Showing posts from July, 2013

Ochoco Mountain Trail: Rock Creek to Cottonwood Creek

Recently a few friends and I made the drive out to backpack on the Rock Creek Trail. When we arrived at the trailhead there was a map posted that showed a trail I had never heard of, the Ochoco Mountain Trail. The mileage wasn't listed and I wasn't sure what the terrain would be like, but it sparked my interest. Fast forward a few weeks, two of were back at the Rock Creek Trailhead to hike the 42 mile loop.

After a short first day we made it to the campsite that we had used on our out and back hike of the Rock Creek Trail. We planned to hike anywhere from 15-20 miles per day, but didn't really have any particular site in mind for the next campsite. So we set out early towards Spanish Peak. After missing the junction with the Rim Trail we ended up walking along the Waterman Ditch for an extra mile before stopping for a map check. This set us back slightly, but wasn't a huge deal. Keep in mind that if you have hit the campsite in the saddle you need to backtrack to fin…

Ochoco National Forest: Rock Creek Trail

Between Highway 26 and Highway 380 near the geographic center of Oregon rises a beautiful and unique mountain range. The Ochoco Mountains are unlike any other place in Oregon, there is a mix of forest and weather that is full of surprises. The Ochoco National Forest has the luxury of being far away from major population centers, which means you will often be alone while exploring. The Rock Creek Trail follows closely by Rock Creek until it reaches an old mining diversion ditch.

Being a tree nerd I always love to see trees that aren't found in western Oregon, the western larch is one of those. This tree is a deciduous conifer, meaning that it bears cones and loses it's leaves (needles) every year. During the spring and fall they add another dimension of color to the forest. Once you reach the Waterman Ditch there is a small interpretive sign. Not long after starting to walk along the ditch you will come to the remains of a cabin. This cabin was likely used by some of those wh…