A few photos before the weeds and underbrush took over. Photos all taken on an epic complete tour of the Benson Plateau on June 29th, 2018.
After my usual near-noon start, I had to hurry to get back by complete darkness and fortunately, I made it.
I hiked every trail on the plateau and went south as far as Camp Smoky – which was at long last, appropriately named!
Except as noted, all photos were taken on Benson Way, the trail along the far western edge of the plateau. That part of the trail system burned so hot that in most of the distance, there wasn’t even a trace of soil or duff remaining and the trail was hard to find even though I had hiked it several times before and had a GPS track in my GPS to follow, just in case. I counted about 150 trees down in total and by now, (summer of 2023) there’s likely many more. Enjoy!
Teakettle Spring, as I neared the start of the plateau:
Benson Way photos: These photos look directly at the trail as it recedes into the distance.
My GPS as I returned to the start at the Herman Creek TH:
Over the past three years, I’ve made a dozen trips to the Mt. Adams area for hikes exploring areas new to me. On one of those trips, I spotted a few interesting prominences that needed some further investigating.
I started this adventure at the Williams Mine PCT trail head off of forest Road 23, about 16 miles north of Trout Lake. It was a cool 50 degrees at my 8:53 start time with a promise of blue skies and sunshine all day.
This is a popular section of the PCT and I met about a dozen day-hikers and about 20 PCT thru-hikers in the first 5.7 miles. All the PCT hikers passed me up, in spite of their heavy packs, but I kept up with a few of them, long enough to exchange a few words. I met a couple of men from the south of France, one man from Poland and one each, though they didn’t say where they were from but judging by their accents, from Spain and Germany.
A couple of PCT views:
The flowers are really nice: No beargrass for some reason.
Here are a couple of thru-hikers that have passed me up near the start of my trek. Also, note how well the new forest is coming back from the Cascade Creek fire of Sept. 2012.
I turned from the PCT at the junction of the Round-the-Mountain trail at Horseshoe Meadow and followed that for another 3/10 mile where I headed up to the first of the goals for the day.
This is a not-too-prominent bump, but I had to check it out – because it’s there! I’ll call this one Point 6294.
A nice view from the top.
Back down, I followed a path of least resistance a 1/2 mile or so to my next goal. A much more imposing feature, several hundred feet higher on the mountain.
A view along the way to the next goal:
Another nice meadow:
This got more imposing the closer I got.
Summit of point 6741:
View from the summit
View along the way to The Bumper.
I could see that was about it for the day, so I made a meandering route toward The Bumper, where I knew from past hikes there existed a half-way decent route back to the PCT through the dense newly formed forest.
I traversed for about a third of a mile checking out the sights and then made a bee-line towards The Bumper. As I made my turn to the west and The Bumper, I noticed what looked like a big pile of debris in my path. As I got closer, to my considerable surprise, it turned out to be a crashed airplane! The engine and instruments were gone so I guessed it has long been known so I wasn’t the first to find it. It looked like it was decades old and after researching it when I got home, I found it had gone down mid-winter of 1961. Wow! I was in 7th grade back then and that’s a really long time ago!
I had been on the summit of the bumper before, and it looked like this wreck could be seen from there. However, I had not seen it, nor did I recall any mention of the plane in the many TR’s I’ve read of this area over the years. I was getting a bit tired, but I had to see if it was indeed visible from the top of The Bumper, so another climb beckoned.
On the way to The Bumper
Once atop The Bumper, I could see that, yes, the plane was visible, but just barely and even so, it looked more like a snow patch so that may explain why I’d not heard of it.
The wreck is visible in this photo, taken from the summit of The Bumper, but you have to know exactly where to look.
I headed back, even finding a better way to the PCT through the dense forest to the north of The Bumper. Once on the PCT, I passed 7 or8 more thru-hikers and a couple of them had devised a great way to keep both sun and rain off of them: