Within Bull of the Woods Wilderness. This is a major east-west route connecting the summit of Bull of the Woods with the Elk Lake Creek Trail #559 to the east. The trail traverses the full range of terrain from deep old growth to open rocky ridges and intersects many of the other trails in this area.
The trail begins at Elk Lake Creek Trail #559 and ends at Bull of the Woods Trail #550. Beginning from the junction with Bull of the Woods Trail #550 and Mother Lode Trail #558 (5,200’), the trail heads southeast and travels 0.2 mile to the junction with Schreiner Peak Trail #555 (5,240’). From the junction the trail follows the ridge downhill 1 mile to the beginning of a series of switchbacks overlooking Welcome Lake Basin (4,800’). The trail drops down the switchbacks 0.5 mile to Upper Welcome Lake and the junction with West Lake Way Trail #556 (4,440’). There is a campsite near this junction towards the lake. The trail heads east 0.2 mile to a short spur trail leading north to Lower Welcome Lake. From the junction, continue heading east 0.7 mile on level terrain with nice views to the beginning of a second steep descent (3,960’). There are great views of the Welcome Lakes Basin from here. The trail heads down a series of steep switchbacks into thick old growth forest for 1.6 miles to the trail’s end at the junction with Elk Lake Creek Trail #559 (2,640’) (approximately 2.1 miles from #559’s northern trailhead at Forest Road 6380).
Trail Description and Map (PDF File)
At a Glance
Via Bull of the Woods Trail #550
From Portland travel east on US Hwy 26 to Sandy. Turn right (southwest) on OR Hwy 211 and travel 6.1 miles to OR Hwy 224. Turn left (southeast) on OR Hwy 224 and travel south on Hwy 224 for 30.6 miles to Clackamas River Hwy (Forest Road 46) (approximately at milepost 50). Take the right fork onto Clackamas River Hwy and travel 3.7 miles to Collowash Road (Forest Road 63). Travel 5.7 miles on Forest Road 63 and turn right onto Forest Road 6340. Travel 7.8 miles on Forest Road 6340 and you will come to a fork in the road (6340 and 6341). Take the left fork onto 6340 and follow it for approximately 1.5 miles to the trailhead parking area at the end of the road. Follow Bull of the Woods Trail #550 3.9 miles to Welcome Lakes Trail #554.