Browder Ridge to Heart Lake Trail
|Edward looking out at the Three Sisters|
|Old-growth Douglas-fir and western hemlock line most of the lower section|
|Mount Jefferson looms to the northeast of Browder Ridge|
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 other being that the area is a sensitive meadow. Not trampling vegetation as you make your way to the camp is definitely a challenge, but not impossible. This campsite is at approximately 3.2 miles from the Gate Creek trailhead.
|Wildflowers in the first meadow along the Browder Ridge Trail|
|Campsite about 3.2 miles in on the Browder Ridge Trail|
|There was still a couple of small snow patches|
|Myself next to a really strange mountain hemlock|
Directions from Sweet Home to Gate Creek Trailhead: Follow Highway 20 east for approximately 40 miles, turn right onto Hackleman Creek road. Follow for 1.7 miles, turn right onto Forest Road 1598, and follow for 2.8 miles to the signed trailhead.
Hike Distance: 8.2 miles round trip
Hike Type: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 1800 Feet
Trailhead Elevation: 3600 Feet
Difficulty: 4 out of 5