Explorations

Mapping the Timberline Trail

Mapping the Timberline Trail James Wilson An exploration of my personal journey leading to mapping...

To The Pinnacle

To The Pinnacle My goal for the the day was to trek up the Elk...

Vista Ridge Snow Trek

A Vista Ridge Snow Trek With snow levels receding a bit, I headed on the...

Changing Seasons on Mount Hood

Changing Seasons on Mount Hood Hiking from spring back to winter Leaving the Tilly Jane...

Utilizing Lidar in Mapping Trails

Using Lidar Data for Mapping Trails Lidar (light detecting and ranging) is a technology that...

Chehalem Ridge Nature Park

Chehalem Ridge Nature Park It's not that often that an entirely new park is added...

A Lookout Mountain Night

A Lookout Mountain Night With the potential for Aurora sightings south into Oregon due to...

Coe Glacier as Winter Draws Near

Coe Glacier as Winter Draws Near With significant rain forecast for the northwest, I wanted...

Stadter Buried Forest

Stadter Buried Forest and the Lost Creek Headwaters I learned a good lesson on this...

To White River Glacier

To White River Glacier Wandering White River Pt II. After exploring the lower sections of...

Wandering White River

Wandering White River on Mt Hood Part I. The White River begins on the south...

Ho Rock and Snow

Ho Rock and Snow With the first measurable rainfall in months coming to northwest Oregon...

Seeking Water on the Dry Side of Mt Hood

Seeking Water on the Dry Side of Mount Hood For mapping the Timberline Trail route...

Sunrise and Moonset from Eliot East Moraine

Sunrise and Moonset from Eliot East Moraine Leaving town around 3AM, I headed up to...

Wizard Way, New Meadows Trails

Wizard Way Mapping New Trails at Mount Hood Meadows Mount Hood rising above Mt. Hood...

Seeking Glacier Terminuses

Seeking Glacier Terminuses and exploring Moraines There are few places as dynamic to witness the...

A Cool Vista Ridge Morning

A Cool Vista Ridge Morning The Pinnacle, 5226 ft Just a few days ago I...

Late July on the Timberline Trail

Late July on the Timberline Trail Overlooking the Sandy River and Paradise Branch It's been...

Paradise Park Mt Hood Flowers

Paradise Park, Mt Hood Wildflower extravaganza Mount Hood Pussypaws Bear Grass Subalpine Cat's Ears Late...

An Eagle Creek Loop

An Eagle Creek Loop to Wahtum Lake and return via PCT and 400 The Eagle...

Badger Creek and the Divide Trail

Badger Creek and the Divide Trail Starting in the afternoon at High Prairie on the...

Timberline Trail Loop

Timberline Trail Loop 2021 Note: If you haven't yet heard about the alterations to the...

Badger Creek Wilderness, Jordan Creek and Points Between

Badger Creek Wilderness, Jordan Creek, and Points Between Continuing to explore the eastern side of...

The Eastern Reaches of Mt Hood National Forest

The Eastern Reaches of Mt Hood National Forest On the tail end of a period...

Deschutes River Explorations

Deschutes River Explorations I spent some time exploring the Deschutes River on two days this...

Lyle Cherry Orchard

Lyle Cherry Orchard More Adventures Lyle Cherry Orchard By Jim Wilson | May 20, 2021...

Wygant Natural Area and Beyond

Wygant Natural Area and Beyond Wygant Natural Area seems to be one of the less...

Hood River’s Bald Mountain

Hood River's Bald Butte This time I headed north, climbing up and under the powerlines...

Bald Mountain and Ramona Falls

Bald Mountain and Ramona Falls I headed out to the Mt Hood National Forest, parking...

Hood River Mountain

Hood River Mountain Hood River Mountain and the area around it is covered in old...

PCT North of Carson

PCT North of Carson This spring I've made a couple of trips to the area...

Dalles Mountain Ranch Balsamroot Extravaganza

Dalles Mountain Ranch Balsamroot Extravaganza There's a reason why Columbia Hills State Park and the...

Swale Canyon

Swale Canyon Having recently explored around the Ice House on the Klickitat River and Trail,...

Deschutes River Trail 50 miler

Deschutes River Trail 50 miler The Deschutes River Trail follows the river south from where...

