Categories
Hiking

Yakona Nature Preserve – 02/05/2022

After several hectic weeks at work for both Heather and I we celebrated the start of a new month (and a favorable forecast) by heading out on our second hike of the year. Our destination for this outing was the Yakona Nature Preserve, an area brought to our attention by our friends Susan and John. The preserve encompasses over 300 acres of a peninsula located at the south end of Newport in Yaquina Bay which as been acquired through various purchases since 2013. Several trails have been built in recent years with construction ongoing as the Yakona Nature Preserve works to fulfill its vision “to preserve and restore native forest land on the bay, with day use access for families, hikers and people of all abilities.”

I reached out to the folks at the preserve to check on any permit or reservation requirements to visit. They were quick to answer and provided me with the information we needed. As of our hike (and this report) there are two ways to visit the preserve, on a group hike led by the Yakona Nature Preserve or by obtaining a permit to hike 1.75 miles through private timber land to reach the preserve. We were informed that a group hike was tentatively planned for later in the month but we really needed to spend a day on the trails sooner rather than later and we couldn’t pass up a partly sunny day so we opted to go the permit route. If you’re interested in visiting the preserve please reach out via their contact page or message them on Facebook for more information.

With our permit obtained we headed to Newport and parked near the Wilder Dog Park and disc golf course just beyond the Wolf Tree Brewery and Taproom on SE Harborton Street. SE Harborton is gated at the start of the private land (do not block the gate) and becomes Road 200.
Emery Investment permit information at Road 200Permit info at the gate.

Road 200 gate at the Wilder Trails areaLooking back to the gate from Road 200.

From the gate we took Road 200 (the middle of three roads) and followed it for three quarters of a mile to King Slough where the road passes through the estuary.
Road 200

Big trees on an even bigger nursery stumpIt’s hard to get an idea of size here but the two trees growing over the large nursery stump were good sized.

Road 200

Kings Slough

Kings Slough

Hooded mergansersHooded Mergansers

After a brief stretch amid some trees, where we stayed left at another 3-way fork, we crossed another arm of King Slough.
Road 200 to the leftRoad 200 to the left.

King Slough

On the far end of the slough on the right side of the road was a trail signed “3rd World”
3rd World Trail at Road 200

This wasn’t the first trail we’d seen leading off to the right, we had passed at least three earlier some of which appeared to be part of the disc golf course, but this was the first that we would pass both ends of. A half mile further up Road 200 we passed the upper end of the 3rd World Trail and decided that we would take that trail on our way back. The various trails which are open to mountain bikes, trail runners and hikers can be viewed here. (Don’t forget your permit.)
3rd World TrailUpper end of the 3rd World Trail.

We had stayed on Road 200 through which climbed uphill via a wide curve. As we gained elevation we spotted a couple of elk in the brush on the hillside above.
Elk

It turned out that there were quite a few elk in the area and for the next third of a mile or so we occasionally spotted them in the road or heard them crashing through the brush.
Elk with breakfast

Road 200

Two tenths of a mile beyond the upper end of the 3rd World Trail we came to a split in the road on a ridge top. Road 200 turned left while Road 250 continued straight.
Road 200Approaching the ridge top.

We turned left on Road 200 passing a sign for the Yakona Nature Preserve.
Road 200

Sign for the Yakona Nature Preserve

In another 0.2 miles we came to a gate which we passed around per the directions received from the preserve.
Gate at the Yakona Nature Preserve boundary

As of yet there are no maps available of the nearly 4 miles of trails here so we were operating on the directions we’d received via email: “There is a good road all the way to the edge of the forest and you’ll pass, on your right, the clear cut we’ve replanted. Most of the trails take off into the forest from there, and the road continues for another 3/4 mile, traverses forest, and ends at a wetland. There are multiple trails off that forest road. We’re still developing a trails map, but as a general rule, when you’re ready to exit Yakona and not sure where you are, head UPHILL to return to the road you hiked in on. Uphill is your way out. All of our trails connect to one another or to the road. Keep in mind that we are still in the build out stage.” We also had found a map for a 30k race that went through the preserve to give us a bit of an idea where some of the trails were located. We turned left off the main road where the race had with the plan being to work our way clockwise around the peninsula sticking as close to the edge as the trails allowed. We had one specific goal in mind which was to find the Yakona Bridge, a replica of the Yaquina Bridge spanning Yaquina Bay. We knew that the bridge had been part of the race course but were unsure where along the route it was located.
Yakona Nature PreserveHeading off the main road.

Yakona Nature Preserve

It was clear that there had been a lot of work done to establish the trails and that that work was still continuing. The trails dipped and climbed bringing us to the bay at times and to views above at others.
Kings Slough

Female common goldeneyeCommon goldeneye

Great blue heron and buffleheadsGreat blue heron and buffleheads

Rough skinned newtRough skinned newt

Coral fungusCoral fungus

Kings Slough

Northern pintail, heron, seagulls and possible some green winged tealsNorthern pintail, heron, seagulls and some green winged teals.

American wigeons?American wigeons

Bench at the Yakona Nature PreserveOne of a number of unique benches located along the trails.

Yakona Nature PreserveStone steps

Bridges in the Yakona Nature PreserveA pair of footbridges.

Rough skinned newtAnother rough skinned newt, there were many.

MushroomMushroom

Bench at the Yakona Nature PreserveAnother bench at a viewpoint.

Yakona Nature Preserve

Bench at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Bench at the Yakona Nature PreserveSeveral benches were inlaid with rocks such as this which was a really neat feature.

Yakona Nature PreserveSmall footbridge ahead.

Beyond the little footbridge the trail climbed to a ridge top on the NE side of the peninsula where looking down the other side we spotted the Yakona Bridge.
Yakona Nature Preserve

Footbridge at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Footbridge at the Yakona Nature PreserveYakona Bridge.

After spending some time admiring the bridge we climbed up the other side where we came to Maryann’s Wind Phone, an unexpected surprise.
Footbridge at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Maryann's Wind Telephone at Yakona Nature Preserve

Sign for Maryann's Wind Telephone at Yakona Nature PreserveInformational sign for the wind phone.

We continued with our “stay as far to the outside as possible” plan which resulted in us passing a pair of wells before winding up at the end of the entrance road.
Yakona Nature Preserve

Four trunks from oneThis trunk had split into four.

Well at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Well at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Yakona Nature PreserveDropping down to another estuary.

Yakona Nature Preserve

Bench at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Bench at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Yakona Nature PreserveBack up we go!

Yakona Nature PreserveFound the road.

We had covered approximately 3 miles on the trails and now we hiked back along the road which passed several trails leading off the road and another interesting bench overlooking the replanted clear cut.
Yakona Nature Preserve

Yakona Nature PreserveBench on the far hillside above the clear cut.

Yakona Nature Preserve

Yakona Nature PreserveShort path to the bench.

Banches at the Yakona Nature Preserve

Yakona Nature Preserve benches

Yakona Nature PreserveOne of the trails.

We spotted our first wildflowers of the year on our way out. A lone violet and some blooming evergreen huckleberry.
Violet

Evergreen huckleberry blossom

Woolly bear caterpillarA rather damp woolly bear caterpillar.

When we reached the 3rd World Trail we turned off Road 200 and followed it downhill through the forest.
3rd World Trail

Mushroom

This took at least two tenths of a mile off our return trip by cutting out the wide curve in the road walk.
3rd World Trail at Road 200 near Kings SloughBack to Road 200 near Kings Slough.

Kings Slough

Once we were back on Road 200 we followed it back to the Wilder Area. We finally saw some other people when a group of trail runners popped onto the road from the unsigned Drop Zone Trail. By the time we were back at the car we had hiked 8.8 miles with a surprising amount of ups and downs providing a decent amount of elevation gain (1000-1500′). It will be interesting to keep an eye on the progress the Yakona Nature Preserve makes in restoring and developing the area. While it was free to visit we did make a donation via their website to help them fulfill their vision. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Yakona Nature Preserve

Categories
Hiking

Progress Report – Oregon Wilderness Areas (Completed)

Several years back we set several hiking goals, one of which being to hike in all of Oregon’s federally designated wilderness areas. At that time there were 47 such areas in the State with two of those being off-limits to visitors (Three Arch Rocks & Oregon Islands are also National Wildlife Refuges that provide nesting habitat for sea birds as well as serving as pupping sites for marine mammals. To prevent disturbances public entry to any of the rocks/islands is prohibited and waters within 500 feet of the refuge are closed to all watercraft from May 1 through September 15.) In 2019 Congress added the Devils Staircase Wilderness to the list giving us a total of 46 designated wilderness areas to visit in order to complete this goal. Staring in 2019 we began posting annual updates on our progress (2020 & 2021) and we are excited to report that, unless any new wilderness areas are established in the future, this will be our last update. We managed to make it to the final four wilderness areas on our list, the North Fork Umatilla, Devils Staircase, Black Canyon, and Monument Rock, in 2021. We have to give credit to Bruce (Van Marmot) over at Boots on the Trail for not only getting to all 46 first but also providing inspiration and a lot of helpful information.

A little over 2.5 million acres are designated as wilderness throughout the State and range in size from 15 acres (Three Arch Rocks) to 355,548 acres (Eagle Cap). Oregon shares a wilderness with three of its bordering states. The Wenaha-Tuccanon is shared with Washington, Hells Canyon with Idaho, and Red Buttes with California. The areas are managed by three different federal agencies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) manages the Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks areas while the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages nine and the Forest Service manages forty-one. If you do the math those numbers add up to fifty-two. The reason for that is four of the areas, the Devils Staircase, Lower White River, Hells Canyon, and Wild Rogue are managed jointly by the Forest Service and BLM. Seven of the areas have no official trails, the two off-limit areas, and the Devils Staircase, Rock Creek, Lower White River, Bridge Creek, and Spring Basin wildernesses. Although irregularly shaped (except for the exactly 6 square mile Mountain Lakes Wilderness) the majority of the areas are a single unit. In addition to the Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks the Mount Hood (4), Mark O. Hatfield (2), Badger Creek (2),Salmon-Huckleberry (3), Clackamas (5), Soda Mountain (2), North Fork John Day (4), and Steens Mountain (2) consist of multiple separate areas.

We visited our first Oregon Wilderness in 2009 when we visited Henline Falls in the Opal Creek Wilderness. Since then we have spent parts of 215 days in these special places. For sixteen of the areas it was only a single day while we’ve spent part of 30 days in the Three Sisters Wilderness. Below are some of our best memories from each of the wilderness areas. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed visiting them.

Badger Creek: 28,915 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-6
Divide Trail entering the Badger Creek Wilderness

Badger Creek

Mt. Hood from the helispot

Black Canyon: 13.088 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Black Canyon Wilderness sign

Black Canyon Trail

Black Canyon Trail crossing Black Canyon Creek

Boulder Creek: 19,911 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Boulder Creek Wilderness sign

View from the Boulder Creek Trail</a

Boulder Creek

Bridge Creek: 5,337 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Bridge Creek Wilderness sign

Bridge Creek Wilderness

View to the north from the Bridge Creek Wilderness

Bull of the Woods: 36,869 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-6
Bull of the Woods Wilderness sign

Lake Lenore

Emerald Pool

Mt. Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack

Mt. Hood and Big Slide Lake from the Bull of the Woods Lookout

Clackamas: 9.465 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Clackamas Wilderness sign

Memaloose Lake

Big Bottom

Copper-Salmon: 13,724 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Barklow Mountain Trail entering the Copper-Salmon Wilderness

View from the summit of Barklow Mountain

Cummins Creek: 9,026 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Wilderness sign at the upper trailhead

Cummins Ridge Trail

Devils Staircase: 30,787 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Informational sign for the Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Devil's Staircase

Diamond Peak: 52,477 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-7
Trapper Creek Trail entering the Diamond Peak Wilderness

Small waterfall on Trapper Creek

Diamond Peak from Karen Lake at sunset

Diamond Lake from an unnamed lake along the Crater Butte Trail

Climbers trail to Diamond Peak

Drift Creek: 5,792 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Drift Creek Wilderness sign

Drift Creek

Eagle Cap: 355,548 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-5
Eagle Cap Wilderness sign

Ice Falls

Ice Lake

Basin between the Matterhorn and Sacajawea

Mountain goats

Eagle Cap from the Matterhorn

Glacier Lake

Eagle Cap from Mirror Lake

The Matterhorn and Moccasin Lake from Eagle Cap

Horseshoe Lake

Gearhart Mountain: 22,587 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Gearhart Mountain Wilderness sign

The Palisades in the Gearhart Mountain Wilderness

Gearhart Mountain Wilderness

View from Gearhart Mountain

Grassy Knob: 17,176 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Grassy Knob Wilderness sign

View from Grassy Knob

Hells Canyon: 131,337 acres in OR (217,613 in ID) Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Trail sign at a junction with Marks Cabin Trail along the Summit Ridge Trail at the Hells Canyon Wilderness Boundary

Looking into Hells Canyon from Freezeout Saddle

Kalmiopsis: 179,550 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Kalmiopsis Wilderness sign

