Showing posts from October, 2014

Waldo Lake Wilderness: Black Creek Trail

There are nearly 85 miles of trail that cross nearly every part of the Waldo Lake Wilderness, but the Black Creek trail is one of the best. After a short walk through an older plantation the forest quickly transitions to a very impressive forest dominated by ancient Douglas-fir nearly 7 feet in diameter and 250 feet tall. Forest like this once blanketed much of the Cascade Foothills, but have been since been clearcut repeatedly.

These trees can grow so large because of high levels of precipitation and rare occurrence of fire. The trail climbs gradually towards 150 foot Lilian Falls which is 1.3 miles down the trail. Lilian falls makes an excellent destination if you're short on time. To continue towards Waldo Lake veer left away from the falls onto a decidedly drier slope. The trail continues uphill, steeply at times until you reach Waldo Lake.
 After a couple of switchbacks the forest changes dramatically to one dominated by mountain hemlock and true fir with bear grass and huc…

Eastern Eagle Cap Wilderness: Blue Hole

Few areas in Cascadia are as beautiful as the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The Wallowa Mountains along with Wallowa Lake are fairly well known, but on the east side of Oregon's largest Wilderness lies the headwaters of the Imnaha River. The trailhead is located at the beautiful Indian Crossing Campground, which straddles both sides of the Imnaha River.

There were several people camping at Indian Crossing, they were there for the first weekend of elk season. After setting out we came across one guy returning empty handed. The first section of trail follows an old roadbed while passing several cabins. As you near the sign welcoming you to the Eagle Cap Wilderness the scenery improves dramatically.

  There are several small springs along the trail which make things fairly muddy, even in a dry year like this. Shortly before reaching the side trail to Blue Hole there is a fairly extensive camp area.

If it were later in the day we may have taken a dip at Blue Hole, but it was only in the 4…