Elk Meadows con mi Madre

It was my Mom’s birthday yesterday, but I gave her a birthday present a week early by taking her on a hike up near Mt. Hood.  We packed up some snacks and sandwiches from New Seasons and drove up to Government Camp.  Apparently you need a wilderness pass to park and hike in most of the area around Mt. Hood?  I had no idea, so we actually made it all the way to the trailhead which is 20 minutes out of Govey just outside of Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort before turning around to grab one in town.  After that whole debacle, we finally got started up the trail to Newton Creek, Gnarl Ridge and Elk Meadows.  The trail winds through some woods before crossing a couple smaller creeks and then ends abruptly on the south side of Newton Creek. 
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My mom wasn’t too thrilled about crossing on some rickety logs and then skipping over a few rocks to the other side.  After my failed attempt to construct a bridge from a few more logs, she made it across dry and glared at me for taking a picture of her expert balancing skills.  The rest of the hike switchbacked up Gnarl Ridge underneath some massive douglas firs and trickling creeks.  Eventually the steep slope mellowed out and we hit a few snow patches that made the trail a little hard to follow.  After some tricky routefinding and a roundabout loop of our destination, we made it to Elk Meadows.  This spot has an unreal view of the south side of Mt. Hood with sprawling fields of wild flowers below that are surrounded by raging streams full of glacial melt.  We stopped and scarfed down our sandwiches and took in the view before taking off. 
Some marshy grass blocked our way to the trail which we couldn’t find for awhile but we tramped over the swampy meadow and eventually hit the trail back in the trees.  We cruised on the way down and had another successful crossing of the creek before making it back to the car.  After such a hard days work (not really), I convinced my mom that we huckleberry milkshakes were in order at the Huckleberry Inn before driving home.  These shakes may be the best I’ve ever had and I can’t remember a time when I drove through the town of Government Camp and haven’t stopped for one.  Awesome hike, beautiful views and tasty desserts made for a great day.  Happy Birthday Mom!
-Tyler Grubb

1 comment:

  1. Memories are always the best presents ever. Loved my hiking birthday present day, thank you Ty for another great memory.
    Love you lots, even though it was 4 rivers/streams rather than 1!!!!