Ridge to the south of the Vulcan Peak Trail

Vulcan Lake

California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica) at Little Vulcan Lake

Lower White River: 2,871 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Lower White River Wilderness Sign

White River

Mark O. Hatfield: 65,420 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-12
Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness sign

Triple Falls

View from Chindrie Mountain

Twister Falls

Mt. Hood from Green Point Mountain

Menagerie: 4,952 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Menagerie Wilderness sign

Rooster Rock from the Trout Creek Trail

Rooster Rock from a viewpoint in the Menagerie Wilderness

Middle Santiam: 8,845 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Middle Santiam Wilderness sign

Overgrown trail

Donaca Lake

Mill Creek: 17,173 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Mill Creek Wilderness sign

Twin Pillars Trail

Monument Rock: 20,210 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Wilderness sign for the Monument Rock Wilderness

Monument Rock Wilderness

Cairn on Monument Rock

Little Malheur River

Monument Rock Wilderness

Mountain Lakes: 23,036 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Mountain Lakes Wilderness sign

Eb Lake

Aspen Butte

Mt. McLoughlin, Whiteface Peak, Pelican Butte, and Mount Harriman from Aspen Butte

Mount Hood: 64,742 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-22
Mt. Hood Wilderness sign

Mt. Hood from the Paradise Park Loop Trail

Mt. Hood from the Timberline Trail

Mt. Hood from the Timberline Trail near Elk Cove

Mt. Hood and Burnt Lake from East Zig Zag Mountain

Mt. Hood from Paradise Park

Morning from Paradise Park

Mt. Hood from Yocum Ridge

Mt. Hood from the Newton Creek crossing of the Timberline Trail

Hawk flying over the wildflowers in Paradise Park below Mt. Hood

Langille Crags, Compass Creek, Mt. Hood and Barret Spur

Ramona Falls

Mt. Hood and Barret Spur from Elk Cove

Mt. Hood

Cooper Spur Shelter

Mount Jefferson: 108,909 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-27
Enterng the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

Mt. Jefferson, Russel Lake, and Sprauge Lake from Park Ridge

The trail ahead

You can still see the purple lupine in the upper meadow

Mt. Jefferson from Russell Lake

Mt. Jefferson from Boca Cave

Marion and Gatch Falls

Mt. Jefferson from Jefferson Park

Park Butte from Bays Lake

Mt. Jefferson and Hunts Cove from the Hunts Creek Trail

Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson beyond the Eight Lakes Basin

Mt. Jefferson from Bear Point

Mt. Jefferson and Goat Peak

North Cinder Peak from the Cabot Lake Trail

Mt. Jefferson from Table Lake

Goat Peak and Mt. Jefferson

Carl Lake

Three Fingered Jack from Lower Berley Lake

Three Fingered Jack and Square Lake

Mount Thielsen: 55,151 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-5
Mt. Thielsen Wilderness sign

Howlock Mountain and Mt. Thielsen

Tipsoo Peak from Maidu Lake

Mt. Thielsen

Thielsen Creek

Howlock Mountain and Mt. Thielsen from Howlock Meadows

Mt. Thielsen and Cottonwood Creek Falls

Mt. Thielsen from a spring feeding Cottonwood Creek

Mount Washington: 54,410 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-7
Wt. Washington Wilderness sign

Belknap Crater

Mt. Washington and Mt. Jefferson from the Pacific Crest Trail

The largest of the Tenas Lakes

Benson Lake

Patjens Lake Trail

Mt. Washington from Mt. Washington Meadows

North Fork John Day: acres Days Spent in Wilderness-8
North Fork John Day River

North Fork John Day River Trail

Blue Mountain Trail

Elk on the Baldy Creek Trail

Mt. Ireland from Baldy Lake

Tower Mountain Trail

North Fork Umatilla: 20,225 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-3
North Fork Umatilla wilderness sign

Ninemile Ridge

Ninemile Ridge

North Fork Umatilla River

Opal Creek: 20,774 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-6
Whetstone Mountain Trail

Opal Lake

Larkspur and paintbrush

Battle Ax Creek

One of the Marten Buttes

Henline Falls

Bull-of-the Woods and Whetstone Mountain from the lookout site

Oregon Badlands: 28,182 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Oregon Badlands Wilderness sign
Ancient Juniper Trail - Oregon Badlands Wilderness

View from Flatiron Rock

Badlands Rock

Another canyon in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness

Oregon Islands: 925 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-0
Signboard for the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Bandon Islands

Simpson Reef

Sea lions on Shell Island

Gull Rock

Red Buttes: 3,777 acres in OR (20,133 in CA) Days Spent in Wilderness-2 in OR, (4 in CA)
Red Buttes Wilderness sign

Swan Mountain

Figurehead Mountain and Red ButtesThis photo is from CA but it actually shows the namesake Red Buttes

Roaring River: 36,548 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Entering the Roaring River Wilderness

Middle Rock Lake

Unnamed pond

Serene Lake

Rock Creek: 7,273 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Rock Creek Campground sign along Highway 101Closest thing to a “wilderness sign” we saw for this one.

Rock Creek

Frosty meadow in the Rock Creek Wilderness

Rogue-Umpqua: 35,749 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-6
Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness sign

Hummingbird Meadows

View from the Buck Canyon Trail

View from the old road to Abbott Butte

Pup Prairie from the Acker Divide Trail

Rattlesnake Mountain from the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Trail

Salmon-Huckleberry: 62,061 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-11
Entering the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness on the Eagle Creek trail

Rhododendron in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness

Eagle Creek Trail in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness

Mt. Hood

Plectritis and larkspur

Boulder Ridge Trail

Mt. Hood

Devil's Peak Lookout

Cliffs along the Salmon River Canyon

Frustration Falls

Hunchback Trail

Sky Lakes: 113,687 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-3
Sky Lakes Wilderness sign

Mt. McLoughlin from Fourmile Lake

Meadow with a lily pad pond across the Badger Lake Trail from Badger Lake

Island Lake

Mt. McLoughlin

Fourmile Lake from Mt. McLoughlin

Soda Mountain: 24,707 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Soda Mountain Wilderness sign

PCT entering the Soda Mountain Wilderness

Boccard Point and Mt. Shasta in the distance

Looking west from Boccard Point

Larkspur

Pilot Rock

Spring Basin: 6,404 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-1
Spring Basin Wilderness

Spring Basin Wilderness

John Day River from the Spring Basin Wilderness

Horse Mountain in the Spring Basin Wilderness

Hedgehog cactus

Steens Mountain: 170,202 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-5
Entering the Steens Mountain Wilderness

Registration box at the Pike Creek Trail

View from the Pike Creek Trail

Big Indian Gorge

Wildhorse Lake

Wildhorse Lake Trail

Kiger Gorge

View from the Little Blitzen Trail

Little Blitzen Gorge

Little Blitzen Trail

Little Blitzen River

Strawberry Mountain: 69,350 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-5
Strawberry Mountain Wilderness sign

Indian Creek Butte

Strawberry Mountain

Volcanic ash along the Pine Creek Traii

Strawberry Basin Trail

Strawberry Mountain

Strawberry Lake

Slide Lake

Skyline Trail

High Lake

Mountain Goats above High Lake

Canyon Mountain Trail

High Lake

Table Rock: 5,784 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-3
Old Table Rock Wilderness signboard

High Ridge Trail

Table Rock

Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters from Table Rock

Trail to the Rooster Rock viewpoint.

Mt. Jefferson and Rooster Rock

Meadow below Rooster Rock

Three Arch Rocks: 15 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-0
Three Arch Rocks Wilderness

Three Sisters: 283,619 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-30
Broken Top near Crater Ditch

Black Crater Trail

Middle and South Sister from Linton Meadows

Middle and South Sister from Eileen Lake

Duncan Falls

Upper portion of Upper Linton Falls

Falls on Fall Creek

The Wife

Linton Springs

Middle Sister and a Chambers Lake

South Sister from Camp Lake

Phoenix Falls

Lower Linton Falls

Upper Linton Falls

Mt. Washington's spire, Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson

Indian Holes Falls

French Pete Creek

Middle and North Sister beyond Golden Lake

Broken Top, a tarn, and some Lupine

Thayer Glacial Lake

Monkeyflower along Soap Creek

No Name Lake

The third Green Lake

North Sister

Pacific Crest Trail

Old cabin at Muskrat Lake

Meadow along the Olallie Mountain Trail

View from Subsitute Point

The Chambers Lakes and Cascade Peaks from South Sister

Broken Top and Moraine Lake

South Sister from Morraine Lake

South Sister from Denude Lake

Proxy Falls

The Three Sisters from a wildflower meadow along the Rebel Rock Trail

Broken Top

The Three Sisters

Waldo Lake: 36,868 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-6
Waldo Lake Wilderness sign

Rigdon Butte

Lillian Falls

Fuji Mountain from Black Meadows

Diamond Peak and Fuji Mountain from Waldo Lake

Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, The Husband, Middle & South Sister, Broken Top, and Mt. Bachelor

Upper Salmon Lake

Wenaha-Tuccanon: 65,266 acres in OR (176,737 in WA) Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness sign

Wenaha River Trail

Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness

Wenaha River Trail

Milk Creek and South Fork Wenaha River confluence

Wild Rogue: 35,221 acres Days Spent in Wilderness-2
Wild Rogue wilderness sign

Hanging Rock

Flora del Falls

Rogue River Trail

Rogue River

Categories
Hiking

Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington

As we mentioned in our previous post for several years we have been working on a goal to hike all 500 featured hikes in William L. Sullivan’s “100 Hikes…” series of guidebooks (post). In 2020 we completed the first of these books covering the Central Oregon Cascades (post). We followed that up by completing a pair of books in 2021 beginning with the 3rd edition “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Oregon Coast and Coast Range” on 7/31/2020. (post) A month later we crossed of the final hikes in the 4th edition “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington”.

Generally speaking in order to check a hike off our list we need to have hiked a substantial portion of Sullivan’s described hike or visited the main attraction(s) he identifies for the hike. In many cases Sullivan provides multiple options for destinations/lengths as well as listing more than one distinct hike under a featured hike. For instance hike #68 – West Zigzag Mountain consists of an 11 mile out and back to the former West Zigzag lookout site and a 1.8 mile hike to Castle Canyon (which we have not yet hiked), each starting from a different trailhead with no overlapping (or connecting) trails. For three other featured hikes we have yet to do the separate shorter hike -#2 Aerial Tram & Council Crest we have not done the 1.8 mile loop to Marquam Shelter via the Portland Ariel Tram, #13 Tualatin Hills we have not done the 2.2 mile Cooper Mountain loop and #23 Ape Cave we have not done the 0.2 mile Trail of Two Forests. Additionally for hike #6 Northern Forest Park there are two options going in different directions from the same trailhead and we have only done the longer of the two. Then there are the hikes with multiple main attractions of which there are three that we have not made it to all of the suggested destinations: #27 Lava Canyon we have yet to visit The Ship, #59 Catherine Creek we have not been to the Indian Pits, and #76 Timberline Lodge Trails we haven’t made it up to the Silcox Hut yet. Finally hike #83 lists the entire 40 mile Timberline Trail as one of four options and we have not yet hiked the entirety of that trail. That leaves 16 featured hikes that we made it to all the main attractions and 76 that were completed either as described or with additional hiking added on.

The area covered in this particular book extends north from Salem into Washington to cover both the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Mt. Adams Wilderness. To the east the area reaches just beyond The Dalles where it overlaps slightly with his eastern book by including the Klickitat Rail Trail in the Columbia Gorge section. Further south, below the Badger Creek Wilderness the eastern reach ends roughly at the Cascade Crest/Pacific Crest Trail. The area also extends SE of Salem to encompass most of the Bull of the Woods Wilderness, the Olallie Lake Scenic Area, and the northern end of Jefferson Park in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. Unfortunately many of the hikes in this SE corner were burned over by wildfires in 2020 and 2021.
NWA rectangular view of the area which also includes some hikes from the Central Cascades book at the southern end and hikes from the Eastern book along the eastern end.

NW OnlyMap showing only hikes from the NW book.

In addition to the four wilderness areas already mentioned 7 additional wildernesses are located in the area covered. The Mark O. Hatfield, Mt. Hood, Salmon-Huckleberry, Lower White River, Roaring River, Clackamas, and Table Rock Wilderness.

Hikes range from urban walks in the Willamette Valley to alpine strolls above the treeline in the Cascade Mountains. Rivers and waterfalls, highlighted by the Columbia River Gorge, are frequent focuses of the hikes along with lakes and wildflower covered hillsides and meadows. A mix of ecological zones are present including alpine forests, pine-oak grassland, and sagebrush flats. Elevations range from just above sea level at Warrior Point to just under 9000′ on Mt. Hood along Cooper Spur.

