5.3 mi rt
max: 1639 ft
me and the pup
gpx track, use at your own risk: Sailor Duck
I am hesitant to share this one. This is an unsanctioned mountain bike trail in the newly re-conveyed park property. This is one of my go to local hikes, I do it quite often. In fact, it is possibly my favorite local trail right now (they are forever changing). My hesitation is that the trail is almost entirely on mountain bike trails, some unfinished but obvious, with many spots where you are not visible to bikes coming down the hill. When I come to these spots, I made a whole lot noise. I usually carry a very loud whistle with me to make sure they hear me. And I send Miranda ahead to eat any mountain bike coming down towards me. Those of you that know Miranda know that I am not kidding (: She loves me most. So if you choose to go here, be forewarned and take care.
Parking for this hike is on Lake Louise Road out by Sudden Valley. I park at the yellow gate at N48 43.408 W122 22.056 Don’t block the gate, only mean people block gates. Don’t be mean. And for goodness sake, it the gate is open, DO NOT go up it.
This is another one of those areas where there are a bazillion trails and roads and lots of ways to connect them. This is just one permutation. I call this hike Sailor Duck to Hootie Hoot. Why? Along the first section of the loop there is a rubber sailor duck nailed to a tree. Along a further section there is a sign proclaiming that this portion of the trail is called Hootie Hoot. This trail can be connected into Galbraith trails and one thing that I have noticed is that mountain bikers like to name their trails. They usually do so by cutting the name into metal (welding? but doesn’t welding put things together?) and attaching the sign to a tree. The sign for this trail, and the name, is the second one. The first one was quite offensive and I contacted the local mountain bike organization and asked to have it removed. They pointed out that this was an un-sanctioned trail. I pointed out that I would be happy to contact the Parks dept. and let them know about this un-sanctioned trail and ask them to remove the offensive trail marker. The marker was gone the next time I went out. The new one, Hootie Hoot appeared a bit later. A little bit ago I ran into a mountain biker who explained both names. Knowing what I now know, I understand why the first name was chosen. Still offensive and shouldn’t be there but I understand the reasoning behind it. Hootie hoot, the new name, is what someone calls out when the police are coming. Or so I was told.
I first found this trail on a walk I did from the other side of the hill. I came back and investigated and found more and made a loop and thats all they wrote folks. It did take me a few different permutations to find the loop I finally settled on. And of course, I will share. Eventually.
Back to this gambol. From the gate, I usually walk up about a hundred feet or so. You should be warned that my sense of distance is REALLY bad. Just on the other side of the bridge there is a trail (climber’s left) that takes off up the hill. I take it making lots of noise as I go, I think you know why. Also, there is a great waterfall so watch for this. This connects me to a road in a short distance and comes out right behind the newly built cell tower. Go left and take the spur road for a couple hundred feet, this will end at the pond, from here it will be all trail, no roads. Standing at the creek (before crossing it, no need to do that) that feeds into the pond, look right and you will see the trail. Walking the trail will bring you to an old road bed. The trail crosses that and keeps going. In a short distance there is a split, going right will feed you back out to the main road, going left keeps you on trails. Go left.
Here is where the un-finished part starts but since they completed the new bridge it is quite nice! At a big hairpin, approximately N48 43.311 W122 22.383, my loop goes on a trail that may not be obvious for the first few feet. If you go right at the hairpin and continue a few feet, it should become obvious. I does for me at least. From there just follow it on up. On this day there were some newly downed trees and after the weather we have been having lately, there may be some more. Near the beginning of this section the mt bikers have built a new bridge for crossing a creek, I could cross it before by rock hopping to the right of the bridge but the bridge does make it easier! Continuing on up will bring you to a very cool rock face that you will be walking next to, here is one of those spots it is best to make a whole bunch of noise. I like to call out that there is a hiker on trial. Oh, and Miranda. Follow the trail up through woods until it seems to terminate in an old clear cut. The trail is not as obvious but still easy to follow if you are looking. This will lead you to the end of a spur road. If you want to get out of this crazy hike, you could walk the spur road out to the main road and go right to go back to your car, run while you can!
As soon as you get the the end of the spur road go left on the newly established (illegal, no motorized vehicles allowed!) moto-trial. I had this as a connector trail for myself with some discrete flagging so I could find my way but someone on a motorcycle found it and now it is a trail trail. Either way, take it. Up. Up. Up. Until it connects to another well established trail. Going right will lead out to the main road (eventually) or can connect you up to the Galbraith trails. I go left. This is Hootie Hoot. Following HH through some older forests will keep taking you up the hill but there are switchbacks on this part! Be sure to look for the sign on a large tree bent over the trail. When you get near the obvious top, there will be a trail that heads off to the right, this will take you down to the roads above the gun range and it is the trail I was on when I first discovered this magic. Go left and top out. At this point, the trail is now called Cougar Ridge and it is all downhill from here. The trail is through older forests and is obvious. Follow it down and eventually, you will reach the hairpin where I had you dive into the woods. Follow your steps out to the car.