Wahkeena Springs, The CrossRoads. Larch Mountain Trail. This is a nice 5 mile hike. Lots of waterfalls. Plenty of water all year round.  The Crossroads is the halfway point and is the perfect spot for some lunch and casual conversations with people that don't have as good a map as you do.

2) Crossroads to Devil's Rest Plateau.
I marked "The Crossroads" on "The Map".  It isn't really called the Crossroads. But I call it that. I have tried repeatly to make it a "place" on Facebook. So when you are there, try to check in. I think I called it "Multnomah Wakeenah Crossroads". Or perhaps "Multnomah Wahkeena Crossroads". Just 50 feet down the trail is the (marked) trail up to Devil's Rest. I often go up that way to the plateau right near where I marked the Nesika Lodge road. That is a great place to hang out. I once ate Easter Dinner up there.   1.5 mils?

3) Wahkeena Springs to Devil's Rest (and Devil's Rest Plateau). 
Wahkeena springs is actually a marked turn off the trail right near the top of the climb up from Wahkeena falls. If you Head south following the trail toward Angel's rest, you will be doing this hike. Keep an eye out for handmade sign marking "Foxglove Trail". The Fox glove goes up and eventually leads to another crossroads marked with a sign to Devil's rest. I have marked this on the map as "Foxglove to Devil's Rest". I am a little unsure about what the map is showing for the first lefthand turn off of Foxglove. I don't remember there being an actual decision point here and it may be that some of that trail has become overgrown. Anyway, you can loop up past Devil's rest and eventually get to the Devil's rest Plateau described in loop (2). 3 miles?

4) Larch Mountain Trail to Devil's Rest (The Back Way).
The Trail up from Multnomah falls is also Larch Mountain Trail #441. If you are doing loop (1) you would take Wahkeena Springs trail #420 toward the Crossroads. BUT.... if you keep going up Larch mountain trail, you will soon find a bridge across Wahkeena Creek and then a pleasant continued hike along the river. At one point there is a high and low water turn out. Eventually you will come to a place where the trail crosses a dirt road. Turn right onto this road and you will soon cross a (car accessible) bridge. You are on what I am calling the Nesika Lodge Road. The last time I hiked this road the bridge was closed to cars, but I understand that it has been fixed. This is a an access road to some property owned by the Trail Club of Portland. Follow it up and around (you may have to negotiate a locked traffic gate) until you see some partially hidden signs and a space that might be for parking. There is a trail there off the road and if you go back 100 feet you will hit the Devil's Rest Plateau. Come down using loops (2) or (3). 3 miles?

5) Wahkeena to Angel's Rest.
Just follow the Angel's Rest Trail form the springs. You will get to go through some nice forest and potential camp grounds before you meet up with the Foxglove train again right at Angels Rest.  Lots of poison oak at Angel's Rest. Just saying.

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