With all that out of the way here is a list of the 100 featured hikes along with a photo (or two where two distinctly different hikes were included in the entry) from William L. Sullivan’s 2018 4th edition “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington”:

#1 Tilikum Crossing – Hiked 12/14/2019
Tilikum Crossing

#2 Aerial Tram & Council Crest – Hiked 5/12/2018 (Council Crest)
Council Crest

#3 Washington Park – Hiked 5/12/2018
Pittock Mansion

#4 Balch Creek – Hiked 10/24/2020 & 1/01/2022
Witch's Castle

#5 Maple Trail – Hiked 12/14/2019
Maple Trail

#6 Northern Forest Park – Hiked 11/17/2018 (Germantown to Fire Lane 7a)
Wildwood Trail

#7 Tryon Creek Natural Area – Hiked 4/20/2019
North Horse Loop

#8 Oaks Bottom – Hiked 12/10/2017
Wapato Marsh

#9 Powell Butte – Hiked 10/1/2017
Mountain View Trail

#10 Oxbow Park – Hiked 10/1/2017
Sandy River

#11 Willamette Mission Park – Hiked 3/23/2019
Mission Trail

#12 Champoeg Heritage Area – Hiked 12/6/2015
High water marks on a tree in Champoeg State Heritage Area

#13 Tualatin Hills Nature Parks – Hiked 3/23/2019 (Tualatin Hills)
Chickadee Loop

#14 Warrior Rock – Hiked 5/11/2019
Warrior Rock Lighthouse Trail

#15 Ridgefield Refuge – Hiked 7/31/2021
Kiwa Trail

#16 Lacamas Park – Hiked 4/19/2015
Camas and plectritis meadow above The Potholes

#17 Silver Star Mountain – Hiked 6/30/2013, 6/27/2015, 6/26/2019
Ed's Trail along Silver Star Mountain

#18 Moulton Falls – Hiked 3/1/2017
Yacolt Creek Falls (This is Yacolt not Moulton Falls)

#19 Siouxon Creek – Hiked 6/4/2016 Burned 2020 in the Big Hollow Fire
Siouxon Falls

#20 Coldwater Lake – Hiked 5/11/2014, 7/16/2019, & 7/17/2016
Coldwater Lake

#21 Johnston Ridge – Hiked 8/22/2013 & 07/16/2016
St. Helens Lake

#22 Sheep Canyon – Hiked 7/14/2013
Mt. St. Helens

#23 Ape Cave – Hiked 7/11/2025
Inside Ape Cave

#24 Mt. St. Helens Rim – Hiked 9/7/2014
Mt. St. Helens rim

#25 June Lake – Hiked 7/19/2014
Waterfall at June Lake

#26 Ape Canyon – Hiked 9/17/2012 & 7/11/2015
Mt. St. Helens

#27 Lava Canyon – Hiked 9/17/2012
Lava Canyon Falls

#28 Windy Ridge – Hiked 8/28/2021
Windy Trail

#29 Spirit Lake – Hiked 7/16/16, 8/28/2021, & 8/29/21
Mt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake from Norway Pass

#30 Badger Peak – Hiked 8/28/21
Mt. Adams from Badger Peak

#31 Lewis River Falls – Hiked 5/29/2016
Lower Lewis River Falls

#32 Observation Peak – Hiked 7/7/2013 Burned 2020 in the Big Hollow Fire
Beargrass

#33 Falls Creek Falls – Hiked 10/13/2018
Falls Creek Falls

#34 Thomas Lake – Hiked 9/12/2015
Blue LakePictured: Blue Lake

#35 Junction Lake – Hiked 9/12/2015 & 10/3/2020
Junction Lake

#36 Cultus Lake – Hiked 10/3/2020
Cultus Lake from the Lemei Trail

#37 Sleeping Beauty – Hiked 8/1/2020
Mt. Adams from Sleeping Beauty

#38 Mt. Adams Meadows – Hiked 8/17/2014
Small cascade

#39 Cape Horn – Hiked 11/21/2015
Columbia River from the Cape Horn Trail

#40 Hardy Ridge – Hiked 5/8/2021
Trail to Phlox Point

#41 Beacon Rock State Park – Hiked 5/29/2013, 5/2/2015, 5/8/2021
Crazy wind and sideways rainHamilton Mountain

Beacon Rock TrailBeacon Rock

#42 Gillette Lake and Greenleaf Falls – Hiked 5/4/2019
Falls on Greenleaf Creek

#43 Larch Mountain Crater – Hiked 10/31/2020
Mt. Hood from the trail to Sherrard Point

#44 Latourell Falls – Hiked 10/31/2020
Upper Latourell Falls

#45 Angels Rest – Hiked 5/25/2013 Burned 2017 Eagle Creek Fire
Silver Star Mountain from the Angel's Rest Trail

#46 Multnomah and Wahkeena Falls – Hiked 7/2/2012 & 5/25/2013 Burned 2017 Eagle Creek Fire
Multnomah Falls

#47 Oneonta and Horsetail Falls – Hiked 7/2/2012 Burned 2017 Eagle Creek Fire
Triple Falls

#48 Wahclella and Elowah Falls – Hiked 3/21/2015 Burned 2017 Eagle Creek Fire
Wahclella Falls

#49 Eagle Creek – Hiked 10/9/2012 & 5/7/2014 Burned 2017 Eagle Creek Fire
Twister Falls

#50 Herman Creek – Hiked 10/3/2015 Burned 2017 Eagle Creek Fire
Indain Point

#51 Wahtum Lake – Hiked 10/26/2019
Wahtum Lake

#52 Mount Defiance – Hiked 7/16/2012 Burned partially 2017 Eagle Creek Fire
View from Mt. Defiance

#53 Mitchell Point – Hiked 3/27/2021
Mitchell Point

#54 Moiser Twin Tunnels – Hiked 4/25/2015
Inside Mosier Twin Tunnels.

#55 Tom McCall Preserve – Hiked 4/25/2015
Tom McCall Point Trail

#56 Dog Mountain – 5/17/2014 & 5/7/2016
Upper meadow on Dog Mountain

#57 Weldon Wagon Road – Hiked 3/19/2016
Weldon Wagon Trail

#58 Coyote Wall – Hiked 3/19/2016
Coyote Wall

#59 Catherine Creek – Hiked 3/19/2016
Sunrise from the Catherine Creek Trail

#60 Lyle Cherry Orchard – Hiked 3/27/2021
Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail

#61 Klickitat Rail Trail – Hiked 4/26/2014
Klickitat Rail Trail trailhead

#62 Wildwood Area – Hiked 5/24/2015 & 6/8/2019
Small fall on Cheeney CreekBonanza Trail

Boulder Ridge TrailBoulder Ridge Trail

#63 Old Salmon River Trail – Hiked 8/30/2015
Salmon River

#64 Salmon River Trail – Hiked 8/30/2015 & 6/2/2018
Frustration Falls

#65 Salmon Butte – Hiked 6/16/2013
Mt. Hood

#66 Hunchback Mountain – Hiked 7/11/2020
Hunchback Trail

#67 Devil’s Peak Lookout – Hiked 9/29/2018
Devil's Peak Lookout

#68 West Zigzag Mountain – Hiked 7/9/2012 & 7/4/2020
Viewpiont along the Zigzag Mountain Trail

#69 Burnt Lake – Hiked 7/13/ 2014
Burnt Lake

#70 Ramona Falls – Hiked 7/20/2012 & 8/24/2013
Ramona Falls

#71 McNeil Point – Hiked 8/20/2012 & 7/18/2015
Mt. Hood from the McNeil Point Shelter

#72 Cairn Basin – Hiked 8/20/2012, 8/11/2013, 8/13/2017, & 6/22/2019 (Owl Point)
Mt. Hood from the Vista Ridge Trail

#73 Lost Lake – Hiked 6/15/2019
Mt. Hood from Lost Lake

#74 Laurel Hill – 10/28/2017 & 10/30/2021
Pioneer Bridle Trail

#75 Mirror Lake – Hiked 10/28/2017
Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mirror Lake

#76 Timberline Lodge Trails – Hiked 8/27/2012, 7/12/2014, & 8/20/2016
Hawk flying over the wildflowers in Paradise Park below Mt. Hood

#77 Timothy Lake – Hiked 9/15/2013
Mt. Hood from Timothy Lake

#78 Twin Lakes – Hiked 10/29/2016
Mt. Hood from Upper Twin Lake

#79 Umbrella Falls – Hiked 7/21/2013
Umbrella Falls

#80 Elk Meadows – Hiked 7/21/2013
Mt. Hood

#81 Tamanawas Falls – Hiked 4/3/2016
Tamanawas Falls

#82 Cooper Spur – Hiked 9/24/2016
Cooper Spur Shelter

#83 Timberline Trail at Cloud Cap – Hiked 8/3/2014, 8/13/2017, 8/17/2019
Mt. Hood and Barret Spur from Elk Cove

#84 Bald Butte – Hiked 5/21/2017
Mt. Hood

#85 Lookout Mountain – Hiked – 6/28/2014, 10/13/2019, & 10/16/2021
Mt. Hood from Lookout Mountain

#86 Fret Creek & Oval Lake – Hiked 6/28/2014 & 10/16/2021
Oval Lake

#87 Badger Creek – Hiked 5/24/2014 & 6/28/2014
Badger Creek

#88 Butte Creek Falls – Hiked 3/1/2015
Upper Butte Creek Falls

#89 Table Rock – Hiked 10/11/2012, 7/4/2015 & 6/21/2020
Table Rock

#90 Memaloose Lake – Hiked 6/18/2020 Burned 2020 Riverside Fire
Memaloose Lake

#91 Clackamas River Trail – Hiked 6/25/2012 Burned 2014 36 Pit and 2020 Riverside Fires
Pup Creek Falls

#92 Fish Creek Mountain – Hiked 6/28/2019 Burned 2020 Riverside Fire
High Lake

#93 Riverside Trail – Hiked 11/9/2019 Burned 2020 Riverside Fire
Clackamas River

#94 Shellrock and Rock Lakes – Hiked 9/22/2013
Serene LakePictured: Serene Lake

#95 Bagby Hot Springs – Hiked 7/14/2028
Bagby Hot Springs Forest Camp

#96 Pansy Lake – Hiked 8/16/2019 Burned 2021 Bull Complex
Pansy Lake

#97 Red Lake – Hiked 10/10/2013 & 9/5/2015 Burned 2020 Lionshead Fire
Heather on the Double Peaks trail

#98 Monon Lake – Hiked 9/12/2019 Burned 2020 Lionshead Fire
Mt. Jefferson and Monon Lake

#99 Top Lake – Hiked 10/10/2013, 9/5/2015 & 9/12/2019 Burned 2020 Lionshead Fire
Double Peaks from Top Lake

#100 Jefferson Park Ridge – Hiked 10/7/2012 Burned 2020 Lionshead Fire
Mt. Jefferson, Russel Lake, and Park Butte

Categories
Hiking

Oregon Coast & Coast Range

Several years ago we set a goal for ourselves to hike all 500 featured hikes in William L. Sullivan’s “100 Hikes…” series of guidebooks (post). Last year we completed the first of these books covering the Central Oregon Cascades (post). We followed that up by completing a pair of books in 2021 starting with Sullivan’s “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Oregon Coast and Coast Range” 3rd edition. Up until the start of 2021 we had been intending to finish his 4th edition but the continued closure of the Salmonberry Railroad prompted us to revert to the earlier edition. That meant going from only needing to finish 5 hikes to 9 hikes but at least the 9 hikes were open and thus we were able to visit them. The last final featured hike happened to be featured hike #1 – Leadbetter Point (post) which we visited on 7/31/2021. Many of the featured hikes in this book are shorter hikes with some barely more than a half mile so we often did multiple hikes in a single day.

Generally speaking in order to check a hike off our list we need to have hiked a substantial portion of Sullivan’s described hike or visited the main attraction(s) he identifies for the hike. For 59 of the hikes we stuck to a nearly identical route to the one described in the book. For another 22 hikes we added to the hike, either following Sullivan’s “other options” or making it up on our own. Eighteen of the hikes were limited to the main attraction which typically involved hikes where there was an option for a shuttle from a second trailhead or as in the case of the Rogue River Trail there were options for multi-day backpacking trips. (We will get to more of the Rogue River Trail as we work through his Southern Oregon book.) Finally one hike, #86 Lower Rogue River, was cut very short due to trail damage. We may revisit that trail at a later date but we counted it as we went as far as we felt we could safely at the time.

The area covered by Sullivan in this book is unique in that it is the only area in which there are featured hikes in three states – Washington, Oregon, and California. It also contains the northern most featured hike the aforementioned Leadbetter Point. The area covered is a somewhat narrow strip running down the coastline from Leadbetter Point south to Redwoods National Park in California. A few hikes are located as far inland as the foothills of the Coast Range along the edge of the Willamette Valley.

Despite being a fairly narrow (approximately 60 miles east to west) area the hikes were quite varied from beach walks to mountain summits, sand dunes to temperate rain forests, and urban walks to the solitude of remote wilderness.

