Hike Distance: 9.4 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1931.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1657 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 248272 feet
As you might expect it was not very crowded on the roads for Christmas Day. I’d been wanting to hike the remaining few miles of the Crown Zellerbach trail for some time now, and today was the perfect opportunity. After we complete this hike we will have finished the entire approx. 23 mile length of the Crown Zellerbach trail. The interesting part about this last section is that it traverses an easement through Weyerhaeuser private land.
We started the hike right off the Scappoose Vernonia Hwy at Pebble Creek Mainline Road. You will immediately go around a locked gate, which enters Weyerhaeuser land, and then cross a bridge over Elk Creek. The entire length of this section of the Crown Zellerbach Trail is on Pebble Creek Mainline Road.
The road gently ascends and climbs for about 500 feet. There are some obstructed views of the valley below, and some mountains, but nothing earth shattering. Along the length of this road there are plenty of side roads that go into Weyerhaeuser land, but there are signs indicating a permit is required. We continued on the mainline road and it becomes level for some distance. You’ll traverse logging land and see power lines, but not much else.
After some distance you will be walking on E. Knott Street. I really didn’t notice any transition but evidently it did happen, according to the map. E. Knott Street descends steeply for about a half mile. This road feels very different than Pebble Creek Road and is much less maintained. The road has been water damaged and is full of leaves. There’s also areas of mud that were a bit messy.
You’ll reach the bottom of the road and continue until there is a gate. On the other side of the gate the road is nicely maintained but graveled. There is a farm at the end of this maintained portion of the road. If you were riding a bike there is the option to continue down the road and then turn left to end up at Vernonia Lake. There you could pick up the Banks-Vernonia trail, if you want a very long ride. haha
We turned around at the maintained road and headed back toward our car. It was at this point that I learned my back wasn’t healed. 😦 Some sharp pain told me this was probably too steep. I had to take an Aleve, and concentrate on the way I walked, to reduce the sharp pain. I was able to get back to a comfortable place so that the remainder of the hike wasn’t nasty.
We were out long enough that it was getting quite dark on our way back. I loved the mood as it was getting dark, and drank it in! It seems that the temperature stayed in the upper 30’s during the entire hike, and it was such a refreshing temperature. There was even some nice lighting, for pictures, on the way back. Truly a great Christmas day hike!