It’s hard to believe another year has passed but here we are once again looking back on 12 months worth of hikes. While 2021 was an improvement over 2020 in almost every way it still had its share of ups and downs including losing our remaining cat Hazel in June and my Grandmother in October. While the challenge of finding places to hike due to COVID in 2020 were no more, the same couldn’t be said for COVID itself and it seems like it will be around for awhile. Wildfires once again were a large factor in deciding on our destinations, another issue that doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon.
Despite these issues we had some great hikes in 2021. I slipped an extra three hikes in during the month of April to wind up hiking on 58 days for a total of 641.5 miles while Heather got 55 days in and 614.7 miles. Forty of the hikes were entirely new to us while only one, Tumalo Mountain (post), was an complete repeat. We had done that one over after failing to catch the sunrise on our first try and boy was it worth it.
Our first and final hikes of the year were on converted railroads.
Banks-Vernonia State Trail in January. (post)
Row River Trail in December. (post)
Over the course of the year we managed to complete several of our long term hiking goals. A trip to Cottonwood Canyon State Park in May marked our first hike in Gilliam County which is the last of Oregon’s 36 counties that we had not hiked in.
John Day River from the Lost Corral Trail
Trips in June and July took us to the final four of the 46 designated wilderness areas (open to visitors) that we had yet to visit in Oregon. In all we spent twenty-one days hiking in 15 different designated wilderness areas.
Ninemile Ridge in the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness in June. (post)
Devil’s Staircase Wilderness in July. (post)
Black Canyon Wilderness in July. (post)
Monument Rock Wilderness in July. (post)
By the end of July we had also completed our goal of hiking at least part of all 100 featured hikes in William L. Sullivan’s “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Oregon Coast” guidebook and in August we did the same with his “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington” guidebook.
Ledbetter Point, the last of the hikes from the coast book. (post)
Badger Lake, the last hike from the northwestern book. (post)
Finishing those two books in addition to the central Cascades book we completed last year (post) left just the eastern and southern books. We checked off 14 featured hikes from the eastern book but were unfortunately unable to make any headway on the southern book due to the wildfires and persistent smoke that plagued southern Oregon and northern California for much of the hiking season.
Our northern most hike was at the aforementioned Ledbetter Point while our southern most hike was on the Oregon Redwoods Trail near the California border (post).
The western most hike was, as usual, along the Oregon Coast at Cape Argo State Park. (post)
This marked the first time 3 hikes from the same guidebook marked the furthest in different directions. For obvious reasons the eastern most hike was not from the coast book but from the eastern book. That was our hike on the Wenaha River Trail. (post)
As we have done the last couple of years we plan on putting together 2021 wildlife and wildflower posts but we’ll leave you with a few of our favorite sights throughout the year. For the most part the weather was good but wildfire smoke often impacted views.
Falls Creek – February
Cascade Head from God’s Thumb – March
Columbia River from Mitchell Point – March
Mt. Hood from Sevenmile Hill – March
Dalles Mountain Ranch – April
Mt. Adams from Grayback Mountain – May
Navigating a downed tree along the Pawn Old Growth Trail – May
Rogue River Trail – May
Golden Falls – May
Lenticular cloud over Mt. Hood from Surveyor’s Ridge – May
Whychus Canyon – May
Deschutes River – May
Whychus Creek Overlook – May
Forest on Mary’s Peak – June
North Fork Umatilla River – June
Tower Mountain Lookout – June
Malheur River – June
Meadow on Round Mountain – June
Santiam Lake – July
Three Fingered Jack from Lower Berley Lake (and a butterfly photobomb) – July
The Husband and Three Sisters from Substitute Point – July
Mountain Trail – July
Red Sun through wildfire smoke from the Monument Rock Wilderness – July
Canyon Mountain Trail, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness – July
Aldrich Mountains – July
Mt. Mitchell summit on a rare poor weather day – August
Mt. Bachelor – August
Cottonwood Camp, Big Indian Gorge in the Steens Mountain Wilderness – August
Wildhorse Lake, Steens Mountain Wilderness – August
Evening at the Steens Mountain Resort – August
Little Blitzen Gorge – August
Riddle Ranch – August
Morning in the Pueblo Mountains – August
Oregon Desert Trail, Pueblo Mountains – August
Mt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake – August
Harmony Falls – August
Loowit Falls – August
Mt. St. Helens from Norway Pass – August
Mt. Hood from the PCT in the Indian Heaven Wilderness – September
Mt. Adams and Soda Peaks Lake, Trapper Creek Wilderness – September
Jubilee Lake – September
Rough Fork Trail, Blue Mountains – September
Heritage Landing Trail, Deschutes River – September
McDonald-Dunn Forest – October
Cascade Mountains from the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness – October
Three Fingered Jack from Round Lake – October
Mt. Hood from the Flag Point Lookout
Mt. Hood from Lookout Mountain – October
Silver Falls State Park – October
Laurel Hill Wagon Chute – October
Barlow Ridge, Mt. Hood Wilderness – October
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area – November
Here’s to an even better 2022. Happy New Year and Happy Trails!