The area is home to several designated wilderness areas including the two areas that are off-limits to visitors, Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks. The areas open to visitors are the Drift Creek, Cummins Creek, Rock Creek, Devils Staircase, Grassy Knob, Copper-Salmon, Wild Rogue, and Kalmiopsis.

Two mountain ranges are home to several hikes. The Coast Range extends over 200 miles from the Oregon/Washington border south to the Middle Fork Coquille River. At the southern end of the Coast Range the Klamath Mountains begin extending south into California. The elevations for these hikes ranged from sea level to 4655′ atop Vulcan Peak in the Klamath Mountains (Mary’s Peak at 4097′ marked the high point in the Coast Range).

Lastly many of the hikes along the Oregon Coast follow the route of the Oregon Coast Trail.

Without further ado here is a list of the 100 featured hikes along with a photo (or two where two distinctly different hikes were included in the entry) from the 2009 3rd edition of “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Oregon Coast & Coast Range”.

#1 Leadbetter Point – Hiked 7/31/2021
Bay Loop Trail

#2 Long Beach – Hiked 9/11/2017
Discovery Trail

#3 North Head – Hiked 9/11/2017
North Head Lighthouse

#4 Cape Disappointment – Hiked 9/11/2017
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

#5 Fort Columbia – Hiked 9/11/2017
Fort Columbia

#6 Clatsop Spit – Hiked 9/9/2017
Elk at Clatsop Spit

#7 Fort Stevens – Hiked 9/9/2017
Battery Russell

#8 Fort Clatsop – Hiked 1/10/2016
Fort Clatsop

#9 Astoria – Hiked 9/9/2017
Megler Bridge in Astoria

#10 Seaside Promenade – Hiked 9/12/2017
Seaside promanade

#11 Tillamook Head – Hiked 12/8/2013
Cold morning in Ecola State Park

#12 Cannon Beach – Hiked 9/10/2017
Haystack Rock

#13 Saddle Mountain – Hiked 5/31/2013 & 6/23/2018
Saddle Mountain Summit Trail

#14 Highway 26 Waysides – Hiked 6/23/2018
Four County PointFour County Point

Dooley Spur LoopSunset Rest Area

#15 Banks-Vernonia Railroad – Hiked – 4/10/2016 & 1/16/2021 (Also ran as a marathon in 2014.)
Buxton Trestle

#16 Cape Falcon – Hiked 6/22/2012 & 4/29/2017
Cape Falcon from the Arch Cape to Cape Falcon Trail

#17 Neahkahnie Mountain – Hiked 1/5/2014
Lunch on Neahkahnie Mountian

#18 Nehalem Bay – Hiked 1/1/2018
Inlet along Nehalem Bay

#19 Munson Falls – Hiked 5/30/2015
Munson Falls

#20 Bayocean Spit – Hiked 4/14/2013
Cape Meares from Bayocean Peninsula Park

#21 Cape Meares – Hiked 1/1/2018
Cape Meares Lighthouse

#22 Wilson River – Hiked 3/8/2014
Bridge Creek Falls

#23 Kings Mountain – Hiked 8/16/2010
Elk Mountain Summit

#24 Gales Creek – Hiked 2/15/2015
Gales Creek

#25 Hagg Lake – Hiked 9/13/2019
Henry Haag Lake

#26 Cape Lookout – Hiked 11/11/2011
Cape Lookout

#27 Pacific City – Hiked 10/8/2013
Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda

#28 Mount Hebo – Hiked 5/30/2011 & 5/30/2015
Mount Hebo Trail

#29 Niagara Falls – Hiked 2/12/2017
Niagara Falls

#30 Neskowin – Hiked 2/12/2017
Proposal Rock

#31 Harts Cove – Hiked 12/6/2014
Harts Cove and Chitwood Creeks waterfall

#32 Cascade Head – Hiked 8/8/2010, 6/25/2019, & 9/28/19 (Inland Trail)
View from the Cascade Head Trail

Cascade Head Rainforest TrailInland (Rainforest) Trail

#33 Baskett Slough Refuge – Hiked 7/11/2010, 5/3/2020 & 4/15/2021
Baskett Butte

#34 Valley of the Giants – Hiked 5/18/2020
Valley of the Giants

#35 Roads End – Hiked 3/6/2021
Roads End Beach

#36 Drift Creek Falls – Hiked 12/6/2014
Drift Creek Falls

#37 Salishan Spit – Hiked 8/1/2015
Salishan Spit

#38 Devil’s Punchbowl – Hiked 7/12/2012
Devi's Punchbowl

#39 Newport Lighthouses – Hiked 8/26/2017
Yaquina Head Lighthouse from the Salal Hill TrailYaquina Head

Yaquina Bay BridgeYaquina Bay

#40 South Beach – Hiked 8/4/2018
Estuary TrailEstuary Trail

Yaquina Head across the jettySouth Jetty

Mike Miller TrailMike Miller Trail

#41 Ona Beach and Seal Rock – Hiked 12/11/2017
Exposed rocks on Ona Beach

#42 Drift Creek North – Hiked 9/15/2010
Drift Creek

#43 Drift Creek South – Hiked 8/3/2019
Drift Creek

#44 Mary’s Peak – Hiked 2009 (day unknown), 6/1/2014, & 6/5/2021
South side of Mary's Peak summit

#45 Kings Valley – Hiked 6/1/2014
Fort Hoskins Historic ParkFort Hoskins

Bridge leading into the Beazell ForestBeazell Forest

#46 Peavy Arboretum – Hiked 2/19/2018
Section 36 Loop Trail

#47 Chip Ross Park & Dimple Hill – Hiked 12/18/2016 & 10/2/2021
Mary's Peak from Dimple Hill

#48 Finley Wildlife Refuge – Hiked 10/21/2017, 5/31/20, & 4/14/2021
Homer Campbell Boardwalk

#49 Alsea Falls – Hiked 12/19/2012
Alsea Falls

#50 Yachats – Hiked 12/5/2020
Pacific Ocean from the 804 Trail

#51 Cape Perpetua – HIked 9/15/2010, 2/17/2013, & 10/27/2018
View from Cape Perpetua

#52 Gwynn Creek – Hiked 2/17/2013
Cummins Creek Loop Trail

#53 Heceta Head – Hiked 12/11/2017
Heceta Head Lighthouse

#54 Baker Beach – Hiked 1/15/2017
Heading back toward Baker Beach Camp

#55 Sutton Creek – Hiked 2/20/2016
Sutton Creek

#56 Cape Mountain – Hiked 9/5/2011
Nelson Ridge Trail

#57 Pawn and Pioneer Trails – Hiked 5/13/2021
Interpretive sign along the Mapleton Hill Pioneer TrailPioneer Hill Trail

Pawn Old Growth TrailPawn Old Growth Trail

#58 Siuslaw Ridge Trails – Hiked 2/20/2016 & 11/20/2021
View from the summit of the Old Growth Ridge TrailOld Growth Ridge Trail

Clay Creek TrailClay Creek Trail

#59 Sweet Creek Falls – Hiked 2/20/2016
Sweet Creek Falls

#60 Kentucky Falls – Hiked 5/9/2015
Upper Kentucky Falls

#61 Honeyman Park – Hiked 12/8/2018
Dune in Jessie M. Honeyman State Park

#62 Siltcoos Lake – Hiked 12/8/2018
Siltcoos Lake

#63 Siltcoos River – Hiked 12/8/2018
Siltcoos River

#64 Taylor Dunes – Hiked 9/13/2018
Taylor Dunes Trail

#65 Oregon Dunes – Hiked 1/1/2015
View from Oregon Dunes day use area

#66 Tahkenitch Creek – Hiked 1/1/2015 & 9/16/2018
Tahkenitch Creek

#67 Tahkenitch Dunes – Hiked 1/1/2015
First look at Tahkenitch Dunes

#68 Lake Marie – Hiked 9/13/2018
Lake Marie

#69 Umpqua Dunes – Hiked 9/13/2018
Umpqua Dunes

#70 Golden and Silver Falls – Hiked 5/16/2021
Golden Falls

#71 Shore Acres – Hiked 5/15/2021
Simpson Reef

#72 South Slough Estuary – Hiked 5/15/2021
South Slough

#73 Fivemile Point – Hiked 5/13/2021
Heading south toward Fivemile Point

#74 Bullards Beach – Hiked 9/15/2018
Coquille River Lighthouse

#75 Bandon Islands – Hiked 9/14/2018
Bandon Islands

#76 New River – Hiked 9/14/2018
New River

#77 Floras Lake – Hiked 5/8/2017
Paintbrush and Blacklock Point

#78 Cape Blanco – Hiked 5/8/2017
Cape Blanco Lighthouse

#79 Port Orford Heads – Hiked 5/8/2017
Port Orford Heads State Park

#80 Humbug Mountain – Hiked 5/16/2016
View from the Humbug Mountain summit meadow

#81 Sisters Rock – Hiked 5/16/2016
Thistle at Sisters Rock State Park

#82 Otter Point – Hiked 5/16/2016
View north from Otter Point State Park

#83 Coquille River Falls – Hiked 5/6/2017
Coquille River FallsCoquille River Falls

Elk Creek FallsElk Creek Falls

#84 Hanging Rock – Hiked 5/7/2017
Hanging RockHanging Rock

#85 Rogue River Trail – Hiked 5/14/2021
Rogue River

#86 Lower Rogue River – Hiked 5/9/2017
Washout along the Lower Rogue River Trail

#87 Illinois River – Hiked 5/20/2016
Indigo Creek

#88 Shrader Old Growth Trail – Hiked 5/9/2017
Francis Shrader Old Growth TrailShrader Old Growth Trail

Oregon's largest known Myrtlewood TreeMyrtle Tree Trail

#89 Cape Sebastian – Hiked 5/18/2016
Hunters Island from the Oregon Coast Trail

#90 Boardman Park North – Hiked 5/21/2016

#91 Boardman Park South – Hiked 5/19/2016
Lupine

#92 Vulcan Lake – Hiked 5/17/2016
Vulcan LakeVulcan Lake

Little Vulcan Lake below Vulcan PeakVulcan Peak

#93 Redwood Nature Trail – Hiked 5/17/2016
Big redwood along the Redwood Nature Trail

#94 Wheeler Ridge Bomb Site – Hiked 5/19/2016
Viewing platform for the bomb crater

#95 Oregon Redwoods – Hiked 5/13/2021
Inside a redwood trunk

#96 Stout Grove – Hiked 10/25/2015
Stout Memorial Grove

#97 Boy Scout Tree – Hiked 10/25/2015
Boy Scout Tree

#98 Damnation Creek – Hiked 10/24/2014
On the rocky beach near Damnation Creek

#99 Hidden Beach – Hiked 5/11/2017
Hidden Beach

#100 Fern Canyon – Hiked 5/10/2017
Fern Canyon

With any luck the Salmonberry Railroad will be reopened in the not too distant future so we can say we’ve completed the 4th edition as well. In the meantime there are still other non-featured hikes to explore and trails to revisit. Happy Trails!

Categories
Hiking

2021 Wildlife Gallery

One of the most enjoyable experiences while hiking is encountering wildlife. Oddly enough it’s also one of the worst (see ticks, mosquitos, and yellow jackets). From creatures great to small we were blessed to see a wide variety of God’s creations this past year. While there remain a number of critters on our “bucket list” of animals we haven’t encountered yet in 2021 we were able to put a check mark by river otters, American bitterns, and raccoons.
River ottersRiver Otters on a boom at Dorena Lake

American BitternAmerican bittern flying over Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

RaccoonsRaccoons at South Slough Estuary

We are working on learning to identify the various birds and butterflies we see and have made our best efforts (guesses), but as with our attempted identification of wildflowers (post) any help and or corrections is appreciated. With that here is a collection of the rest of the wildlife we encountered in 2021 starting with caterpillars, butterflies and moths.

Caterpiller on a common madia

Caterpillar

Caterpiller

Woolly bear caterpillar

Butterflies on the Santiam Lake TrailSeveral species

A crescent butterfly

A crescent butterfly

A sulphurOne of the sulphurs

Sulphur butterflyAnother sulphur

Becker's white on an onionBecker’s white

A haristreak butterflyA hairstreak

Hairstreak butterflyAlso a hairstreak

Buttefly on a sagebrush false dandelion

Butterflies on western snakeroot

Butterflies on groundsel

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly along the Canyon Mountain Trail

Butterfly along the Canyon Mountain Trail

Butterfly along the Levi Brinkley Trail

Butterfly along the Round Mountain Trail

Butterfly on a false sunflower

Butterfly on aster

Cabbage whiteCabbage white

California tortoiseshellCalifornia tortoiseshell

Checkerspot on honeysuckleA checkerspot

Chlosyne acastus - sagebrush checkerspot, femaleChlosyne acastus – sagebrush checkerspot, female

Chlosyne acastus - sagebrush checkerspot?Chlosyne acastus – sagebrush checkerspot, male?

Cloudis parnassianCloudis parnassian

Cedar hairstreakCedar hairstreak

Green commaGreen comma?

