It wasn't the best day to go to Carpenter Mountain, but we did it anyway! It was an amazing day and there are some crazy pictures that we wouldn't have gotten on a bright clear day. The path was really quiet and we only saw one other couple there. Who else would go to a viewpoint hike on such a cloudy, miserable day! We did get some really cool pictures, but I don't really suggest going to this hike on such a crappy day. We got drenched! It wasn't raining, but the path is very narrow and it's overgrown with bushes. All of those bushes were wet from the previous rain and also just from all the moisture in the air. If you do decide to go on a miserable day, make sure you pack extra clothes!
So the book said this was a 2.2 mile hike with 900 feet of elevation. We were actually planning on doing a different hike, but they were actively logging that mountain. We could have waited 20 minutes for them to clear the road, but then we could have gotten stuck at the top of the mountain! We decided to bail on that and go to the hike that I actually wanted to do, but didn't think we could do since 900 feet over 1.1 miles sounded steep! I really wanted to try out our new Subaru Forester though and the book said something like "the increasingly rough road." It made me want to do this hike just to play with the car! The car did great on it! We did pretty well on the hike also.
There's not much to say about the hike. My Polar M400 thinks the hike was only .8 miles up, but the book thinks it was 1.1. I'm not going to argue over the distance. The book said 900 feet, but it didn't feel like 900 feet. We must be getting better at this stuff. We stopped to take a bunch of pictures, but we didn't have to stop many times for breaks. About halfway up, there was a big field with a bunch of wildflowers. It was gorgeous. They had a bunch of hummingbird feeders which seemed odd, but whatever. Hubby saw a hummingbird, but I didn't. The path was really narrow in some spots, bu wider in others. The bush ground cover was probably the first third of a mile, but after that, it was wide enough to get through.
There's a lookout tower at the top of this thing. I would not want to spend the night in this thing! There's an outhouse, but you have to walk down a scary rock to get to the outhouse. No Thank You! The lookout tower is on the tippy top and to get there, I pretty much crawled up this rock. To get down, I sat on my butt like a toddler going down stairs. It was sooooooo scary for me!
We loved this hike and we didn't have many problems with it, but if you're just starting out, you might not want to try this one right away. I would also suggest bringing hiking poles for hiking newbies. The top of this thing is seriously scary. Hubby wasn't afraid, but I was! Maybe it's because I keep remembering the time when we went to some mountain and there was this patch of snow. We had to climb up and over it. I went up and almost went over the mountain. I ended up falling and then sliding. Not sure how I managed to stop sliding but I did. Then I was sitting there in the snow thinking, "How the hell am I going to stand up and not fall over this mountain?" I do okay with the up, but I bet nervous on the down. When you're going up, you have the opportunity to try your footing with the foot before you pick up the other foot, but when you're going down, if you miss step, there's not much you can do. The poles help though because you can poke around with the pole to find a good spot and then you've got three points of contact with the ground instead of just one.
How to get thereIf you want directions there, follow this link to traveloregon.com. I'd just end up getting you lost and I don't know if it's okay to copy their directions on here. It's way easier to just link to them.
There were no restrooms at this location and it's a nice bumpy road there and back. Make sure you find someplace to pee before you go up there and find a quiet place off the path to take care of things before you get to the car. I tagged this as Easyish and the book we used called it Easy. We didn't need to stop for breaks very often and I wasn't in my pain the following day. My calves were sore, but that was it. However, another website tagged it as "very difficult." I wouldn't go that far, but maybe they are trying to keep people safe. This is one of those hikes that isn't really all that easy to classify. I'm 265 pounds and made it up there, but I've been working out and hiking frequently for the past couple years. Use your own judgement on if you think you can handle it. Don't do anything crazy and make sure you wear good shoes. Don't go up there in flip flops!
Polar M400 Screen Shots
I forgot the heart rate strap. Oh well. The Polar M400 agreed with the book on the elevation. That's a first!
Gaia GPS Screen Shot
Gaia thinks the hike was a little longer than my Polar M400 and had a little less elevation. I will say though that I know I never moved 4.2 MPH on this hike and it seem to think I did so there's obviously a flaw with it somewhere.