- Elevation: 400 feet
- Distance: 8 miles RT- this can vary depending on how far you go
Aaron and I wanted to escape from Portland for an evening, and we have never camped on the Clackamas River. We picked this spot because it was new to us and because Aaron had to work until 6pm on Saturday night, leaving us with a time crunch. I chose a back-packing campsite on Memaloose Lake. It is a 3 miles hike with minimal elevation gain. As we were preparing to turn down the road that leads to the trailhead we realized the road was closed. This is the 2nd time I've planned something near the Clackamas River to have to change plans last minute due to a road closure. Always check out the road closures in this area in advance. We went back to a spot that we saw while driving a few miles back. It was right on the river, and it ended up being a great consolation. We set up camp, threw our beers in the river, and started a fire.
We played cribbage and went to bed relatively early. In the morning, we packed up and decided to do the Clackamas River hike. My throat was feeling sore, so I decided to take a benadryl. Any other time I had taken a benadryl, it was late at night and I was trying to sleep. I completely underestimated the strength of this OTC medication. The entire hike I wanted to lay down and go to sleep. I kept looking around me and thinking how nice it would be to lay down to sleep in various places: the fern bush, the ground, by the river... It took me a few hours to figure out the benadryl was totally messing with me. Despite my drug induced haze, I was able to complete the hike, getting more energy at the end of the hike as the drug wore off.
We hiked about 4 miles to Pup Creek Falls and ate lunch. We went back the way we came, and then drove further along the Clackamas River. We drove to the narrows and sat on some rocks in the sun. The water is a beautiful color blue here.
The Clackamas River is a great escape from Portland. Especially if you're looking for something different than The Gorge. There are tons of places for camping and several hiking options.
I moved to the Pacific Northwest in August of 2012. I quickly identified myself as a hiker. I want to document my experiences so that I can refer to them for myself and others to provide the best hiking experience. I also hope to learn more about hiking from others comments and recommendations.