The other way to summit Hamilton Mountain
Dad and I parked at Greenleaf Slough, and followed a mixture of road and trail to the NE ridge of Aldrich Butte. At around 800' on Aldrich Butte's NE ridge there is an intersection where the road that leads to the summit meets two trails. One trail is a faint path that heads north up the ridge toward Table Mountain. The other trail is labeled "Aldrich Falls Trail" and descends to Cedar Creek.
We took the Aldrich Falls trail. This trail passes the "Butte Cut-off" trail (more on that later), crosses Cedar Creek, contours east below the south ridge of Table Mountain to Hamilton Creek, and turns south and runs along the east side of Hamilton Creek down to Cedar Creek.
We left the trail at the confluence of Hamilton Creek and Cedar Creek, forded Hamilton Creek, and headed west up the east ridge of Hamilton Mountain. The ridge was straight-forward and mostly free of brush except for the top, which was very brushy.
On the way back we discovered a short-cut trail that forks from the trail that parallels Hamilton Creek. The short-cut trail heads NE on the north side of Cedar Creek. It seemed to dead-end in a meadow, but just above the meadow is the trail we took on our way in that leads to Hamilton Creek.
After crossing to the SE side of Cedar Creek, we left the Aldrich Falls trail and took the Butte Cut-off trail. This pleasant trail took us around the west side of Aldrich Butte to the trail end at a power line tower (line 2, mile 2, tower 1) and a logging road. From here we took the logging road NE to the road that leads up to Aldrich Butte and down to Shelly Lane.
approx. 2,740 feet
Columbia River Gorge
7 hours 37 minutes
2 hours 17 minutes ascending from Greenleaf Slough to Confluence of Cedar Creek and Hamilton Creek
1 hour 43 minutes ascending from Confluence of Cedar Creek and Hamilton Creek to Summit of Hamilton Mountain
1 hour 50 minutes descending from Summit of Hamilton Mountain to Confluence of Cedar Creek and Hamilton Creek
1 hour 47 minutes descending from Confluence of Cedar Creek and Hamilton Creek to Greenleaf Slough
Rough map of the Aldrich/Hamilton trails
Dad on east ridge of Hamilton Mountain
Copyright © 2004 Gabriel Deal.