Showing posts from August, 2012

Rock Creek Wilderness: No Trail, No Problem

I had been meaning to hike in the Rock Creek Wilderness for a few years, but nearly every time it came to mind it was Winter or Spring and knowing that there was no trail and only a creek to walk up, it would have to wait. Finally it crossed my mine in August to visit this trail-less, often forgotten Rock Creek Wilderness.

There is very little written on the Rock Creek Wilderness, other than the fact that it's a very important. It protects a now  rare ecosystem in Oregon, the native coastal rainforest. The majority of the Coast Range Mountains in Oregon have been logged and logged again over the past 150 years. The fact that any native forests remain is a miracle. Even before you start this hike you will know why the timber barons wanted to cut the native forests along the Oregon Coast. The predominate tree close to the coast is the Sitka Spruce, reaching 9 feet in diameter along Rock Creek. The Rock Creek Wilderness isn't signed, so you have to park at the very small Rock C…

Daly Lake: Perfection in the Old Cascades

While planning a somewhat long hike ( 46 miles) along the Old Cascades Crest trail system I came across Daly Lake on my map. Having a good feeling about the place I jumped on the computer and checked the Forest Service's website, usage was listed as heavy, so not expecting anything good I set out on a scouting trip for my longer hike.

While pulling up to the trailhead I was excited not to see any other vehicles. I set off on the short and wheelchair assessable trail to the lake. The sun was about to set so I got my little camp set up  before the sun was completely gone. Laying back near a fire with a beer in my hand watching the sun fade over Daly Lake reminded me why I love Cascadia so much. It was a perfect spot.

After another day at work I needed to get back into the woods. One of my good friends from my 2011 hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, Scarecrow was going to need a ride back to the trail and a few other friends wanted to spend the weekend camping; I knew the perfect sp…

Backpacking in Gearhart Mountain Wilderness

The Gearhart Mountain Wilderness is a strikingly beautiful and relatively isolated area. Located about 20 miles northeast of Bly, Oregon it's quite a drive from most major cities in Oregon. This makes it all the better, my girlfriend and I spent nearly three days in the Wilderness and didn't see anyone else. The road to the southern trailhead passes by the Mitchell Monument, which is the only location in the lower 48 states that Americans died from a Japanese attack during World War Two.

 The namesake of the wilderness lends it's name to the main trail through the wilderness. The Gearhart Trail runs for 13.5 miles from south to north. We started out at the Lookout or southern trailhead, it's at 6,300 feet so access is likely limited to July-October. The trail starts out with a gentle climb to the Palisades, which is a ten acre site of seemingly random rock outcroppings.

 Because of our relatively late start we decided to hike the half mile and find somewhere to camp …