A Wet Slog in a Wilderness Gem


On a cold, rainy day I hiked in a hidden gem of an old-growth forest. The trail followed the Siouxon (rhymes with Tucson) Creek for four miles before I was stopped by a thirty-foot wide creek covering the trail. This wilderness area is only 40 miles from home as the crow flies, but receives close to three times Portland’s annual precipitation. It has never been logged.

The Trail along Siouxon Creek meandered through a beautiful rainforest with multiple waterfalls, many ferns, moss and lichen on the trees, a few scattered old-growth cedars and Douglas firs, and mature hemlock trees galore. In places the trail was literally covered with the soft, small cones of the hemlocks. But, it had been raining a lot in the last several weeks and there was an immense amount of snow melt due to warmer temperatures at higher elevations. All of the small creeks of summer had turned to raging torrents. I forded several streams over one foot deep and waded through many marshy areas near Siouxon Creek. By the time I reached my turning around point (caused by a creek so swollen that I could not safely ford it), I had taken on the appearance of a drowned rat with very wet feet. Oh well, a small price to pay for such an interesting outing. All in all the hike was eight miles in length with 900 feet of elevation gain.

Trek Tip 7: Do not hike in the woods without a quality knife with a very sharp blade. It can literally save your life.

Cascade over trail

Trail passing through old-growth forest, mainly hemlock trees

One of many streams to wade

The nearly-impassible valley floor of the old-growth forest

Woe is me – – – another stream to ford

Moss, lichen, ferns and several hardwood trees somehow getting enough sunlight to survive

Yep, that’s the trail under about one foot of water

Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , ,

2 comments

  1. Green, green everywhere.

    I miss the green sometimes.

    Like

  2. i still get so amazed at the beauty around us here…thanks for sharing

    Like

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