Felt like the Stampers, I did. Hiking in the Coastal Mountains always reminds me of Ken Kesey’s ode to the old-time logging families in Sometimes a Great Notion. Without a doubt, it is rough country. By the way, if you have never read Kesey’s excellent book, I highly recommend it. The movie made of the book with Henry Fonda has some great photography of the Coastal Mountains too.
Facing a cloudy, gloomy New Years Eve, I decided to hike on the snowy crest of the Coastal Range west of home. I parked next to a closed gate near Highway 6 and began hiking the 3/4’s mile to the trailhead. Off I went on the muddy trail along Gales Creek for less than one mile before turning onto the Storey Burn Trail. As the Trail began gaining elevation, it passed Slide Falls and many small tributary creeks. Soon I crossed Storey Burn Road and began descending on the west slopes of the Coastal Mountains to a path underneath Highway 6. In a short distance I crossed (more like waded) the boggy flats by the Devil Fork of the Wilson River. Turning left I began the ascent on a nice hiking trail to Roger’s Pass. From there it was a two-mile jaunt on a well-maintained trail through the second-growth forest to the original trailhead and to my car.
All in all the pleasant hike was 9.5 miles in length with 1,700 feet of elevation gain. It was a good way to see many sword ferns, alders, maples, second-growth Douglas firs, a few hemlock trees and fresh snow.