Showing posts from May, 2014

Ochoco National Forest: Payten Trail to Big Ford

After several trips out to Ochoco National Forest last summer I was determined to get back again this year. One of my favorite sections of the Ochoco Mountain Loop was down the Payten Trail to Big Ford. The relatively high starting point of the trail means that you will be walking downhill nearly all the way to camp, which is a blessing and a curse. 

The Black Canyon Wilderness is an incredibly beautiful place and being that it is several hours from any major population centers, you will likely find yourself alone out here. Because we ended up going out on Memorial Day weekend, we came across two other backpackers and two local day hikers. It was only a short 4 miles or so down to Big Ford, so in the morning we weren't in a hurry. There was one other vehicle near the trailhead, but they didn't seem to be into hiking.

This trail is still only somewhat built and as you descend there are many wood stakes the were placed to mark the future trail. It seems somewhat tacky to leave…