Showing posts from July, 2014

Mount Jefferson Wilderness: Jack Lake to Wasco Lake

Jack Lake is an incredibly popular trailhead for good reason. The primary draw of this area is the Canyon Creek Trail, which leads to a breathtaking meadow below the northeast side of Three Finger Jack. Wasco Lake is worthy destination for a short overnight hike into the Mount Jefferson Wilderness.

After a short distance on the trail you will come to the relatively shallow, but beautiful Jack Lake. There are a few large and popular campsites along the eastern shore of the lake. Continue through the campsites and you will make your way north of Jack Lake to the first trail junction. Keep right at both junctions.

At the second trail junction you will have to cross Canyon Creek. There are several large rocks that have been placed to facilitate an easy crossing, but during high water it could be shady. Not long after crossing Canyon Creek you will begin your decent towards the Wasco Lake Basin. 
 On the north shore of Wasco Lake there are several overused campsites. No more than two di…

Browder Ridge to Heart Lake Trail

Near the junction of Highway 126 and Highway 20 lies Browder Ridge. Old-growth western hemlock, Douglas-fir and Alaska cedar blanket all slopes of the ridge. One can hike this trail from west to east, east to west or arrange a shuttle. In my opinion this hike is best done from the eastern trailhead at Gate Creek. As we set out up the trail I was quickly reminded how steep this section of the trail is, nearly 1400 feet in just less than 2 miles. The impressive and ever-changing forest gives you the sense of being far from any roads and helps dull the pain in your calves.

As you reach the first clearing the forest gives way to an impressive view of the new Cascades. During the early summer months there is a series of breathtaking wildflower displays that rival the more famous and nearby Iron Mountain. In the second meadow there is an epic campsite that would provide for an absolutely incredible sunrise. There are only two drawbacks to camping here, one being that there is no water, the …