Hoary commaHoary comma

Juba skipper - Hesperia jubaJuba skipper – Hesperia juba

Langton's Forester MothLangton’s Forester Moth

Lorquin's admiralLorquin’s admiral

Milberts tortoiseshellMilbert’s tortoiseshell

MothMoth

Moth on hyssopA moth, possibly Gnophaela latipennis

MothMoth

Mylitta crescents - Phyciodes mylittaMylitta crescents

Ochre ringletOchre ringlet

Orange tip butterfly on fiddleneckOrange tip

Possibly a Boisduval's blue - Icaricia icarioidesPossibly a Boisduval’s blue – Icaricia icarioides

Propertius duskywing - Erynnis propertiusPropertius duskywing – Erynnis propertius

Purplish Copper on a false sunflowerPurplish copper

Purplish copperPossibly another purplish copper, Steens Mountain Wilderness 8/17.

Sheep mothSheep moth

Silvery blueSilvery blue?

SkipperA skipper

Swallowtails

SwallowtailAnise swallowtail

SwallowtailIndra swallowtail

SwallowtailPossibly a pale swallowtail -Ninemile Ridge

SwallowtailPossibly a western swallowtail -Devil’s Staircase Wilderness

Viceroy on mock orangeViceroy

Wood nymphs
Wood nymphJuly 19th, Ochoco Mountains

Wood nymphAugust 17th Steens Mountain Wilderness

Wood nymphAugust 19th Steens Mountain Wilderness

Fritillary on an irisOne of the fritillary butterflies I think.

Butterfly and bee on Fuller's teasel

Butterfly and beetle

Bee on gumweed

Bees on thistle

Bee on the Tower Mountain Trail

Bumble bees on penstemon

Bindweed

Wasp nest

Wasp of some sort

Wasps on fireweed

Wasp

Wasps, bees, ants and other insects

Flying ants on Mt. BachelorFlying ants at the summit of Mt. Bachelor

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

CicadaCicada

Ladybug on lupineLadybug

Red osier dogwood and a beetle

Beetle

Beetle and ochre ringlet on yarrow

Beetle in defense position

Beetle on a flowerFind the beetle

Bettle in a flower

Dictyoptera aurora?Dictyoptera aurora?

Beetles on a rose blossom

Crab spider on a nookta roseCrab spider

Spider

Wolf spider

Spider on wallflowerSpot the spider

Millipede

Iris and an insect

Praying mantisPraying mantis

June bugJune bug

Damsel flyDamsel fly

Dragon flyDragon fly

Dragon flyDragon fly

Dragon flyDragon fly

DragonflyDragon fly

Slug

Slug

Slug

Slug

Slug

Slug on a mushroom

Snail

Snail

Snail

Snails on skunk cabbage

Alligator lizardAlligator lizard

Frog

Frog at Bashaw Creek

Ring necked snakeRing necked snake

Snake on FR 99

Tiny frog

Toad near Walton Lake

TurtleTurtle

Western fence lizardsWestern fence lizards

Snake along the Wenaha River Trail

Dunn's salamander?Dunn’s salamander?

Rough skinned newtRough skinned newt

Rough skinned newts and a crawdadCrawdad surrounded by rough skinned newts

Fish in Black Canyon CreekFish in Black Canyon Creek

Harbor sealsSeals

Sea lionsSea lions

NutriaNutria

MoleHindquarters of what we believe to have been a mole.

There are several species of chipmunks in the area and I think these are two different species but I’m not sure which ones.
ChipmunkIndian Heaven Wilderness

ChipmunkBadger Creek Wilderness

Likewise there are several different squirrels and ground squirrels.
Greeter at the Walton Lake TrailheadGolden mantled-ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Squirrel

Squirrel

Squirrel

Pikas at first glance might seem to be related to ground squirrels but they are actually closely related to rabbits.
PikaPika

RabbitMountain cottontail

RabbitEastern cottontail

Snowshoe hareSnowshoe hare

Jack rabbitJack rabbit

Ring-necked duck and a lesser scaupRing-necked duck and a lesser scaup

American coot, spotted sandpiper and mallards on a logAmerican coot, spotted sandpiper and mallards on a log

American wigeonsAmerican wigeons

Green-winged tealGreen-winged teals

Cinnamon tealCinnamon teal

Cinnamon teal, mallards and a pied billed grebeMallards, a cinnamon teal and a pied billed grebe

Common merganserCommon merganser

Merganser and buffleheadsA female hooded merganser? and buffleheads

Northern pintailsNorthern pintails

Northern shovelersNorthern shovelers

DucklingsDucklings

Canada geese familyCanada geese

Western grebeWestern grebe

Bird at the Formal Gardens at Shore Acres State ParkBird at the Formal Gardens at Shore Acres State Park

Possibly at least one snowy egret and a great egretAt least two types of egrets and a bunch of ducks at Malhuer Wildlife Refuge

EgretEgret

Great blue heronGreat blue heron

Black-necked stiltBlack-necked stilt

Dunlins in the pondDunlins

YellowlegsYellowlegs?

White faced ibisWhite faced ibis

WhimbrelsWhimbrels

Spotted sandpiperSpotted sandpiper

SandpiperAnother sandpiper

ShorebirdsA couple of types of shorebirds

White pelicanWhite pelican

Roads End State Recreation SiteSeagull

CormorantsCormorants

KingfisherKingfisher

Dipper (Ouzel)American dipper aka ouzel

A couple of American bushtitsA couple of American bushtits

Bewick's wrenBewick’s wren?

Canyon WrenCanyon wren?

Wren at Horsethief ButteWren? at Horsethief Butte near The Dalles.

Bird above the Alder Springs TrailNo idea, seen along the Alder Springs Trail in Central Oregon.

Bird at Bluebill LakePossibly a flycatcher?

FlycatcherA flycatcher

Flycatcher?Flycatcher?

Bird at Second CreekAnother no clue, seen near a creek in the Ochoco Mountains.

BirdsCrossbills? (based on the crossed beaks)

Black headed grosebeakBlack headed grosebeak

Black phoebeBlack phoebe

California scrub jaysCalifornia scrub jays

Gray jayGray jay

Stellar's JayStellar’s jay

Pinyon JayPinyon jay

Clark's nutcrackerClark’s nutcracker

Brewer's blackbirdBrewer’s blackbird

Yellow headed blackbirdYellow headed blackbird

Red-winged blackbirdRed winged blackbird

StarlingStarling

Cedar waxwingsCedar waxwings

Common yellowthroatCommon yellowthroat

Dark eyed juncoDark eyed junco

Chestnut-backed chickadeeChestnut-backed chickadee

Mountain chickadeeMountain chickadee

Possibly and orange crowned warblerPossibly an orange crowned warbler

Ruby crowned kingletRuby crowned kinglet

FinchA finch

FinchA finch

Rosy (or purple) finchA finch

Green tailed towheeGreen-tailed towhee

Spotted towheeSpotted towhee

Pipit at Fern Ridge Wildlife AreaPipit

Townsend's solitaireTownsend’s solitaire

Robin, western bluebird and swallowsRobin, western bluebird and swallows

Mountain bluebirdMountain bluebird

Lazuli buntingLazuli bunting

Red breasted nuthatchRed breasted nuthatch

Yellow-rumped warblerYellow-rumped warbler

Western meadowlarkWestern meadowlark

Western tanagerWestern tanager – male

Western tanager femaleWestern tanager – female

Western wood-peweeWestern wood-pewee

Rufous sided hummingbirdRufous sided hummingbird

Chipping sparrowChipping sparrow?

White crowned sparrowsWhite crowned sparrows

Savannah sparrowSavannah sparrow

SparrowSparrow

SparrowSparrow?

Lark sparrowLark sparrow

Downy woodpeckerDowny woodpecker?

Lewis's woodpeckerLewis’s woodpecker

Northern flickerNorthern flicker

Red breasted sap suckerRed breasted sapsucker

WoodpeckerA woodpecker

WoodpeckerA woodpecker

KilldeerKilldeer

Mourning doveMourning dove

GrouseGrouse, leaning toward sooty

GrouseNot sure which type of grouse this is.

Ruffed grouseRuffed grouse?

Sage grouseSage grouse

California quailCalifornia quail

Turkeys at the Mitchell Point TrailheadTurkeys

RoosterRooster at Cape Arago State Park

CrowCrow

Turkey vultureTurkey vulture

Hawk? and a magpieA magpie and some sort of hawk

HawkA hawk

HawkHawk in flight

Coopers hawk?Cooper’s hawk?

HawkHawk in the Pueblo Mountains

Red tailed hawkRed-tailed hawk

Small raptor of some sortHawk or?

Northern harrierNorthern harrier

Osprey with a fishOsprey (with meal)

Bald eagleBald eagle

Great horned owlGreat horned owl

American kestralAmerican kestral

Common nighthawkCommon nightwawk

Northern shrikeNorthern shrike

CoyoteCoyote

Wild horses at Steens MountainWild horses at Steens Mountain

Cows near Elk Flat CreekNot wild cows along the Little Malhuer Trail

Deer at Ridgefield Wildlife RefugeColumbian black-tailed deer

DeerColumbian white-tailed deer

FawnMule deer fawn

Elk on McClellan MountainElk in the Aldrich Mountains

Mountain goatMountain goat

At the top of our list of animals we haven’t seen is a cougar (at a distance please), beaver, and porcupine along with a number of others. Good luck out there in 2022 and Happy Trails!

Categories
Hiking Year-end wrap up

2021 Flower Gallery

Our 2021 wildflower year was an interesting one. We took a handful of wildflower specific hikes in Spring but drought conditions contributed to a shorter wildflower season. We also spent a fair amount of time in the drier central and eastern parts of Oregon where the flowers tend to be sparser but also offers a different mix of species. We have made every effort to identify the flowers as best as possible but are by no means “experts” in any way. With that in mind any help in correctly identifying any of the flowers pictured is more than welcome.

The honor of first flower we spotted on a hike this year goes to Skunk Cabbage near the North Fork Nehalem River in February.
Skunk cabbage

The last flower we saw was the non-native tansy ragwort at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area in November.
Beetle on a flower

In between and in no particular order here are most of the others we were fortunate enough to see.
A delphiniumA delphinium

A lomatiumRed stem storksbill surrounding a lomatium.

A nettleA “nettle” of some sort at South Slough Estuary.

A treefoilA treefoil.

A vetchA vetch

An alliumAn allium on Ninemile Ridge.

Asters, fleabanes and similar flowers remain a mystery so here are some of these types spotted throughout the year.
An aster or fleabane

An aster or fleabane

Aster

Fleabane

Fleabane

Possibly Eaton's asterThis may be Eaton’s aster along the Deschutes River.

Purple cushion fleabanePurple cushion fleabane

Showy fleabanePossibly showy fleabane, August-Steens Mountain Wilderness.

Aster

Showy townsendiaShowy townsendia

AnemoneAnemonastrum deltoideum -Columbian windflower

AnemoneAnemonoides oregana – Oregon anemone

ArnicaArnica

Arnica and miterwortThe small white flowers are miterworts while I believe the yellow is an arnica.

AvensAvens

Ball head sandwort?We believe this is ball head sandwort

Ballhead waterleafBallhead waterleaf

Pacific waterleafPacific waterleaf

Ballon pod milk vetch in bloomBalloon pod milk vetch

Milk-vetchA milk-vetch, possibly Yakima

BalsamrootA balsamroot at Lyle Cherry Orchard

BalsamrootA balsamroot at Columbia Hills State Park

Hoary balsamrootHoary balsamroot on Ninemile Ridge

Mules earsWe think these are mules ears along the Malhuer River Trail

BaneberryBaneberry

BeargrassBeargrass, admittedly not the nicest specimen but this one stood out as the only still blooming stalk we saw on our hike in the Indian Heaven Wilderness on 9/5/2021.

Penstemons and beardstongue
Bee on penstemon

Penstemon

Penstemon

Penstemon

Penstemon

Penstemon and buckwheat

Beetle and ochre ringlet on yarrowYarrow

Big head cloverBig-head clover

Big-seed lomatiumBig-seed lomatium surrounded by parsley.

BindweedA bindweed

BistortBistort

Bitter cherryBitter cherry

BitterbrushBitterbrush

BlackberryBlackberry

Blanket flowerThe only blanket flower with any petals left.

Bleeding heartBleeding heart

Blue dicksBlue dicks?

Ookow or blue dicksMight be ookow or blue dicks?

Large-flower tritelieaLarge-flower triteliea

White triteliaWhite triteliea

Henderson's starsHenderson’s stars

Blue mountain prairie cloverBlue mountain prairie clover

Blue-bells of ScotlandBlue-bells of Scotland

Blue-eyed Mary, elegant mariposa lilies, and slender phloxBlue-eyed Mary, slender phlox, and elegant mariposa lilies.

PhloxA phlox

PhloxA phlox

PhloxPhlox

PhloxA phlox

Cat's ear lilySub-alpine mariposa lily

Tolmie's mariposa lilyTolmie’s mariposa lily

Sagebrush mariposa lilySagebrush mariposa lily

Sand lilySand lily

Glacier liliesGlacier lilies

Fawn liliesFawn lilies

Washington lilyWashington lily

Yellow bell lilies on Sevenmile HIllYellow bell lilies

Tiger lilyBlurry photo but the only tiger lily we came across in 2021.

