Chimney Peak trail musings

Last weekend i hiked from McQuade Creek and camped a night at Donaca Lake.  The trail challenged me, especially when it rained the next morning.

Years ago forest service road 1142 was impassable, as i vaguely recalled.  Last weekend i found the road clear all the way to the trailhead.  The trail itself is in poor repair and badly overgrown, but i found a surprisingly clear section about 5 or 6 miles in.  The blog post below shows a photo of the formerly blocked road.  Also, i believe its author is responsible for the surprisingly clear section of the trail.  If i had all the time in the world, then i would also like to pack a pair of loppers out to do volunteer clearing on the McQuade Creek/Chimney Peak trail.


Below is an amusing photo from the nearby Swamp Creek trailhead, captioned “not feeling the love.”


Note that there is a large landslide just west of Fitt Creek.  There the trail is easily lost and it is advisable to hike during daylight, good weather, and with a walking stick.
Also of interest is McNabb Falls, described briefly in the post below.
“If you have 2-3 extra hours you can even hike down stream to the waterfall, but it’s a pretty tough hike and I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you have a whole day to do it.  There is no official trail down, just follow the creek bed down stream and you will eventually reach the falls. The falls are called McNabb falls and I would guess they are 100+ feet high.  I’ve only been there once about 25 years ago and they looked pretty cool from the top but also a bit dangerous.”
An old-timer at the trailhead told me that the Chimney Peak lookout is historically significant because it was an early Oregon fire lookout dating back to the 1800’s. He said the cast-iron supports still stick out of the rocks.

The following web page mentions this lookout being added to patrol service in 1931.  So far i have not been able to find any record that the lookout existed in the 1800’s.