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Old 09-03-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
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Wahtum Lake/Waucoma Ridge -Hood River Co

My 1st trip report here...so bear w/me.

Wanted to venture up to Wahtum Lake and see if I could reduce the trout population. On the map it looked like a remote, hard-to-reach location. I thought I'd be the only sole up there. Wrong, and wrong.

My carefully planned waypoints synched into my Garmin Montana 600 were aparently not needed on the nicely PAVED and signed roads... o well.

Arrived at the lake and found 15+ cars parked in the trailhead area. I gathered my fishing pole, donned my vest and walked down to the lake. I found the wind howling and it was still freezing. Less than thrilled with this adventure so far...I decided to go find somehwere a bit more challenging.

Plan B was to take FS roads north toward Black Lake, Rainy lake and eventually Kinglsey Resivoir area. Maybe do some fishing, scout some secret shooting areas, and just explore. The map made this look pretty simple! So I headed north on Wahtum Lake "Road" and within .25mi realized this was definately a "road" less-traveled. Good thing I'm not concerned about scratching the paint.

Wahtum Lake "road" was more of a trail, and became very interesting up on Waucoma Ridge. Had to go over a berm, and get out and walk-scout several sections before driving that section. Didnt feel like making a 30-point turn on a "trail" with 1000' drop-offs on both sides... So I got my walking/scouting exercise.

The views up on the ridge were incredible! Unfortunatley the "road" became unpassable due to rock slide. It was a white-knuckle drive up that point, so I wasnt too heartbroken to turn around.

My exploring then took me on a few other gravel roads west of Wahtum Lake. I wont divulge too much because I found 2 NICE hidden camping spots. One at ~4500' with unbelievable views of Mt. Hood and the entire valley. The other off the backside of an old logging operation with a nice stream running thru it. Some nice pools in the stream, but I was not able to extract any trout.... but I WILL try again soon.

It was a bummer watching the smoke plume build and build all day long on the dollar lake fire. On my way out, law enforcement had closed Lost Lake Road at Wahtum lake road.

ok, now to attach pics....
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:09 PM   #2
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more pics

Here's a few more pics...
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:04 AM   #3
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Great report. Looks like you had fun.

Which bumper and flares are you running? Jeep looks great.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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Thanks! Yeah it was a pretty fun day of exploring.

I have Smittybuilt XRC bumbers front and rear. Spare tire carrier on the rear as well. The flares are Bushwacker. They are ok, I'm not super-crazy about them, but they do look a bit better than the stock flares, and they may let me fit 34's or 35's under there, although I prob wont go any bigger than 33's (32'on there now).
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:20 PM   #5
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Nice Pictures!!!!
It's always fun to find new places LOL even if they are not what you thought!

We love our Montana's!
We just spent the weekend down in the Willamette and Umpqua National Forest. O MY goodness talk about way less traffic and uses than we have up here! We ran in to like 4 or 5 cars total we had to move out of the way of or vise-versa. I was so shocked! We saw more people than that at attractions but not many.
Their OHV stuff sucks. Mostly for Bikes and some Quad use.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:06 AM   #6
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Very nice........
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:15 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Nice trip..

Wow, that brings back memories.. two decades ago was the last time
I went around that trail area... I'm sure all that is "offically" closed now.
But nice pics, and an adventure for sure.
So for important future reference we need to verify it's open.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:09 AM   #8
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Great pics!!!
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #9
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"roads" that ain't...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outdoors View Post
Wow, that brings back memories.. two decades ago was the last time
I went around that trail area... I'm sure all that is "offically" closed now.
But nice pics, and an adventure for sure.
So for important future reference we need to verify it's open.

Good point about verifying that "roads" are still open. The Wahtum Lake "road" as was depicted on the Garmin map, as well as a couple others I explored, may have been clear and wide enough for jeeps 10 or 15 yrs ago but are merely hiking trails now. As you see in my pics on that ridge, (yes, past the berm I climbed over....) the road was not safe. After my adventure
I looked at a few other maps, and some show a trail instead of a road... So I guess it doesnt hurt to cross-reference several maps when heading off to new places.

Cheers!
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:33 AM   #10
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You are right! we usually utilize several maps and the GPS. and still find gates or no roads where they are said to be LOL
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:15 PM   #11
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Nice pics, mahalo for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmellsFishy View Post
...Had to go over a berm, and get out and walk-scout several sections before driving that section. Didnt feel like making a 30-point turn on a "trail" with 1000' drop-offs on both sides... So I got my walking/scouting exercise.
For scenarios like the above, I've often pondered of bringing a mountain bike with me - for the specific use of scouting a portion of the trail forward. It's also a great way to cover some distance to get pics of Jeep from afar. I'm not much of a walker or hiker .

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