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Sawtooth Berry Fields

Sawtooth Berry Fields: Old-growth forest between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams that Conservation Northwest protected in 2003

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Old-growth forest between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams that Conservation Northwest protected in 2003

Length: 4 to 10 miles roundtrip
Rating: Moderate
Best time of year:  Spring to Fall
Elevation gain: N/A

 

Description:Swell Oldgrowth

The Swell timber sale site is located just north of the Indian Heaven Wilderness in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  The site is home to old-growth trees that are 200+ years of age.  The timber sale would have spelled the end of this old-growth ecosystem, but through Conservation Northwest’s initiatives the sale was halted and the area was not subjected to logging.  The public’s support of these efforts was paramount as well and this hike will give you the opportunity to see the lands that you helped protect.

The timber sale area can best be accessed by hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail, which bisects the failed logging project.  Hike south on the PCT and look to the area to the north to see one of the areas scheduled to be logged.  The trail winds south and west through the Sawtooth Berry Fields before intersecting with the Middle Trail #26.  You can either turnaround here or continue on the Middle Trail for a longer hike.  If you do decide to continue the hike, the Middle Trail will take you southeast through the remaining area that was protected.  The trail ends at Little Goose Campground where you can spend a night or take a short rest before making the return trip.

Getting There:

From I-5 take Highway 12 east.  Then, from Highway 12 at Randle take Forest Service Road 25 south.  Take a left onto Road 93 and continue until the junction of Forest Service Road 90 and take a left.  Take a right onto Road 88 and then a left onto Road 32.  Remain on 32 until it intersects Road 8851.  Follow Road 8851 south until it intersects with the trailhead of the PCT near Big and Little Mosquito Lakes.  (Note:  This area of the Pinchot is quite remote.  It is advised to purchase a National Forest road map before heading out).

From I-84 cross the bridge at Hood River and head west on Highway 14.  Take Highway 141 north to the Town of Trout Lake.  Then, take a right onto Forest Service Road 88.  Remain on Road 88 until it meets with Road 8851.  Take Road 8851 north until it intersects with the PCT near Big and Little Mosquito Lakes.  (Note:  This area of the Pinchot is quite remote.  It is advised to purchase a National Forest road map before heading out).

Fore More Info See:
  • Maps:  Gifford Pinchot National Forest Map (highly recommended), USGS Quartz Creek Butte, USGS Lone Butte, USGS Sleeping Beauty

 

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