Travels with the Original Easyrider®
2012 Edition

Hike to the Nahalem Divide Tunnel
West Portal
Crown Zellerbach CZ Trail
A brief, couple of miles in and out hike

Miles hiked= 269.32; Total elevation gain= 73,777'
July 25, 2012

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Ride to Scappoose, Oregon
And hike the Crown-Zellerbach Trail
50 mile round trip ride from Portland,
and an approximately 34 mile round trip hike
done in segments that started on December 16, 2010

Part one - Chapman Landing to the Nahalem Divide Summit
Part two - Nehalem Divide Summit to Pittsburg
NOTE: The "official" CZ Trail does not go to Vernonia
Part three - Camp 8
Part four - Crown Zellerbach Nahalem Divide Train Tunnel (East Portal)
Part five - Camp 8 to Vernonia, linking up with the
Banks-Vernonia Linear Park Trail

Some nice folks who own a farm on Old Mill road wrote to me and said they had
found the entrance to the Nahalem Divide tunnel west portal. Naturally, I was very
eager to learn more. Derrick generously offered to show me the way so here's my

Finding the Nahalem Divide train tunnel west portal is actually pretty easy once
someone shows you were it is! Julie and I were right here last year but were a few
hundred feet up on a ridge and couldn't see the tunnel from our vantage point.
The opening at this end is a LOT smaller than the east portal due to all of the
slides that have filled in the old track bed floor.

The tunnel is straight ahead. Julie and I were on a fairly wide roadbed up on
the ridge to the right. My GPS said I was practically on top of the portal (which
it turns out we were). Just couldn't see it....

This is the trail entrance which isn't much more than a deer trail... although it's
pretty easy to follow once you start going down. It's maybe 1/2-3/4 of a mile from the
Pisgah crossover summit and it's the first and only path of any type you'll see on
the left. It's a very short way from the CZ trail to the tunnel entrance.

There's a small waterfall on either side of the tunnel entrance.

The tunnel opening is a lot smaller on this end but there's still ample headroom
to get in. The opening is much bigger than it appears in this picture. You can see
the light at the end of the tunnel. Derrick chose to stroll through the tunnel..
I did not. There is debris everywhere and while the chance of a cave-in is slight,
it's easy to slip and fall (which he did several times). He also found himself in
water up to his knees on at least one occasion. This is not a particularly hazarous trek
but isn't a venture that I'd recommend.

The support timbers are really starting to show their age.

Here's a view of the west portal opening from inside the tunnel. Pretty dark in
there. Derrick had a headlamp and a lantern and obviously had sufficient light to
see where he was going. I would think a battle lantern with serious candlepower
would be very helpful here.

Here's a view from just inside the tunnel looking out through the west portal.

I backtracked up the CZ Trail and met Derrick at the tunnel's east portal. The
last bit of this trail was quite the bushwhack since it had significantly overgrown
since Julie and I were here a year ago. Luckily, Derrick brought some cutters and
did some trail maintenance on both ends that will make it easier for folks to do
this one (until the brush takes over again in a few months...).

What's left of the trackbed on the east end of this tunnel is in a lot worse
shape than the other end. You can still see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm very grateful to Derrick and Jeannine Duehren for their gracious hospitality
in helping me to complete this last segment documenting the entire CZ Trail. Much

Alder Creek update....

The County (or someone) put in this really nice bridge over the previously
impassible Alder Creek. They also did some substantial improvement to the trail
which was pretty beat up when I came by here in 2010. I haven't re-hiked this
segment but I'm guessing it's now clear sailing down to Chapman Landing.

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