Chocolate lilyChocolate lily

Water lilyWater lily

Bog orchidBog orchid

Phantom orchidPhantom orchid

LousewortLousewort

Brass buttonsBrass buttons (non-native) along the coast near Fivemile Point.

Alpine buckwheatAlpine buckwheat

BuchwheatA buckwheat

BuckwheatA buckwheat

BuckwheatAnother buckwheat

Butterly on buckwheatSulfur? buckwheat

BuckwheatMore buckwheat

Butterflies on western snakerootWestern snakeroot

ButtercupsButtercups

Butterly on pearly everlastingPearly everlasting

Cabbage whiteA mustard? along the John Day River

California corn lilyCalifornia corn lilies

False hellboreFalse hellebore

Camas

Death camasDeath camas

Mountain death camasMountain death camas

Candy sticksCandy sticks

CandyflowerCandy flower

CatchflyCatchfly

ChamomileChamomile (non-native)

Checkermallows and/or checkerblooms:
Checkeermallow

Checker mallow

Checker mallow

Checker-mallow

Checkermallow

ChicoryChicory (non-native)

ChokecherryChokecherry

CinquefoilA cinquefoil?

Slender cinquefoilSlender cinquefoil

Sticky cinquefoilSticky cinquefoil

Lassen clarkiaLassen clarkia?

Ragged robinElkhorn clarkia aka Ragged robin

Clarkia and a madiaClarkias with an out of focus madia

Common madiaCommon madia

CloverClover

CloverA clover (non-native)

Red cloverRed clover

Coastal manrootCoastal manroot

ColtsfootColtsfoot

ColumbineColumbine

ConeflowerConeflower

CurrantA currant

CurrantAlso a currant

DaggerpodDaggerpod

Dandelions in mahala matDandelions in the midst of mahala mat

Sagebrush false dandelionSagebrush false dandelion

Deadly nightshadeDeadly nightshade

Diffuse evening primroseDiffuse evening primrose

Hooker's evening primroseHooker’s evening primrose

PrimroseA primrose

Dusty maidenDusty maiden

Dwarf alpinegoldDwarf aplinegold

Elegant brodiaeaElegant brodiaea

Elephants headElephants head

Fairy bellsFairy bells

Fairy slippersFairy slippers

False lily of the valley and youth on ageFalse lily of the valley and youth-on-age

False solomonsealFalse solomonseal

Plummed solomonsealPlummed solomonseal

Star flower solomsealStar flower solomonseal

StarflowerStarflower

False sunflowersFalse sunflowers

FiddleneckFiddleneck

FireweedFireweed

Flower near Illahe LodgeFlower near Illahe Lodge on the Rogue River Trail

FringecupFringecup

Fuller's teaselFuller’s teasel

GentianA gentian

GentiansGentians in the Steens Mountain Wilderness

GeraniumPurple sticky geranium

Ghost pipeGhost pipe

Giant white wakerobbinGiant white wakerobbin

TrilliumTrillium

Gold starsGold stars

GoldenrodGoldenrod

GooseberryGooseberry

Grand collomiaGrand collomia

Grass of parnassusGrass of parnassus

Grass widows on Mitchell PointGrass widows

Paintbrushes:
Golden paintbrush

Paintbrush

Paintbrush

Paintbrush

Paintbrush

Paintbrush

Paintbrush

GroundselGroundsel?

GumweedGumweed? July, Willapa Bay

GumweedAlso a gumweed? Sept, Deschutes River

HardhackHardhack aka Douglas spirea

Spirea

HawksbeardHawksbeard

Heart leaved bittercressHeart leaved bittercress

Heuchera cylindrica -roundleaf allumrootHeuchera cylindrica -roundleaf allumroot

HoneysuckleOrange honeysuckle

HoundstongueHoundstongue

HoundstongueAlso a houndstongue I think.

HuckleberryEvergreen huckleberry

HyssopHyssop

Wild iris
Iris and an insect

Iris

Wild iris

Wild iris

Iris

Iris

Jacobs ladderJacobs ladder

Western Jacob's ladderWestern Jacobs ladder

Jessica sticktightJessica sticktight

Largeleaf sandwortLargeleaf sandwort

LarkspurLarkspur

Lewis flaxLewis flax

Pale flaxPale flax

Lupines
Lupine and balsamroot

Sabin's lupineSabin’s lupine

Lupine

Lupine and paintbrush

Lupine

Lupine

ManzanitaManzanita

Marshall's saxifrageMarshall’s saxifrage

SaxifrageA saxifrage?

SaxifrageSaxifrage?

Mock orangeMock orange

MonkeyflowerA monkeyflower

MonkeyflowerA monkeyflower

Pink monkeyflowerPink monkeyflower

MonkshoodMonkshood

Moth mullienMoth mullien

Mountain bluebillsMountain bluebills

Tall bluebellsTall bluebills

Mountain coyote mintMountain coyote mint

Mountain heatherMountain heather

Mountain lady slippersVery sad looking mountain lady slippers

Naked broomrapeNaked broomrape

Northern bedstrawNorthern bedstraw

Nuttal's linanthusNuttal’s linanthus

Old man's whiskers aka prairie smokeOld man’s whiskers

Orange agoserisOrange agoseris

Orange jewelweedOrange jewelweed

Oregon grapeOregon grape

Oregon sunshineOregon sunshine

Oxeye daisiesDaisies

Pacific coralrootPacific coralroot

Spotted coralrootSpotted coralroot

Striped coralrootStriped coralroot

PinedropsPinedrops

ParsleyTwo kinds of parsley

PartridgefootPartridgefoot

PeaA pea?

PeaA pea?

PeaPea (non-native)

PennycressPennycress

PlectritisPlectritis

Popcorn flowerPopcorn flower

PoppiesPoppies

Poppy and manrootPoppy

Prince's pinePrince’s pine

Purple deadnettlePurple deadnettle

Purple oysterPurple oyster

SalsifySalsify

Pussy toesPussy toes

PussypawsPussy paws?

Queen's cupQueen’s cup

Rangers buttonsRangers buttons

Red osier dogwood and a beetleRed osier dogwood

RhododendronRhododendron

Rockfringe willow-herbRockfringe willowherb

Rough eyelashweedRough eyelashweed

BunchberryBunchberry

SalalSalal

SalmonberrySalmonberry

Service berryService berry

Scarlet giliaScarlet gilia

Sea thriftSea thrift

Self healSelf heal

Shooting starShooting stars

Showy milkweedShowy milkweed

Sicklepod rockcressSicklepod rockcress

Silky phaceliaSilky phacelia

Silverleaf phaceliaSilverleaf phacelia

Threadleaf phaceliaThreadleaf phacelia

Snow queenSnow queen

Sourgrass

Spider on wallflowerWallflower

Spreading dogbaneSpreading dogbane

Sticky starwort?Sticky starwort?

StonecropStonecrop

StrawberryStrawberry

Swamp onionSwamp onion

Tapertip onionTapertip onion?

Wild onionAn onion

Tailed kittentailsTailed kittentails

Tassel-flowered BrickellbushTassel-flowered bricklelbush – Favoite name of the year.

ThimbleberryThimbleberry

Thistle and thistle like flowers
Thistle

Thistle

Thistle

Thistle

Thistle

Thistle

Three-leaf lewisiaThree-leaf lewisia

Threeleaf goldthreadsThreeleaf goldthreads

Twinberry honeysuckleTwinberry honeysuckle

TwinflowerTwinflower

Twisted stalkTwisted stalk

ToothwortToothwort

ValerianValerian

Veatch's blazingstarVaetch’s blazingstar

VioletA violet

VioletsA violet

WapatoWapato

Western clematisWestern clematis

Western meadowrueWestern meadowrue

Western stoneseedWestern stoneseed

Western pasque flowersWestern pasque flower (seed head)

White stemmed fraseraWhite stemmed frasera shortly before blooming.

Wild gingerWild ginger

Wild roseRose

Wild roseRoses

WintergreenWintergreen

Woodland starsWoodland stars

Below are a flowers that we’ve not been able to even come up with guesses on.
Wildflower along the Alder Springs TrailMay 29th, Alder Springs Trail

Wildflower along the Alder Springs TrailMay 29th, Alder Springs Trail

Wildflower along the Lost Corral TrailMay 30th, Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Wildflowers along the Esau Loop TrailMay 30th, Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Wildflower along the North Fork Umatilla TrailJune 14th, North Fork Umatilla Wilderness

Wildflowers along the Boundary TrailAugust 29th, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument near the Norway Pass Trailhead.

Wildflowers at Falls CreekSeptember 5th, Indian Heaven Wilderness along Falls Creek.

Wildflower along the Deschutes RiverSeptember 13th, Deschutes River

I apologize for the plethora of pictures but if you’ve gotten this far (without skipping) congratulations and Happy Trails regardless!

Categories
Hiking

Forest Park – Stone House and Pittock Mansion – 01/01/2022

Weather permitting we like to get our January hike in on New Years Day. A series of Winter storms had passed over the Willamette Valley starting Christmas night but while temperatures had remained cold the precipitation had ceased and the forecast for New Years Day was for another dry day with a potential for sunny skies. The only issue presented by the forecast were the temperatures which promised to be in the low 20’s for our morning start. We had our sights set on Forest Park in Portland as it didn’t require us driving over any mountain passes and allowed us to sleep in a bit since it is only an hours drive from Salem. This would be our fourth hike in the park but our first time starting from an upper trailhead in the Tualatin Mountains. One of our goals was to visit the stone ruins, sometimes referred to as the Witch’s Castle, along Balch Creek which was one of two options for Sullivan’s Balch Creek featured hike. We had chosen to do his longer option in 2020 (post) which we used to check that featured hike off our to-do list but we wanted to tie up the loose end.

We decided to begin our hike at the NW 53rd Trailhead in order to add some distance and to check out some of the trails that we had not hiked on in 2020. While the snow had left the valley floor at 800′ some still remained and the 21 degree temperature had frozen everything.
IMG_7700

From the trailhead we immediately turned right on the Keil Trail, one of the trails we had not been on before.
IMG_7701

IMG_7705

The trail ended in under a quarter mile at the Dogwood Trail where we turned left.
IMG_7706

We followed this trail downhill for a little over half a mile to a junction with the Wildwood Trail.
IMG_7708

IMG_7710A bank of clouds was sitting directly over Portland but we could see the edge in the distance. We hopped that the clouds would either burn off or move along.

IMG_7715

We turned right on the Wildwood Trail. The next 0.6 miles to a junction with the Wild Cherry Trail was a section of trail that we had been on in 2020.
IMG_7718

IMG_7722

IMG_7727

We stayed straight on the Wildwood Trail ignoring all side trails for 2.5 miles to the stone ruins along Balch Creek.
IMG_7731

IMG_7732Junction with the Birch Trail.

IMG_7740A wren busy pecking at a log.

IMG_7746Junction with the Aspen Trail. As we descended we left most of the snow, and the icy conditions, behind.

IMG_7758Holman Lane Junction.

IMG_7764

IMG_7767Balch Creek and the Lower Macleay Trail (Currently closed due to construction.)

IMG_7769

IMG_7779

IMG_7783Icicles over Balch Creek.

We continued beyond the Witch’s Castle another half a mile to the Macleay Park Trailhead crossing Balch Creek and climbing up a rather slick hill along the way.
IMG_7786

IMG_7805

IMG_7808

IMG_7809Going uphill before it got really slick.

IMG_7811Wilwood Trail at Macleay Park Trailhead.

We left the Wildwood Trail at the trailhead turning right past some picnic tables and taking a path along NW Cornell Road to the Portland Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.
IMG_7812

IMG_7813

IMG_7815

A network of trails loop around the sanctuary.
IMG_7818

We began our tour here by walking past the Wildlife Care Center where we think we witnessed an escape attempt.
IMG_7816

Aristophanes, a common raven and long time resident at the sanctuary, was being visited by another pair of ravens with questionable intent :).
IMG_7820

IMG_7819

IMG_7817We took this raven to be the “lookout”.

Beyond the ravens the trail descended to Balch Creek where we took the short Creek Trail to a turnaround at a bench before returning to the Jay Trail.
IMG_7823

IMG_7825

IMG_7827

IMG_7831Bench at the end of the Creek Trail.

We left the Jay Trail by taking a right on the Woodpecker Trail keeping right at junctions to meet up with the other end of the Jay Trail which we then returned on making a 0.7 mile loop.
IMG_7833Pond along the Jay Trail,

IMG_7834Junction with the Woodpecker Trail.

IMG_7840Big Douglas fir.

IMG_7851I continue to struggle to get a clear photo of a varied thrush.

IMG_7853Jay Trail junction with the Wren Trail.

IMG_7854

IMG_7856Nearing the pond from the other side.

