Join us as we continue work on the very remote Horsetail Creek Trail still closed since the Eagle Creek Fire of 2017. There remains a 1/2 mile section of trail from the Bell Creek Junction north to the upper end of the switchbacks down into Oneonta Canyon that has been explored and flagged but is otherwise untouched since the fire. We still may have a week or two in which we can use the Larch Mt Road for access to the upper part of this trail.
This is a challenging, but potentially extremely satisfying stewardship experience. Horsetail Creek #425 is a remote connecting trail facilitating high loop and traverse opportunities above the Columbia Gorge for backpackers and trail runners. itprovides a conniection from Oneonta Creek in the west to the summit of Nesmith Point, 5 miles farther east. Reaching it involves hiking gently downhill for 2 miles from the trailhead just under the top of Larch Mountain on the Oneonta trail and then 3 fairly level miles on the Bell Creek Trail #459 to its intersection with the Horsetail Creek Trail itself. Our work will involve debris removal brushing, grubbing as necessary, possibly managing a few logs across the trail. Then remember we have 5 miles back to the car including a gentle but long 1000 ft climb.
What to expect:
You should expect to participate in this work party for its entirety. For safety reasons, please do not arrive late or expect to be able to leave early. The day is scheduled longer than our usual finishing time because the hike in and out is relatively long. Much of it is in ancient forest and high enough to be cooler; the slopes are gentle, but the last two miles gently uphill at the end of the day can feel long.
What to bring:
What to wear:
Access Larch Mt Road from just beyond Corbett on the Columbia Scenic Highway and proceed to Milepost 14, at the last sharp curve 1/4 mile below the summit parking area.
• All volunteers will read and sign the TKO Volunteer Waiver updated for COVID-19 for release and indemnity of TKO and the land manager partner. Link will be provided in your registration confirmation.
For a complete list of Covid specific safety measures, see our safety manual, available here.
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: TKO recognizes that the trails we work on travel through the traditional lands of many Indigenous tribes. In every corner of what we now call Oregon, these people were forced to cede their land, their home, to the US government at various times throughout history. We are privileged to volunteer on these lands & express gratitude to the descendants of these tribes for being the original stewards of this land.
PERSONAL SAFETY: Your physical & emotional safety is our number one priority. If a person’s actions or comments make you feel uncomfortable/unsafe – interrupt directly, tell a crew leader &/or complete a post-event survey.
EQUITY & INCLUSION: TKO seeks to make Oregon’s trails a place where people can go to connect with nature & one another. Not everyone feels safe & welcome in the outdoors due to racism, bias & hate. We commit to being part of the solution to change that. Conduct, speech, or expressions that target individuals or groups will not be tolerated by TKO, regardless of whether they are based on age, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, geographic origin, language, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.