Lush old-growth forest along the banks of the Salmon River. Trout lilies (they get their name from the spots on the leaves) by the hundreds, delicate calypso orchids, saxifrage hanging on the sides of wet cliffs and multitudes of other wildflowers adding color to the valley floor.
The Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness southwest of Mt. Hood draws me to its beautiful area several times a year. Wildcat Mountain, Huckleberry Mountain, Devils Peak and Salmon Butte are typical destinations. The last time I hiked near the Salmon River it was as a 16-mile loop over Devils Peak and down the Green Canyon Way.
Not this day. I turned back after hiking 5 1/4 miles to Goat Creek. It was a little too high to safely ford alone.
Nonetheless, the hike made for a fine outing on a dark, drizzly day. And, with its 1,300 feet of cumulative elevation gain, it provided some enjoyable exercise too.