Badger Creek

Back in action! As you may have guessed by lack of posting, we did not get out to the great outdoors last weekend. The week flew by, and before we knew it, it was Saturday morning and we had nothing planned. We decided to just have a weekend at home in the city, which was quite pleasant; went out for breakfast, bike ride, shopping, even went to the movies.

We figured we’d be able to get out for a longer trip over Labor Day weekend anyway, but Paul ended up having to work most of Saturday (and it was looking like the rest of the weekend held the same fate). 😦 I had almost given up hope on the weekend, but then miraculously, Paul was given the all clear on Sunday afternoon. We decided to act fast and salvage the back half of the weekend. We packed up our gear in about .2 seconds, snagged a Zipcar, and got the hell outta dodge. We decided on Badger Creek for a few reasons. 1) It’s at a relatively low elevation, so it wouldn’t be too cold, 2) our guide book gave it a high solitude rating, and 3) there were reportedly several campsites along the trail, upping our chances of getting one that late in the day (and secret reason #4: the trail is flat, and I didn’t feel like working that hard this weekend :)).

Badger Creek
Badger Creek Wilderness (east side of Mt. Hood, OR)
Roundtrip hike distance (to our site): 5.19 miles (the furthest campsite is reportedly at about 2.9 miles, making a 5.8 mile roundtrip)
Total elevation gain: 397 feet

Click image for full GPS data

(Also want to take a sec to thank Paul for getting all our GPS tracks pulled off the device, onto the computer, edited, and online every week. Thanks Paul!)

After stopping for a late lunch, forgetting the directions at home and having to do a quick backtrack, we made it to the trailhead around 5pm or so. The forest is interesting around here; it has a much broader variety of trees, including more deciduous trees than we’re used to. It’s supposed to be gorgeous in late October, so we may hit this one again. While the trail is a pretty standard forest trail and the scenery is not mindblowingly gorgeous, I found it to be quite charming and adorable. The trail follows right along the creek, which is beautiful. We passed by four campsites (three of which were occupied) before finding our home for the night. It was just perfect; big, secluded, and right along the water.

Home sweet home

We set up camp and started a fire in record time (we lucked out again on wood; the previous campers dragged a bunch of branches over, we just had to take a saw to ’em!). The sun was on its way down, but we still had plenty of time to enjoy the creek and play a little fetch with Buckley before the inky black nighttime took over. The darkening sky provided some very nice lighting for creek photos, so there are… a few. 🙂

Looking down from our site. The creek is only a couple feet deep all the way across.

Just a few steps down from the campsite and we were at the water’s edge.

Getting really dark out now

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the fire (really enjoying it… we hadn’t had a campfire since Cooper Spur!) and the bazillion trillion stars that showed themselves. Seriously clear sky. Gotta love being on the east side of the mountain.

In case you’re wondering, the strange green stuff at the top is Paul’s laser pointer. Fun with lasers and smoke.

After nearly melting my face off staring at the fire, I hit the sleeping bag and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Something about the sound of rushing water just knocks me out. I’m usually a pretty light sleeper when camping, waking up at least a half dozen times overnight, but I think I only woke up twice this time. Incredible night’s sleep. In the morning, the sun was shinin’ and the birds were singin’. We had a leisurely morning drinking coffee and making breakfast and watching Buckles romp around in the creek. Life is good.

We even had enough dry wood left for a breakfast fire

Our trusty home away from home

Where I had my morning coffee. Not bad.

Contemplating his next dive

Look at this little guy! He kinda blends in, but you can see him just to the lower right of center. He was about 3 inches long or so.

Bucktown waiting while we pack up and put the fire out

Paul packing up Buckley’s pack. This might only be adorable to me. 🙂

The water was reflecting the trees and sky. So pretty.

We were packed up and headed out by 11am or so. The short hike back out was uneventful and we were back to the car in no time.

Not much to say about the trail… it all pretty much looked like this.


See ya later Badger Creek

We decided to stop in Government Camp on our way home for lunch, had a quick burger and beer at the Mt. Hood Brewing Company Ice Axe Grill. Traffic on the way home was a nightmare. We realize it was Labor Day weekend of course, but it was especially heinous. Looking forward to the regular, non-holiday-weekend crowds again!