After completing this short loop we crossed NW Cornell Road and headed up the Al Miller Founders Trail.
IMG_7857

The Founders Trail climbed up into increasingly snowy forest before traversing around a hillside to a junction with the North and South Collins Trails in 0.6 miles.
IMG_7861

IMG_7863

IMG_7864

IMG_7869

IMG_7871Stairs up to the trail junction.

The South Collins Trial offered a slightly shorter loop but we turned left on the North Collins Trail which climbed a little more before winding downhill and rejoining the South Collins Trail near NW Cornell Road.
IMG_7873

IMG_7880Baseball sized jelly fungus, the largest we’ve seen.

IMG_7881Descending to the South Collins Trail.

IMG_7883More ice formations.

This was a 1.5 mile “almost loop” which required a 500′ road walk to return to the Founders Trail and the Wildlife Sanctuary.
IMG_7886

We then made our way back to the Macleay Park Trailhead and the Wildwood Trail which we followed across NW Cornell Road.
IMG_7889

IMG_7890

Due to tunnel construction the road was closed just beyond the trailhead so we didn’t have to worry about traffic as we crossed. On the other side of the road we continued on the Wildwood Trail but soon found ourselves facing the slickest section of trail we’d encountered yet. Luckily we had brought our Kathoola micro spikes which we put on in order to get down the little hill.
IMG_7892We planned on returning via the Upper Macleay Trail.

IMG_7893Heather descending the slick section with a trail runner behind that had attempted to get up the hill but was turning back.

The trail runner had come up the Cumberland Trail which she said had been fine but above that trail things got slick fast.
IMG_7904Cumberland Trail junction.

The Wildwood Trail turned uphill at a junction with the Macleay Trail which is where things started to get really interesting.
IMG_7905

Other than the one hill where we’d put on our spikes there had always been enough clear trail to find descent footing but now the trails were pretty much ice.
IMG_7907

IMG_7908

We held off putting the spikes back on though until the three way junction with the Upper Macleay Trail. We watched another trail runner slip and slide as they carefully made their way downhill and decided it was time to put the spikes back on.
IMG_7909The trail runner in blue.

With the spikes on we were able to confidently walk uphill, marching past a number of folks struggling to come down. We saw a few falls but luckily we didn’t see anyone get injured which was a real possibility. Besides us we only came across 4 other hikers with some sort of traction devices for their shoes.
IMG_7910

IMG_7914Heather coming up behind me.

IMG_7916Arriving at the Pittock Mansion parking lot.

We had visited the mansion in 2018 (post) having come up from the other side on the Wildwood Trail and had hoped that this time we might get a view but alas the cloud cover had not moved on.
IMG_7919Pittock Mansion

IMG_7925

IMG_7926A line of blue sky beyond the cloud cover.

IMG_7930Portland from Pittock Mansion.

IMG_7932Snowy foothills in the sunlight beyond the Columbia River.

IMG_7934

Deprived of a mountain view we headed back to the Wildwood Trail where we put our microspikes back on and headed downhill.
IMG_7942

With the spikes on we had no issues reaching the junction with the Upper Macleay Trail where we turned left.
IMG_7943

The spikes stayed on until we had descended to Macleay Park and Heather re-donned hers again to descend to the Witch’s Castle.
IMG_7945

IMG_7947Entering the Macleay Park Trailhead.

IMG_7953One last look at the Witch’s Castle.

When we reached Holman Lane we turned left and headed uphill. We followed Holman Lane just over three quarters of a mile to NW 53 Dr. where we turned right walking a short distance along the road to the Birch Trailhead. Here we picked up the Birch Trail which descended a quarter mile back to the Wildwood Trail. Going back this way not only let us experience a new trail but it cut a half mile off the distance to the Wildwood/Birch Trail junction.
IMG_7956Holman Lane started out snow and ice free.

IMG_7960Back to the snow and ice higher up.

IMG_7964NW 53rd Drive

IMG_7965Birch Trailhead

IMG_7966The microspikes went back on before descending the Birch Trail and stayed on for the remainder of the hike.

IMG_7968

IMG_7969Sparrow foraging on the Birch Trail.

IMG_7971Back to the Wildwood Trail.

We turned left on the Wildwood Trail for 0.4 to the Wild Cherry Trail where we again turned uphill. This was another new section of trail for us and it was an additional three quarters of a mile shorter than returning via the Wildwood Trail.
IMG_7974Wild Cherry Trail junction.

20220101_141903Little snowman near the junction.

IMG_7979Is that a bit of blue in the sky finally?

IMG_7978Snowy mushrooms

The Wild Cherry Trail ended at the Dogwood Trail where we turned right for a short distance before reaching its junction with the Keil Trail.
IMG_7982

IMG_7983A break in the clouds provided some blue sky above the Keil/Dogwood Trail junction.

We turned left on the Keil Trail retracing our steps from the morning to the NW 53rd Trailhead.
IMG_7984

IMG_7988Woodpecker that wasn’t a bit concerned about my presence.

IMG_7993The Subaru waiting for us at the trailhead.

According to the GPS this was a 13 mile hike with around 2500′ of elevation gain.

Portland Audubon trails in orange.

Aside from not getting the views we’d hoped for this was a wonderful way to kick off the new year. There was good scenery, historical structures and a good deal of wildlife (even if most of it wouldn’t stay still long enough for photos). We hope everyone had a great holiday season and here is to a great 2022. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Forest Park – Stone House and Pittock Mansion

Categories
Hiking Year-end wrap up

The Hikes of 2021 – A Look Back

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 TrailBanks-Vernonia State Trail in January. (post)

Row River TrailRow 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 RiverJohn 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 RidgeNinemile Ridge in the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness in June. (post)

Devil's StaircaseDevil’s Staircase Wilderness in July. (post)

Owl Creek Trail entering the Black Canyon WildernessBlack Canyon Wilderness in July. (post)

Cairn on Monument RockMonument 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.
Bay Loop TrailLedbetter Point, the last of the hikes from the coast book. (post)

Badger LakeBadger 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).
RedwoodsRedwoods

The western most hike was, as usual, along the Oregon Coast at Cape Argo State Park. (post)
Shell Island

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)
Wenaha River Trail

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 on Fall CreekFalls Creek – February

Cascade headCascade Head from God’s Thumb – March

Columbia River from Mitchell PointColumbia River from Mitchell Point – March

Mt. Hood and Columbia desert parsleyMt. Hood from Sevenmile Hill – March

Wildflowers at Dalles Mountain RanchDalles Mountain Ranch – April

Mt. AdamsMt. Adams from Grayback Mountain – May

Big tree down over the Pawn Old Growth TrailNavigating a downed tree along the Pawn Old Growth Trail – May

Rogue River TrailRogue River Trail – May

Golden FallsGolden Falls – May

Mt. HoodLenticular cloud over Mt. Hood from Surveyor’s Ridge – May

Whychus CanyonWhychus Canyon – May

Deschutes RiverDeschutes River – May

Whychus Creek OverlookWhychus Creek Overlook – May

Old growth noble fir standForest on Mary’s Peak – June

North Fork Umatilla RiverNorth Fork Umatilla River – June

Tower Mountain LookoutTower Mountain Lookout – June

Malheur River TrailMalheur River – June

Meadow along the Round Mountain TrailMeadow on Round Mountain – June

Mt. Jefferson from Santiam LakeSantiam Lake – July

Three Fingered Jack from Lower Berley LakeThree Fingered Jack from Lower Berley Lake (and a butterfly photobomb) – July

View from Subsitute PointThe Husband and Three Sisters from Substitute Point – July

Lookout and Round Mountain from the Ochoco Mountain TrailOchoco
Mountain Trail – July

Red SunRed Sun through wildfire smoke from the Monument Rock Wilderness – July

Canyon Mountain TrailCanyon Mountain Trail, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness – July

Fields Peak, Moore Mountain, Moon Mountain and Second PeakAldrich Mountains – July

Summit of Mount MitchellMt. Mitchell summit on a rare poor weather day – August

Mt. BachelorMt. Bachelor – August

View from Cottonwood CampCottonwood Camp, Big Indian Gorge in the Steens Mountain Wilderness – August

Wildhorse Lake TrailWildhorse Lake, Steens Mountain Wilderness – August

Sun behind a cloud over FrenchglenEvening at the Steens Mountain Resort – August

Little Blitzen GorgeLittle Blitzen Gorge – August

Riddle RanchRiddle Ranch – August

Sun through a line of wildfire smokeMorning in the Pueblo Mountains – August

Cairn along the Oregon Desert Trail in the Pueblo MountainsOregon Desert Trail, Pueblo Mountains – August

View from the Harmony TrailMt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake – August

Harmony FallsHarmony Falls – August

Loowit FallsLoowit Falls – August

Mt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake from Norway PassMt. St. Helens from Norway Pass – August

Mt. HoodMt. Hood from the PCT in the Indian Heaven Wilderness – September

Mt. Adams and Soda Peaks LakeMt. Adams and Soda Peaks Lake, Trapper Creek Wilderness – September

Jubilee LakeJubilee Lake – September

View from the Rough Fork TrailRough Fork Trail, Blue Mountains – September

Heritage Landing TrailHeritage Landing Trail, Deschutes River – September

Forest along the old roadbedMcDonald-Dunn Forest – October

Old Summit TrailCascade Mountains from the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness – October

Three Fingered Jack from Round LakeThree Fingered Jack from Round Lake – October

Mt. Hood and Lookout Mountain from Flag PointMt. Hood from the Flag Point Lookout

Mt. Hood from Lookout MountainMt. Hood from Lookout Mountain – October

214 TrailSilver Falls State Park – October

Laurel Hill Wagon ChuteLaurel Hill Wagon Chute – October

Off trail down Barlow RidgeBarlow Ridge, Mt. Hood Wilderness – October

Fern Ridge Wildlife AreaFern Ridge Wildlife Area – November

Here’s to an even better 2022. Happy New Year and Happy Trails!

Categories
Cottage Grove Hiking Oregon Trip report

Row River Trail – Mosby Creek TH to Harms Park -12/18/2021

A combination of a busy December both at work and home and uncooperative weather left us with one final day to get our December hike in before the holiday weekend. Short of an ice storm we planned on hiking somewhere but the exact hike would depend on the weather forecast. As we got closer to the day, rain was the consensus everywhere within our day hiking radius. I looked through the hikes we hadn’t done yet for options for this time of year where a day of rain would have least impact on the hike. After coming up with a couple of possibilities, each a different direction from Salem a I looked again at the forecast for each area to see if any looked better than the others. The Row River Trail just East of Cottage Grove was the clear winner with just a chance of showers in the morning increasing to rain as the day went on.

A converted rail road, the Row River Trail is a 14 mile long paved National Recreation Trail. We hiked a portion of the trail last June during a multi-stop day (post). On that day we started at Bake Stewart Park which is on the eastern side of Dorena Lake and hiked west to Rat Creek which is just beyond Harms Park. Our plan for this outing was to park on the other side of Dorena Lake at the Mosby Creek Trailhead and hike east to Harms Park. It was overcast but not raining when we pulled into the trailhead parking area.
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The trail begins in Cottage Grove approximately 3 miles to the west of this trailhead it passes through town then closely follows Mosby Creek Road to the trailhead. While the trail beyond Mosby Creek crosses several roads and follows Row River Road around Dorena Lake it is more scenic than the first 3 miles would have been. Starting at the Mosby Creek Trailhead also offers the chance to make a quick 50 yard detour to the 1920 Mosby Creek Covered Bridge which was restored in 1990 and is still in use.
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The Row River Trail crosses Mosby Creek on a nearby trestle bridge.
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The trail is basically as straight as an arrow for 1.3 miles from the Mosby Creek bridge to a second bridge over the Row River. The scenery along this stretch is farmland and trees.
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IMG_7434Ivy disguising itself as a tree.

IMG_7442Mallards and Christmas lights.

IMG_7444Layng Road crossing. The lights on the signs were activated when sensors picked up something approaching.

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IMG_7454

IMG_7457Currin Covered Bridge on Layng Road.

IMG_7459Cormorants flying overhead.

IMG_7460Approaching the bridge over the Row River.

IMG_7469Row River

Lesser scaupLesser scaup. I would have liked a better picture but it was still early and not very light and the little guy was a ways away on the river.

A short distance beyond the river we passed under Row River Road.
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20211218_113536_HDRThis was a new sign to us.

Shortly after passing under Row River Road the trail began a small climb above some farms as it made a sweeping curve to the right.
IMG_7473Row River Road with some snowy hillsides in the distance.

IMG_7477Arrows and other yellow markings identified bumps and holes in the trail for equestrian and bike users.

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IMG_7484Jelly fungus

IMG_7487Hamblen Creek

IMG_7490Turkeys in a field.

IMG_7495Sign along a private driveway.

IMG_7503Not very many mushrooms but these were good sized.

The trail crossed Row River Road again as it passed along the shoulder of Cerro Gordo, a 2112′ butte.
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From the road crossing We descended slightly passing the unmarked site where the campfire scene was filmed for the 1986 movie Stand By Me before arriving at the Dorena Lake Dam.
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IMG_7508Do squirrels jog?

