Showing posts from September, 2012

Marys Peak Oregon: East Ridge Trail

Last Winter a good friend and I attempted to hike to the summit of Marys Peak, but our hike never happened. We barely made it 2 miles down Marys Peak road before we were turned back by about 2 feet of fresh snow. I'm now attending Oregon State University, so naturally I wanted to end my first week of classes with an awesome hike. Marys Peak was the logical decision.

Having looked at the Forest Service's website and seeing that usage was high I figured that it would be similar to Mount Pisgah near Eugene. Not to take anything away from Mount Pisgah, but I generally don't like to see more than one or two other people on my hikes.  This made it even more surprising when I showed up at the East Ridge trailhead and there was only two other cars. I was even more impressed by the forest.

Having only glanced online about this area I knew that it was both the highest point in the Oregon Coast Range and Benton County. Also I noted that there is a road all the way to the top along …

One Year Later: Mount Thielsen

September 18, 2011 I was nearly 2000 miles into my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. During this day we had incredible views of Mount Thielsen all day, I ended up having dinner along Thielsen Creek, Ramen with bacon. After trying to figure out a good place to backpack for my birthday my girlfriend suggested we summit Mount Thielsen, it wasn't something I had thought to do, because I assumed it would require actual rock climbing. While looking around on the web I came across a few not so inspiring tales of people falling and being seriously injured while attempting the summit. With that being said this hike should only be attempted by those who have extensive outdoor experience and even though it's a short hike make sure you're prepared to stay the night.

There are a few different routes one can take to summit Mount Thielsen, but the normal day hiking route begins at a large parking lot trailhead along Highway 138. There is a 5 dollar day use fee, permits are sold at …

Barefoot Hiking in Deschutes National Forest: Black Butte

Something that I haven't mentioned in any of my previous hiking posts is that I hike in Vibram Fivefingers. Whether it's a short day hike or a multiple day backpacking trip Fivefingers are my go to shoes. Depending on how rocky or hot the trail is I will often not wear shoes at all. On my drive to Black Butte I decided that this was going to be my first completely barefoot hike since I left Hawai'i in 2010.

One benefit of barefoot hiking that I have noticed is seeing a lot more big game. Even on this heavily used trail I saw a few deer before they ran into the brush. Other hikes have had similar results. Black Butte is a landmark that I have passed many times on trips through the Cascades and until recently I had never thought to hike it. I had limited time and was craving some epic views and Ponderosa Pine forests, so Black Butte sounded like the perfect hike.

Shortly after you begin the climb you will switchback out of the relatively cool Pine forest and into an open h…

Redwood Creek to Tall Trees Grove: Backpacking Redwood National Park

The Redwood Coast of northern California has always been a special place to me, I still remember my first trip there with my parents when I was 11 years old. In the last 2 years I have made the pilgrimage many times and checked out great trails in Jedediah Smith State Park, Prairie Creek State Park and Redwood National Park. Nearly all of my adventures in the Redwoods have been in the dead of Winter, both to avoid crowds and because it happened to be when I could make it there. Backpacking to the Tall Trees Grove via the Redwood Creek trail has been on my list for a long time, but because I was always here in winter it wasn't possible. This year I was able to make it down here and to top it off there wasn't even a cloud in the sky for two days.

After loading the car up we set out for the five and half hour drive to Redwood National Park. We arrived from Eugene at the visitors center along Highway 199 around 3:00 pm. After some confusion by the volunteer working she gave me …