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  • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
  • Love this website!  I've been trying to get back to this trail ever since the road to the trailhead was removed following the 1996 floods.  Do you have a map to go along with the trail description?


    • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
    • Will try to get one on-site soon and will reflag the vague parts of the access trail by early July 04.  Ant lovin' bears, be wary.  This would be a great week to go up there.
      • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
      • Hope to check out this trail sometime in August.  Saw the photo on the index page - Did you hike to the summit recently?  Are the vague parts of the trail flagged?

        Yes.  Most the trail in great shape except the over the top scramble to the decommissioned road.  Some flagging, yes.

  • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
  • Hello , this trail is on my delome topo usa and I went on it in march no snow @ 3800 feet but there probaly is now.

    I made it almost to the high lake trail head and it was getting late.

    I have the gps cordinates if anyone wants them. There also a trail going

    down the mountain from high lake that is not on any maps that I have

    seen that you can reach from the end of  road 4622 and I don't know

    where it goes.Is the still a tower at the top of the mountian I have been going to high lake for over 20 years and never gone to the tower.


    • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
    • I know of no one who has followed the trail north.  It would be interesting to explore.  I suspect it is tore up in the saddle below Whalehead by logging.  It shows on old maps. 

      There is no longer a tower.  But, unlike many former lookout sites, it has not grown in yet so there are still good views.  Plus, the trail is interesting to9 the summit.

      Did you notice trees down across the trail?  How many?

      • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
      • Hello , the trail was in good shape  just lots of loose dirt and the trail

        was har to find coming back down.I walked of the top road and it looked like

        the trail kept going on the hillside I did not follow it.


      • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
      • I went to both the summit and High Lake on 6/6/05.  I cleared what large debris I could, but there is about five or six downed trees that cross the path from the decommissioned road to the summit.  High Lake trail has no downed trees but the both trails are becoming increasingly brushy and the new spring growth is making the trails increasingly undetectable.  Some snow remains on tree tops and was landing on my head with uncommon regularity.

        • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
        • Thanks for the report!

          Next week we'll be working the trails in the Ollalie Scenic Area.  All but PCT, 706, and 719 which horse people plan to clear in July.  The following week we will likely get to Fisk Creek Mountain.  Plus, during fire season we will continue our effort to improve the beginning of the trail to the saddle in the Fish Creek Divide.

          Thanks again.


  • Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
  • I now have another favorite to add to my list of trails in the Clackamas......My daughter and I decided to try out this trail yesterday, and we had a BLAST!  Although the trail is a little faint in spots, it is well flagged.  It is a pretty good climb, but the views are AWESOME!  Unfortunately, we were unable to make it to the lake.  We missed the trail junction on the way up due to a downed tree over the junction, but saw it on the way back down.  We were pretty tired, though, and decided not to go down to the lake.

    WHAT A VIEW!!!!  And this trail goes through some really nice old timber, as well as being able to explore a bit of interesting history.

    A couple of other notes of interest:
    • There was virtually no snow on the trail or at the summit (even though it was 5100'!)
    • There were quite a few trees down over the trail, but only a few were rough going.  There are a couple of spots where there are 2 or 3 trees down in the same area (my daughter counted over 40 trees down)
    One question for anyone who might know it:  What is the "cut" about halfway up the old road on the way to the original trailhead?  It kind of looks like it might have been an old gravel pit, but it is all growing up with trees now.
    • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
    • Great and timely info.  I was wondering if it was time to pack the saws up there yet.  Thanks especially for the tree count.  We now know who and what to bring. Invaluable information. We will get to it in a week or two.
      I'm glad you like the trail.  Each year we scratch a little more at the access route.
      There may be some access changes associated with a gasline over the saddle just south of where the access trail arrives at the decom road. I have been impressed by the development of wildflowers along the ripped up roadbed. It is also the best gooseberry trail in the District.
      The cut is a borrow pit.
      Last week we cleared 717 Fish Lake, 702 Cache Meadow, 502 Old Baldy end, 704 Rimrock to snow.
      • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
      • I just have to say thank you again for the goldmine of information on this website.  If it were not for this site, I would never be able to find jewels like this trail.  I wish I could do more to help with trail maintenance, and I hope in time I have more time to help.  Right now, it is difficult enough for me just to get out and explore some of these trails.  I do always try and kick off branches, etc off the trail, and on this trail in particular, I tried to trample the trail tread a bit, so it is more established.  Most of it is very evident, but there are a few areas where the spring growth is overtaking it a bit.

