Gnarl Ridge – Newton Clark Glacier I got up on Mt. Hood for an exploratory off trail hike to get up closer to the Newton Clark Glacier. I started on the trail to Elk Meadows at 8 am. The trail passes through woods and berries bushes. The wilderness sign in is at the bridge over Clark Creek. Newton Creek is more of a challenge to cross as it has no bridge. A few logs across the creek make for a crossing point. Mt. Hood and a look at the Newton Clark Glacier. Most the flowers had gone to seed but this was on patch of late bloomers. From the creek the trail climbs with a series of switch backs. Now on Gnarl Ridge Trail the dead trees make for a huge full load for wild fire. Now on the Timberline Trail I climb through old growth hemlock forest. Getting close to timberline the forest opens up for patches of meadow. A couple of ghost trees still standing. Through opens in the trees I get a view of Mt. Adams and the gnarl ridge burn. View of Mt. Hood through the trees. Remains of the stone hut build by the CCC. Out the the trees and a view of Mt. Hood. I will be heading to the right hand side of the Newton Clark Glacier. Looking back down the Newton Creek Canyon. This is where the Gnarl Ridge hike ends and I turn on the Timberline Trail to carry on. Looking back along a section of the Timberline Trail Mt. Jefferson and Three Sisters. Looking back to Lamberson Butte that trails comes around. The far ridge is the Bluegrass that burned more then 10 years ago. Looking up to Mt. Hood. This is the highest section of the Timberline Trail and having to cross a few section of snow is normal. The high point on the Timberline Trail crosses this snow melt fed creek. This is my take off point to go up. Heading up off trail. The first high point to get to the top of to see whats next. In heading up I need to cross this snow field. I had already fallen through on snow bridge so I wanted to find a solid narrow spot. Made it across the snow field and looking up a Cooper Spur ridge. Next high point to get to. View of Mt. Hood, Newton Clark Glacier and Cooper Spur from my high Point. A view of Newton Clark Glacier. It is rapidly melting away but I could see the many moraines it had left. Looking back down it is now time to figure out how to get back to the trail. The trick is I know one of the possible routes goes over a cliff. Looking over to Ten Mile Ridge. Of now is when the wind picked up and kept trying to knock me off my feet. Mt. Hood from a little further down the ridge. The melting glacier. As the mountain unfreezes it falls apart. Nice flat area left by the glacier retreat. This was an impressive bolder. About the size of an apartment building. Another view of Hood and glacier. In a couple of hundred years this could all be a big flower meadow. Profile of the cliffs I have often seen from Gnarl Ridge. Looking over to the ridge by the snow field I came up. The higher ridge of the side of the pyramid on Cooper Spur. Next view point to get to and maybe get my baring on how to get down. Looking down to Timberline Trail Looking over to Lamberson Butte and Tents in the Golf Course. Looking back up to what I had to come down to get to the trail. Looking over to the gap I went up. This Butte is normally the high point we take people up when doing the Timberline Tail. Heading back on the Timberline Trail. A group was setting up camp and many brought a gold club of the little practice. Next time my route will be to go up to this high point to explore. Looking back up the trail to Mt Hood. Found on group of lupines still blooming by the trail. View back to Gnarl Ridge. Mt. Hood. I am glad I did not go over to that far snow field as it did go over a cliff. Wind was blowing the ash around. Blowing ash. Lamberson Butte The trail passes through a great section of old growth hemlock. This section has a park like feel to it. There had been some places like this on the North side but they burned in the Dollar Lake Fire. This trail section is just before Newton Creek and has had heavy bark beetle kill. Mt. Hood from Newton Creek Water was running higher in the afternoon. Some dry logs I used in the morning now had water over them. Rock Face at Newton Creek area. Trail heading back through the berry fields. This bridge is close to being washed out but for now it makes this crossing easy.