IMG_7509Madrone along the trail.

IMG_7511Row River Road was overhead to the left along this rocky section.

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IMG_7515Nearing a bench along the trail facing Dorena Lake Dam.

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IMG_7521Interpretive sign near the bench.

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A short distance beyond the bench we took a short detour down to the reservoir.
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Calapooya MountainsSnow in the Calapooya Mountains.

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IMG_7536White pelicans on the other side of Dorena Lake.

We returned to the Row River Trail and continued another half a mile to a small parking area at Row Point where we again detoured to the reservoir.
IMG_7547Still no rain despite the clouds.

IMG_7555Red-tailed hawk

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IMG_7568A kingfisher and a great blue heron.

White pelcians and other waterfowlPelicans and other waterfowl on the move.

IMG_7576Cerro Gordo from Row Point.

After visiting Row Point we continued east on the trail for another 1.3 miles before arriving at the Rat Creek Bridge which had been our turn around point on our previous hike.
IMG_7582Not much water at all in the eastern end of the reservoir.

IMG_7586A great blue heron on the far left with a bunch of white pelicans and cormorants.

IMG_7597Actual sunlight hitting the dam.

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IMG_7601Spotted towhee

IMG_7605Rat Creek Bridge

IMG_7606Rat Creek

It was a very different view from the bridge versus last time.
Dorena LakeJune 2020 from the Rat Creek Bridge.

We continued the short distance into Harms Park to use the facilities and take a short break at a picnic table and then started back.
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IMG_7614Gold tree in front of Cerro Gordo.

When we were nearing the dam again we could see a number of cormorants lining the boom.
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I decided to detour over to the dam itself to check out the view.
IMG_7618The little hill to the left provides access to the north end of the dam.

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Heather had semi-reluctantly followed me but as it turned out we were both very happy we’d made the short side trip. Along with the group of cormorants making use of the boom were 4 river otters.
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IMG_7626Just drying out.

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IMG_7645Trying to play.

IMG_7646No luck.

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After not having seen any otters during our hikes prior to 2021 this was now the 4th time we’d seen one but the first where we were able to watch them for any extended period. It elevated what had already been a good hike into the great category. After watching the otters for awhile we headed back to the Mosby Creek Trailhead keeping our eyes open for other wildlife along the way.
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IMG_7667Rabbit

IMG_7673American wigeons

IMG_7684Nature slowly reclaiming an old farm truck.

IMG_7689Red breasted sap sucker.

IMG_7695Mosby Creek

The hike came in a 12.4 miles after all of the little side trips with only about 150′ of elevation gain.

There are numerous possible starting/turnaround points which make it possible to break the trial up into several smaller sections and we passed a few people doing just that with their dogs/children. The rain showers never materialized making it a much more pleasant day than we’d expected to have and the variety of wildlife, especially the otters, was a great way to finish off our 2021 hikes. Happy Trails and Merry Christmas!

Flickr: Row River Trail – Mosby TH to Harms Park

Categories
Coastal Range Eugene Hiking Oregon Trip report Willamette Valley

Clay Creek Trail and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area – 11/20/2021

A dry forecast on my birthday provided a great excuse to head out on our November hike. We had an unusually loose plan for this outing which consisted of a stop at the Clay Creek Trail followed by a visit to the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area with a third possible stop at Meadowlark Prairie. While the 2 mile hike on the Clay Creek Trail was covered in Sullivan’s “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Oregon Coast & Coast Range” we had very little information on the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area. There was enough information available on line to know that it was open to hiking but it was unclear just how long of a hike was possible which is why we were keeping the option of Meadowlark Prairie on the table. The mostly paved 14 mile long Fern Ridge Path passes along Meadowlark Prairie on its way into Eugene, OR which would have provided some extra hiking time if we’d felt that we needed it.

We started our morning by driving to the BLM managed Clay Creek Recreation Site. The hike here is one of two hike Sullivan lists under his Siuslaw Ridge Trails entry (featured hike #65, 4th edition). We had done the other hike at nearby Whittaker Creek in 2016 (post) and while we considered that earlier hike enough to check off the featured hike from our list completed this second short hike would complete it. We parked at a small pullout on the south side of the Siuslaw River.
IMG_7207The trailhead sign for the Clay Creek Trail is ahead on the opposite side of the road.

It was a foggy morning, much like it had been on our earlier visit to the Wittaker Creek Recreation Area.
IMG_7209Siuslaw River

IMG_7211Clay Creek on the left emptying into the Siuslaw.

A short use trail led down to Clay Creek and a small gravel bench.
IMG_7213Stairs at the Clay Creek Recreation Area across the river.

After checking out the creek we walked the short distance up the road to the start of the trail. Sullivan described the hike as a 2 mile out and back but the map on the sign at the trailhead showed a lollipop loop. (Sullivan does mention the loop in his “Trail Updates” on oregonhiking.com.)
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The existence of the loop at the top was a pleasant surprise. We crossed Clay Creek on a footbridge and began the 600′ climb to the ridge top.
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IMG_7218The Clay Creek Trail climbing above Clay Creek.

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We passed a bench at the second swtichback and continued climbing to a junction 0.6 miles from the parking area.
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IMG_7225It’s hard to tell size here but the diameter of this tree was well over 5′.

IMG_7238The junction for the loop.

We turned right and continued to climb through the fog to the ridge top where the trail turned left.
IMG_7240One of several reroutes we encountered.

IMG_7243On the ridge top.

The trail passed several madrone trees before arriving at a bench at the high point of the ridge.
IMG_7245Madrone trunk and bark, always fascinating.

IMG_7246Lots of mushrooms pushing up through the forest floor.

IMG_7251Good sized trees near the high point.

IMG_7254No idea what you might see on a clear day.

The trail then began to descend to another bench at a switchback where the map indicated there was a view.
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IMG_7257

IMG_7258The viewpoint.

The trail continued switchbacking downhill while it wound back to the junction.
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Just before reaching the junction I nearly went head over heals trying to avoid stepping on a rough skinned newt that I spotted at the last minute.
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After having a one sided conversation with said newt we continued downhill to the car.
IMG_7271Nearing the footbridge.

IMG_7275The fog had lifted off the river at least.

While Sullivan indicates in his update that the loop makes this a 3.6 mile hike others still list it as 2 miles and both Heather and my GPS units logged 2 miles for the hike. Despite the fog not allowing for any view it was a pleasant little hike. Sullivan does also mention that the BLM is considering a $5 parking fee for the area in the future so be sure to check the BLM site before heading out.

We spent just over an hour on the Clay Creek Trail after driving over 2 hours to get there so a second stop was a must in order to not break our rule against spending more time driving than hiking. That’s where the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area came in. Located just west of Eugene the area consists of a dozen units broken up around Fern Ridge Reservoir. We had driven by the reservoir numerous times on the way to hike in the Coast Range and around Florence and seen signs for the wildlife area which had piqued at least my curiosity. After some online research it appeared that parking at the end of Royal Avenue between the Royal Amazon and Fisher Butte units was our best bet. The ODFW website mentions possible seasonal closures but finding detailed information on them wasn’t easy. I was eventually able to determine that these two units were open to the public from 10/16 thru 1/30 from until 2pm each day (presumably starting at sunrise). Even with the earlier hike we had arrived before 9:30am so we had plenty of time to explore. There is a $10 daily fee to park in the lots which is typical for ODFW wildlife areas (although it appeared most people simply parked along the shoulder of Royal Ave to avoid the fee).
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IMG_7277Note that Royal Ave and the trail to the viewing platform are open year around with the other restrictions listed below.

20211120_092412We took a picture of this map to assist us with our route.

From the signboard we continued on the gated extension of Royal Avenue. It was a lot foggier than we had expected so the visibility wasn’t good and it was in the mid 30’s so it was chilly too.
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We passed a grassy path leading to the viewing platform at the 0.4 mile mark.
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We opted to pass on the platform for now hoping that visibility would improve as the morning wore on and we could stop by on our way back. We continued on the old road bed watching for birds and any other animals that might be about.

IMG_7285White crowned sparrow

IMG_7289Northern harrier on the hunt.

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IMG_7301Wetlands in the Royal Amazon unit.

As we neared sub-impoundment one a large bird flew up from the reeds. It was our first encounter with an American bittern which was on my bucket list of animals we’d yet to see.
IMG_7302The bittern taking off.

IMG_7304Not the greatest photo but enough to identify it.

We turned right on a levy/old roadbed on the other side of the sub-impoundment and followed it for 0.7 miles to Gibson Island. The highlight of this stretch was a pair of bald eagles hanging out in a snag.
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IMG_7311A hawk on a stump.

IMG_7313American coots

IMG_7317Gibson Island (with the eagles in the snag to the far left)

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A short trail at the end of the levy led onto the island before petering out.
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We turned around and headed back to Royal Avenue where we turned right and continued west just to see how far we could go.
IMG_7351A flock of geese above the coots.

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IMG_7355There were a number of these small birds pecking around in the mud which, with some help from Molly in the comments, are American pipits.

IMG_7357Continuing west.

IMG_7360We used the stones to the right to cross the water here.

IMG_7361Great blue heron (with Highway 126 in the background).

DSCN1182Sandpiper in the roadway.

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IMG_7366End of the line.

We imagined that much of this stretch would be under water by late Winter/early Spring but we had managed to make make it 1.7 miles from the trailhead before being turned back. We headed back past sub-impound one to the grassy path near the viewing platform where we left the road bed.
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DSCN1203Seagull

DSCN1206Perhaps the same northern harrier.

DSCN1211The harrier taking a break.

IMG_7376The path to the platform.

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DSCN1218Dunlins (thanks again to Molly)

DSCN1222The platform.

From the platform dikes led west and south. Since we had just come from the west we decided to go south along a body of water in Field 5.
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IMG_7384The first signs that the fog/clouds might be breaking up.

IMG_7387Looking back at a little blue sky and a visible Gibson Island

We watched a group of shore birds as the alternate between foraging in the mud and performing areal acrobatics.
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A little over three quarters of a mile from the viewing platform we arrived at a 4-way junction.
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We turned left continuing around Field 5 for a third of a mile before arriving at a “T” junction just beyond a ditch.
IMG_7391Fisher Butte is the low hill ahead to the right.

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According to the map we’d taken a picture of at the trailhead continuing straight at the junction would lead us to the area’s boundary near Fisher Butte while the right hand path led past Field 2 to Field 1 and then to a parking area off Highway 126. We turned left walking between the ditch and Field 3.
IMG_7395Gibson Island was now lit by direct sunlight.

In another third of a mile we faced another choice. Another dike headed to the right (east) between Field 3 and Field 4.
IMG_7396The dike running between Fields 3 & 4.

IMG_7398Looking back over the ditch.

We opted to turn right having misread the map for the first time. For some reason we ignored the difference between the symbols for the dikes and boundary lines (although some online sights showed paths along the boundary lines). At first everything was fine as the dike gave way to a cut mowed track wrapping around Field 4 along the boundary. There was a pond in Field 4 where several species of ducks were gathered as well as a great blue heron and a kingfisher.
DSCN1248California scrub jay

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DSCN1262Northern shovelers and a bufflehead.

DSCN1266Buffleheads and two hooded merganser females.

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DSCN1286Kingfisher

DSCN1288American robin

After wrapping around the pond for half a mile the track we were following became increasingly muddy with standing water in areas. We were very close to a gravel road so we hopped onto it for a tenth of a mile where we were able to get back onto a grassy track at a signpost.
IMG_7404The gravel road and another small portion of the wildlife area on the other side.

DSCN1290Noisy geese.

IMG_7405Back on the mowed track.

We went straight here looking for a trail on the right that would leave us back to the parking area. The clouds were really breaking up now and lots of little birds were out enjoying the warmer weather.
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DSCN1291A sparrow

DSCN1295Spotted towhee and friend.

DSCN1300Finch

DSCN1302As of yet unidentified little bird.

We found what we were looking for, at least what we thought we were looking for and turned right on a clear trail that dropped down into a mowed field then mostly disappeared. We skirted along the edge of the field toward the parking area and as we neared the trailhead a clear trail emerged, or more like submerged. We followed the wet trail almost to the signboards near the trailhead where a ditch of standing water stood in our way. Our only choice (aside from backtracking) was to get wet so get wet (or wetter) we did. Luckily our hike was over and we had a change of socks and shoes waiting in the car. We finished hiking just before 1pm and managed to get a full 7 miles in while leaving parts of the area unexplored. It was nice to find another option in the valley that offered a potential destination when getting up into the mountains is possible. While we did hear occasional gun shots from hunters we only saw two duck hunters, but we also saw some families and bird watchers.
IMG_7410This path headed north from the trailhead, something to explore on our next visit.

Track at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

It was a good birthday hike and we were done early enough for my parents to treat us to a great birthday dinner at The Manilla Fiesta, a restaurant I’d been dying to try. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Clay Creek Trail and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area