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July 11, 2015 - Larch Mountain

KG7OFQ's picture
Summit: 
W7O/WV-062
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If you are hiking the short hike from the parking lot near the top, take the paved path to the far right of the parking lot.  The hike is less than a mile to the summit.  The summit is very small.  It is best to do this early in the morning I think as to not disturnb other hikers.  As we were leaving over 100 people were coming up for a short wedding in a very small space.


I was able to get five contacts in a reasonable amount of time including one summit to summit!


You can do this Summit as a longer 14 miles or so round trip hike OR as a shorter 2 mile or so hike (or whatever in between, if you are creative....)


From I-84, take the Multnomah Falls exit, about 30 miles east of Portland, Oregon, from either direction and park in the large parking area. The main trail starts to the left of the lodge. During the peak tourist season, you will have to wade through sometimes hundreds of people for the first 3/10 mile up to the Benson Bridge. The crowds thin out a bit after that and above to top of the main falls, about 1.1 miles in, few venture. Over two million visit the falls per year and that number is growing.

Alternately, take the Corbett exit number 22, from either direction off I-84 and proceed up the hill to the old highway. Turn left and take a right at the Larch Mountain Road. In winter, park at the snow gate, MP 10.2 and hike the 4.6 miles to the summit. When the gate is open, the tourist route consists of parking at the top and hiking 1/4 mile to the summit, Sherrard point.

In the winter the snow gate is as close as you can get to the summit which lies about 4.6 miles farther up the road. This "trailhead" is very popular for snowshoe enthusiasts; cross-country skiers and a few trail runners as well. 1.5 miles up the road, take the trail on the left at the right-hand switchback and head uphill into the woods for about 3/10 of a mile. Turn right at the trail junction and proceed about 1.5 miles to the summit. An alternate loop is to take a left at the junction and descend ½ mile to the next junction. Take a right for about a third of a mile and another right after crossing the stream on a log bridge. This most picturesque trail winds up the old-growth forested slope, past the beautiful Multnomah Swamp, (where you get unparalleled views of the summit pinnacle) and finally, (after a short section of highway hiking) gets you to the summit.