Length: 14 miles RT
Elevation Change: - 4000' gain
Season: - Late spring thru early fall
Difficulty: Very Difficult due to length of hike and elevation gained
Permit: NW Forest Pass Required
This hike begins at the Herman Creek Trail head. Often you have to
park on the frontage road if you try to hike from this trail head before the Herman Creek
campground is open.
You will come to a junction that leads to the PCT and Benson Ridge,
but bear left and follow the signs to Gorton Creek trail. At about 1.2 miles you will
begin a more serious climb to an overlook of Indian Point. Continue your hike following
Trail #408 a brief distance to the junction of Trail #408 and cutoff Trail #437. Stay
on Trail #408. You loose some elevation over the next half mile before coming to the
junction of Trail #408 and Trail #422.
Continue on #408 and soon you will come to
Deadwood Camp. This appears to be a roomy and clean camp area. Water is a short distance
before you reach the camp. After the camp, the trail begins to climb through a series
of a half dozen switchbacks. At the end of this rise, you get your first glimpse out of
the forested area. Wildflowers are common in season. The trail continues to climb and
is not in good condition. Eventually, you come to a rocky open area which affords the
hiker great views to the north and northeast.
After hiking through the thick forest for
a short distance, you come to another, larger rocky area, again with some great views.
When you finally reach the junction of Trail #408 and Trail #447, you are most likely
grateful to have this hike half over. Follow Trail #447 northwest toward the junction
of the Casey Creek Cutoff Trail #476. This stretch of trail is very poorly maintained.
There are occasional views along this part of the hike, but nothing spectacular. When
you reach Trail #476, follow it down the mountain to the Herman Creek Trail #406. This
is a VERY STEEP trail, use caution.
Upon reaching Trail #406, turn right and follow it
north past several streams and falls to the junction of Trail #408 and #406 where you
began the loop portion of the hike. Just retrace your steps at this point back to the
Herman Creek Trail head and the wonderful comfort of your vehicle.
View northeast from the Gordon Creek Trail
on Nick Eaton Ridge
How to get there:
Herman Creek Trailhead: From the west, travel on I-84 to Exit #44/Cascade Locks. At the stop sign
turn right/east and follow Wa-Na-Pa street through town. Continue under the freeway and turn left/east
on Frontage Road (on the south side of the freeway) to the Herman Creek Campground sign.
From the east, take Exit #44/Cascade Locks. Immediately turn left and travel under the freeway.
Turn left/east onto Frontage Road (on the south side of the freeway) to the Herman Creek Campground sign.
Follow the narrow, paved road that goes up to the campground (to the left) and trailhead (to the right).
There is room to park at the trailhead, and along the road towards the campground, but don't block the campsites in the campground.
Sometimes in the winter the gate is closed but you can park along Frontage Road. Hike up the 1/2 mile paved road to the trailhead.