Gales Creek Series  LbNA # 49875

Placed DateAug 20 2009
LocationBanks, OR
Found By Eye of the sparrow
Last Found Nov 5 2012
Hike Distance?

Gales Creek Letterbox Series.
From Portland take Highway 26 west past North Plains and exit onto Highway 6 towards Tillamook. The starting point is Gales Creek Campground between mile markers 36 and 35 on Hwy.6. It is open from May to October. If you go during the off season, an alternate starting point is at mile marker 33, the Tillamook state forest Summit Trailhead. I can’t guarantee that this trail will be passable during the winter as it runs right along the creek in parts, and it will DEFINITELY be muddy if you go during the off season. During the warm season remember to bring water, there is quite a bit of uphill climbing.

Clues from Gales Creek Campground
When you pull in, follow the gravel road until you see a hiking trailhead on your left. Stop there and follow the sign that says ’Summit Trailhead Hwy. 6 2.0 mi.’. Very soon you’ll come to an unmarked fork- go right. Continue on for a while, counting the bridges as you go, enjoying the seas of large leafed devil’s club and sword fern, enjoying the sound of the babbling creek. After you have crossed 5 bridges, you will come to a stairway. Near the top to the left is a big old stump with plants growing out of the top. Climb up on the high side and look in the top for the Gales creek letterbox.
Continue up on the trail. After crossing 2 more bridges, you will come to a huge burnt out stump in a bend in the trail on your left. The Smoky the Bear letterbox is at the base of it just before you round the bend.
Go on for some ways, enjoying the scent of dried vanilla leaf on the forest floor if the day is warm. After you have counted 4 bridges from the last letterbox, walk about 60 paces and on your left you‘ll see a beautiful mossy multi-branched archway.. If you enter inside, at the base you will find letterbox #3, Mahonia Nervosa.

Clues from Summit Trailhead at mile marker 33, Highway 6
Start your descent into the Tillamook state forest. After you cross a bridge, start looking for a mossy, multi-branched archway on the right, about 130 paces down the hill from the bridge. Climb inside from the lower end and look for the letterbox at the base.
Continue on for quite some time, crossing 4 bridges along the way, enjoying the scent of dried vanilla leaf on the forest floor if the day is warm, hearing the babbling of the creek. Eventually you will come to a bend in the trail that bends to the right around a huge burnt out tree stump. You’ll know it when you see it. Round the stump and look for the letterbox at the base, in a spot jutting out close to the trail.
Continue on. Cross a bridge, descend a stairway, cross another bridge, and stop at the top of the next stairway. To your right is a big ol’ stump with plants growing out the top. Climb up and look up in there for the gales creek letterbox.