        The directions on this page were very clear.  All we had to do was to pay attention to where we were going, and we didn't have any problems.  We did meet someone at the trailhead who went down to the lake, and I think they brought a saw because on the way back down, we saw some branches cut from some of the downed logs.  I need to add that to my daypack!

        The wildflowers on the trail were also pretty nice.  I think they will be even nicer in a week or so, as some of them just seemed to be starting to bloom.  I'll have to get back up there this summer and explore the lake, too.  So many trails, so little time.....

    • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
    • Your daughter did a good job counting. The trail is now clear of downed trees. It was a bit of a work out. There is still substantial snow at the lake.
      • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
      • I hiked this trail for the second time this weekend.  Last year I attempted to make it to high lake but had trouble finding the trailhead, After dragging a 35lb pack across abandoned logging roads I finally hit the trail in the wrong direction and ended up back at my vehicle 2 hours after setting out.  I hiked as far as I could but only made it to the flats just before the false summit before running out of light and energy.  Knowing where the trailhead is I decided to shoot for the lake again, since the trail was in pretty good condition last June I thought it would be about the same if not better by July this year.  I had a good time but the trail is getting a little vague in some places.  I was pretty frustrated in a couple spots particularly where the trail was covered by snow.

        I had previously discovered where the trail departs from the abandoned logging road and follows the ridgeline up the mountain approaching it I realized that there was no trail marker so I piled some rocks up as a marker for the next hikers.  I wasn't carrying any marking tape or tools with me so that was the best I could do on my own.

        As of 7/18/08 there are a few downed trees I think 3 total.  One fell on the trail and splintered, the large slippery chunks that like to roll around when you step on them made it particularly difficult to get by.  The trail across the saddle is pretty over grown and difficult to follow in some places.  If this trail doesn't get more use or some TLC it may become indistinguishable in the next few years.

        There is plenty of snow covering the trail to the lake, it would be very easy to get lost searching for the lake.  Some flags tied to trees would make a world of difference.  I was very frustrated when I lost the trail and realized that without it I could easily overshoot the lake, fortunately I was headed in the right direction and hit the lake without any sign of the trail for the last 1/4 mile.  I thought I could follow my foot prints to make my way out but ended up loosing my tracks a hundred yards from the lake and made a blind scramble for the ridge where I eventually found the trail.

        The camp sites at the lake were in good condition, someone had left a stack of firewood at the first campsite, I gathered some wood anyway and left more than I burned.  The lake seems to be full of newts, I was only able to spot one fish but the lake is so clear and shallow it's possible I spooked them all into hiding.

        I'm going to try and make the hike at least one more time this summer once the snow has had a little more time to melt.  I'll take some tape with me and flag the trail to the lake a little better
  • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
  • My granddaughter found this trail website and thinks this is the trail my father used during W.W. II to fetch water! My father, Elbert D. Brubaker and my mother Helen Kiracofe Brubaker were on the fire tower on Fish Creek the summer of 1945. My folks were Conscientious Objectors during the war and this was one of their alternative service assignments. It was truly an experience of a lifetime for them.

    My mom kept a journal during their time on the tower. I have found it to be very interesting reading, but then I am certainly biased! I think it would make a great movie: romance, excitement, wilderness beauty, the war, food rationing, and hearing of the bombings of Japan while out in the middle of no where with extremely limited communication! They received mail and a few groceries once a month! They listened to the radio a few minutes at night in order to save the battery.

    bev brubaker Camden, OH
    • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
    • That is a great story, thank you for sharing!  I often wonder what happened out there over time.  I'll bet that journal is very interesting to read.

      How did you wind up in Ohio?

    • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
    • Does your mom's journal describe how they got to and from the lookout at the beginning and end of the season?  The 1946 map of the forest shows several possible routes, none of which are close to any roads.  Looks like it would have been 5 miles or more on foot or horseback to get up there from the closest roads. 

      You are really fortunate to have that journal.  I'll bet there are plenty of people (like me) who would be glad to have a chance to read it.  Do you have any photos of their time at the lookout?

      Thanks for your post.


      • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
      • Please consider making the journal available on the internet somehow, either by having it scanned or by having it transcribed. Having it available to all, with the context you can provide, would be pretty nice, provided of course, you were willing to share it publicly. I can certainly understnad a level of reluctance to do so.

        Thanks for the post!
    • Re: Fish Creek Mountain Trail 541 (#)
    • Thank you for this information. We will think about them each time we maintain the trail.
      Any more information regarding the area, their duties and experiences would be of great interest out here. The Forest would also be interested in this history.

      Does she write about High Lake? It's just below the summit. Does she mention any of the packers bringing the food and mail by name?

      Thank you again for writing.