A nicely mixed group of Salem Chemeketans and Eugene Obsidians backpacked through the 2011 Dollar Lake fire zone on Mt. Hood to help Bill Sullivan update “100 Hikes in NW Oregon”, which will be issued in a new fourth edition in April. We found that the Pinnacle Ridge Trailhead had been moved back 0.7 mile, so the trip was slightly longer than expected. The middle 3 miles of the Vista Ridge, Pinnacle Ridge, and Elk Cove trails are all severely burned, with black snags, ashy dust, new views of Mt. Hood, and millions of tiny volunteer hemlock seedlings. Interestingly, all of the trailheads are still green, and nearly all of the high country along the Timberline Trail is untouched by the fire. Despite the fire’s name, Dollar Lake itself is not in the fire zone. We set up camp at Dollar Lake and spent Saturday exploring the high alpine country on Barrett Spur off trail. We found moraines of melting glaciers, amazing fields of lupine, and views views views. We decided it’s definitely worthwhile at Mt. Hood to “hike through the burn.”Members: Bill Sullivan, Paul Brown, Scott Hovis, Bob Harrison, Sue Wolling. Nonmembers: Janell Sorensen, Linda Parker, Roz Shirack, Marissa Catlin, Tom Warner.
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