Phantom Bridge

October 1, 2002

I was the only one who signed up for Jane’s trip to Middle Pyramid. Since it snowed at higher elevations the day before, we opted to hike Phantom Bridge, a lower elevation hike of 4.6 miles with 1400 ft. elevation gain. This hike was scheduled last June but had to be aborted because of snow. We drove to Detroit and then took French Creek Road 2223 for 4.2 miles. The next 3.7 miles on road 2207 was a bit rough with some rocks to avoid. There was some snow but it was mostly on the trail, about 2 - 4 inches in places where the sun didn’t shine. Not that we had that much sun during our hike; it was mostly cloudy. We had a map and Sullivan’s book which we consulted many times. There were lots of logs to climb over and crawl under. Two of them were on steep slopes which meant for some strategic leg and hand and rear placement. Bushes such as thimbleberry covered parts of the trail making it difficult to see the snow/rocks. Between the snow and the bushes, we were very wet from the waist down. We followed bear tracks and tracks of other animals. A bevy of grouse surprised us. The trail was steep going up and down over ridges. We found the open plateau and the cairns that led us down a bushy and snowy trail to the end of Road 2223. Why didn’t we drive to this point? From there we climbed up .3 mile to sign (½ of it was missing) where Sullivan’s book said we should turn right on the trail and then scramble 50 feet to the ridgecrest. At this point, the bridge did seem like a phantom. We kept looking up the ridge for the scramble. We then caught a downward glimpse of the bridge through the trees. It was worth the hike. It looked just like the picture in the book. We made a quick return trip back up and down the ridges which were a bit slippery from the snow. We had a great view of Coffin Mt. and snow covered Mt. Jefferson. The logs were still there to crawl over and under. We had plenty of warm clothes for a comfortable drive home. Jane thinks that she will lead this trip next fall before it snows. I recommend it but don’t count on me to sign up. Leader, Jane Hackett who thought this was a great adventure and hiker/writer, Janet Jacobsen, who agreed most of the time. We thank Bill Sullivan whose directions were invaluable.

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