Klickitat River History Exploring- Dry Ice and Redwoods

Klickitat River History Exploring Dry Ice and Redwoods The Klickitat River flows south into the...

BLM Criterion Tract

BLM Criterion Tract The Criterion tract has been managed by the Bureau of Land Management...

Gorge Falls- Elowah, Wahclella and more

Gorge Falls- Elowah, Wahclella and more I've never been to some of these more popular...

Coyote Wall Spring

Coyote Wall Spring Anytime of year is really a good time to visit Coyote Wall,...

Table Mountain, Topped in Snow

Table Mountain, Topped in Snow I think a short section of Heartbreak Ridge ascending Table...

Wintry Dog Mountain

Wintry Dog Mountain Dog Mountain covered in the snow is a far cry from the...

Hummocks Trail to Johnston Ridge Observatory

Hummocks Trail to Johnston Ridge Observatory In the winter when snow arrives, the State closes...

Weldon Wagon Road

Weldon Wagon Road Up in the hills above Husum and the White Salmon River in...

Memaloose Hills in the Gorge

Memaloose Hills in the Gorge A morning visit to the foggy Memaloose hills State park...

Columbia Hills up to Stacker Butte

Columbia Hills up to Stacker Butte Seeking some sunbeams, I headed east to Washington's Columbia...

Cottonwood Canyon Gooseneck Loop

Cottonwood Canyon Gooseneck Loop The Gooseneck Loop in Cottonwoods Canyon State Park (Oregon's youngest) is...

Windy Sunrise on Wind Mountain

Windy Sunrise on Wind Mountain Wind Mountain was windy, imagine that! A prominent and unique...

Mitchell Point in the Clouds

Mitchell Point in the Clouds For a quick and accessible climb, Mitchell Point, right off...

Horseshoe Ridge Snowshoe

Horseshoe Ridge Snowshoe Beautiful clear skies and no wind, a layer of fresh snow high...

Two Seasons at White River

With fresh snow really starting to accumulate in the Cascades, I headed up to Mount...

Sunset near Lookout Mountain.

With rain and then snow forecast for the mountains this week, I took the opportunity...

Old Vista Ridge Trail

Old Vista Ridge Trail Some sunshine between the layers of fall snow led me to...

Timberline Trail Devastation above Muddy Fork

Timberline Trail Devastation above Muddy Fork Note: I've created an updated page for summer 2021...

Crater Rim in the Clouds

Crater Rim in the Clouds After abandoning an August summit opportunity due to the weather...

Exploring Mt Hoods Eastside

Exploring Mt Hoods Eastside The open rocky expanses of Mt Hoods east side some of...

Encircling the Roaring River Wilderness

Encircling the Roaring River Wilderness After spending time exploring the lakes in the Roaring River...

Newton Clark Glacier

Newton Clark Glacier The Newton Clark Glacier is Mt. Hoods third largest, glacier, located on...

Mississippi Head and Beyond

Mississippi Head and Beyond This route was a repeat of one of my favorite Mt...

Timberline Trail X3

Timberline Trail X3 This summer I ran the 42 miles of the Timberline Trail encircling...

Black Wolf Meadows

Black Wolf Meadows Midway between Timothy Lake and the Roaring River Wilderness lies Black Wolf...

Badger Creek Wilderness

Badger Creek Wilderness The Badger Creek Wilderness on the far east edges of Mt Hood...

Surveyors Ridge North to South

Surveyors Ridge North to South Probably more popular with mountain bikers than hikers, the Surveyors...

Around Bonney Meadows

Around Bonney Meadows For a loop hike further off the beaten path this exploration around...

Neowise Comet from Indian Mountain

Neowise Comet from Indian Mountain Having spent a couple days this week around Indian Mountain,...

Indian Mountain and Wahtum Lake Explorations

Indian Mountain and Wahtum Lake Explorations During my trip along the PCT to Indian Mountain...

Pacific Crest Trail Marathon, north from Lolo Pass

Pacific Crest Trail Marathon, north from Lolo Pass With some clouds rolling in and weather...

Exploring Lakes in Roaring River Wilderness

Exploring Lakes in Roaring River Wilderness I had never been to the Roaring River Wilderness,...

