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With a full day before the eclipse I naturally turned to "what are we going to visit today?" My initial ideas were along the coast with West Onion, a P2k, an early contender, but it had some issues - private property, a 14mi effort and 4,000ft of gain - none of which would have Jackie very excited. Eventually I turned eastward and thought maybe something moderate with good views of Mt. Hood. I found it in Tom Dick and Harry Mountain, an oddly named 5,000-foot summit about 7mi SW of the state highpoint. The hike is less than 4mi each way with less than 2,000ft of gain, a moderate hike that Jackie would find close to ideal. It turns out to be a wildly popular hike with most folks stopping at Mirror Lake at roughly the halfway point. There were several hundred folks on the trail the day we visited with both the main lot at the TH and the ski bowl lot further east full. We were lucky to only have to wait a minute for someone to pull out when we arrived a little around 10:45a after driving an hour and a quarter from Beaverton where we were staying. Forest passes are required to park here, but luckily our Fedral Lands annual passes was valid.
It took about half an hour to hike the distance from the TH to the Mirror Lake junction. Though most of the hiking is through thick forest cover, there are some views to Mirror Lake as the trail passes close by and then a few other places where views are available as the trail crosses open talus slopes. Another 40min past Mirror Lake brought us to the end of the regular trail atop the lower west summit, still half a mile from the highpoint. Most folks stop here where there are open views in all directions with a particularly fine view of Mt. Hood looming high to the NE. One can make out some buildings on its South Slopes and a chairlift rising above these along a line of linger snow. A good use trail continues east along the ridgeline to take one to the east summit which we managed in little more than 20min. There are several campsites with rock firerings along the ridgeline - it looks like it would make a nice, easy overnight trip for a wonderful view of the stars with three other major volcanoes visible besides Mt. Hood - Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams to the north, Mt. Jefferson to the south. There was another well-used campsite and a small solar-powered instrument cluster at the highpoint where we took a 20min break to take in the views and polish off a bottle of Gatorade.
Jackie decided we would run the trail back and easily outdistanced Dad who managed only a jog as she quickly zipped out of sight. We stopped at Mirror Lake so Jackie could dip her feet in the water which she found delightful, but then discovered the lake was inhabited by crayfish and turned her attention to catching one. Her screams and thrashing caught the attention of a number of the other visitors (interestingly, almost all asian) which made her all the more nervous but she eventually succeeded in catching one for her new-found fans. More trail running (jogging) got us back to the TH before 2p where we found several cars waiting patiently for others to leave so they could take our spot. We both agreed it was a fine outing...
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Tom Dick and Harry Mountain
This page last updated: Fri Dec 22 09:56:59 2017
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