Talk about solitude. I spent 7 1/2 hours hiking in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness and saw not one other person. Amazing!
Although, no one ever said it was an easy hike. And, the rain never let up until it turned to snow in the higher elevations.
The Bonanza trail gets little use and very little maintenance. In places it almost disappears. Isn’t that what a Wilderness outing should be like?
The first 1 1/2 miles stayed in the Cheeney Creek Valley and was mainly a nice but wet walk through the alders by the Creek. The next mile climbed the western canyon wall to the old abandoned Bonanza Mine.
The mine shaft was six-foot tall, extending a long way into the mountain. I had been told in the past about other mine shafts in the area, but it was too wet and slippery to explore this day.
After a tough, steep three-mile climb, the 4,300-foot summit of Huckleberry Mountain was reached. In the summer the alpine area would be strewn with wildflowers of every color and Mt. Hood would have dominated the skyline. Not today – – – the heavy snowfall and cold wind obscured everything. I quickly turned around and headed back.
No cell phone coverage, no other people and a trail little unchanged from the late 19th century – – – life doesn’t get much better.