A Salmon River Exploration Loop

A Salmon RIver Explotation Loop I had been eyeing this route through the Salmon Huckleberry...

McNeil Point Shelter via the Mazama Trail

McNeil Point via the Mazama Trail McNeil Point is undoubtedly one of the most popular...

Summiting Mt Adams

Summiting Mt Adams With a great window for weather in the mountains, I headed out...

Chinidere Loop on the PCT and Herman Creek

Chinidere Loop with PCT and Herman Creek One of the great loops (around 22 miles)...

Horsethief Meadows

Horsethief Meadows The wide, flatter area sandwiched between Bluegrass Ridge and the East Fork Hood...

PCT south from Cascade Locks

PCT South from Cascade Locks Right off Interstate 84 in Cascade Locks where the Pacific...

Fall Hiking to Clear Lake

When I emerged out of the forest onto the shores of Clear Lake, a dense...

Loowit, Mt. St. Helens

Just as Mt. Hood has the Timberline Trail and Mt. Rainier the Wonderland, Mt. St....

Mt. St. Helens Crater Rim

The Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is one of my favorite areas to explore....

The Zigzag Loop

I’d been looking at this route through the mountains west of Mt Hood as an...

Horseshoe Ridge in the Clouds

Horseshoe Ridge rises up from the flats around the Sandy River, climbing up to meet...

Catalpa Lake and Beyond

Catalpa Lake is a short hike of less than a mile to a secluded lake...

Barlow Butte and the Barlow Road

On the list of forgotten trails of Mt. Hood National Forest, the length of the...

Beyond Lamberson Spur

Hiking from Highway 35 to the Timberline Trail This is an epic loop around the...

The Timberline Trail

In about 42 miles the Timberline Trail encircles Mt Hood, following the contours of each...

Mooney Tarn via Elk Cove.

This route was not the most direct way to this stellar curiosity on the northeast...

Along the Eliot West Moraine

To get a really good sense of the power and movement of the glaciers that...

Sunset over Little Zigzag

Little Zig Zag Loop. Looking to take advantage of a sunny afternoon after work, we...

Mississippi Head

Mississippi Head is a prominent feature on Mt Hoods southwest face. It is the large,...

Exploring Mountain Lakes among the Zigzag Mountains

If you’re looking to explore some of the highlights of the Zigzag Mountain Range just...

Yocum Ridge: Many Miles, Many Views

The hike up Yocum Ridge on Mt Hood’s western flank is a long one but...

Polallie Ridge to Cooper Spur returning via Tilly Jane Trail

I love loop like hikes. I’ll often add extra distance, or hike along roads to...

Bluegrass Ridge – A trail being lost to time

Bluegrass Ridge is the first large prominent ridge running north to south on Mt. Hoods...

Little Belknap Crater via the PCT

The landscape around McKenzie Pass is surreal. Not only is it an other-worldly expanse of...

Coffin Mountain Beargrass Extravaganza

This year, the summer of 2019, a magnificent spectacle occurred on the slopes of Coffin...

Exploring Southeast Mt. Hood – Elk Meadows – Newton Creek Loop

If you’re looking for a hike with a grand diversity of scenery that really highlights...

Mirror Lake – Tom Dick Harry Loop

Overview 7.2 miles1540 feet elevation gainincorporates the popular Mirror Lake Trail into a loop hike...

Lookout Mountain via Fret Creek Loop

Overview 9.4 mile loop hike combining Forest Service Trails and 4x4 roads. 1912 feet of...

Springs Grand show of Balsamroot on Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain rises 2800 feet up from the shores of the Columbia River on the...

Hunchback Trail to Rockpile

For some quick accessible exercise with rewarding views, the Hunchback Trail to the Rockpile viewpoint...

Stacker Butte – Columbia Hills State Park

Overview 4.9 mile out and back with 1050 feet of elevation gaincasual hike up gravel...

Exploring the final miles of the Deschutes River

Deschutes River State Recreation Area Beginning at Little Lava Lake northwest of La Pine, the...

A treatise on the construction of shake trail in the Wilderness

Note: I wrote this piece in 2012 as part of an effort at chronicling and...