Wilderness Solitude


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.

Bonanza Mine shaft

Bonanza Mine shaft

Yes that's the trail (overgrown with Salal and Rhodies)

Yes, that’s the trail (overgrown with Salal and Rhody bushes)

I snuck up very close to this Blacktail Doe (since it was do dark due to the rainstorm, many of the photos were shot at an ISO oft 5000)

I sneaked up very close to this Blacktail Doe (since it was so dark due to the rainstorm, many of the photos were shot at an ISO of 5,000)

It was s stormy day!

It was s stormy day!

A Blacktail Doe hiding from me

A Blacktail Doe “hiding” from me

Cheeney Creek

Cheeney Creek

The Wilderness signposts have been long neglected

The Wilderness signposts have been long neglected

A skiff of fresh snow on the trail

A skiff of fresh snow on the trail

 

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Wow John, thank you I have always wanted to go to this mine but struggled to even find it. This is a next best option. If all works out tomorrow a bunch of folks and I will be taking in Storey Burn based on your last posting.

    Geoff

    Like

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