Monday, August 17, 2015

Challenging Hike to the top of Tumalo Mountain in Bend, Oregon

Tumalo Mountain

We had a three day weekend so we didn't have to cram our hike into a trip to the valley! YAY! We went to the valley on Saturday, hike on Sunday, and did grocery shopping and meal prep on Monday. I didn't work at my day job and I didn't edit for my second job! I didn't work for three days! I did update the blog and I did do food prep, but pretty much everything I did, I did for me or hubby! It was amazing! I'm sure I'll have guilt later. Anyway, hubby decided that our hike would be up Tumalo Mountain. I'm not really sure what he was thinking! It's a mile and a half up hill! (Turns out it's longer than that, but what's a half mile among friends!)

How to get there

The trailhead is at the Dutchman Sno Park on Cascade Lakes Highway. If you're heading from Bend, it's just after the first Mount Bachelor entrance. It's on the right. The parking lot is fairly large, but it's still a good idea to get there early since it's a very popular spot!

The Hike

There's not a lot to say about this hike. It's about two miles uphill. The book said that it was 1.75 miles. The trailhead said that it was 1.5. Our GPS watches said that it was 2 miles. The book said that it was 1200 feet in elevation. Gaia GPS shows that it was closer to 1400 feet. What's 200 feet among friends though! 

The trail is a relatively narrow trail for most of the hike. Most of it is also on that loose sandy ash that we're not fans of. I'm tired of coming back from a hike with filthy feet! I need to wash my hiking boots after all of these ashy hikes! I'm not sure how we keep picking hikes with this miserable terrain. The first half of the trip up has some good tree cover and then it's pretty much out in the open. We got some interesting burn patterns. There are parts of this hike that are pretty steep. It started out steep and then was somewhat decent, but then it got pretty steep at the end. We stopped a lot on the way up. There's not that much to look at on the way up. The views from the top are worth the trip. On the way down, you get to see Mt. Bachelor a lot. 

We got there at 8:00 in the morning. It was 41 degrees! I was sooooooo cold to start out, by the time we got to the top, it was warming up a bit, but it was pretty windy up there so I was still pretty chilly. On the way down, the wind wasn't as bad and I started to get a bit warm. I'm glad we went as early as we did. We didn't run into many people on the way up, but we ran into a lot of people on the way down. I would not want to do that hike in the heat of the afternoon sun!

From the top, you get amazing views of the two of the Sisters and Broken Top. From a different angle, you get an amazing view of Mt. Bachelor. The views really were worth the trip up there. At the start, we said we were going to make it to the top of that thing if it took all day. On the way down, we kept thinking, "How the heck did we make it to the top of that thing?" There were some crazy steep parts to this! Without our poles, I doubt we would have made it. 

Overall Thoughts

We were happy that we did it, but we have no huge desire to do that one again! There are some amazing views up there, but it's 2 miles uphill and some of it is pretty steep! It's also a fairly busy trail head. There's not much to look at along the way to the top. It was pretty similar to climbing to the top of Black Butte, but I was in much better shape, so it wasn't as torturous to me. It would be nice to get up there when there was still a lot of snow on the mountains, but the top of this thing is only about 1300 feet below the top of Bachelor, so timing being able to get to the top of Tumalo while Bachelor still has snow all over it, might be a bit of a challenge. We might try and figure that out next spring though to see if we can get some snow covered shots.


There is a single stall vault toilet at the trailhead. 

Polar M400 Screen Shot

Here's the map of the hike from my Polar M400. 

Gaia GPS Screen Shot

Here's the elevation chart for Tumalo Mountain from Gaia GPS.

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