An April Visit to the Kinzel Mine in the Badger Creek Wilderness


I always enjoy hiking to the old Kinzel Mine in the Badger Creek Wilderness. In late April I returned again.

A handful of blacktail deer and one elk were spotted, but only one deer was a “poser”.

This is about the most enjoyable mid-elevation hike around. A portion of the trail follows the burbling stream along the valley bottom, reaching the remains of the Kinzel Cabin near a pleasant campsite after four miles.

Nearby is the old Kinzel mine shaft entering the canyon wall for about 80 feet. I’ve never been brave enough to explore the mine by myself.

After a tough ascent to the top of the ridge (a 1,000-foot elevation gain in a little over one-half mile), the trail continues to climb to over a mile high at its upper end where it meets the Divide Trail. But, this time the deep snow stopped me with less than two miles to go.

On the return hike, I enjoyed the wild orchids, lilies, butterflies and open vistas from the upper trail.

Amazingly enough on such a beautiful Saturday, I saw no one else on the trail for the eight hours of my outing.

Dogwood

Dogwood

Old Kinzel cabin

Old Kinzel cabin

Orange-tip Butterfly

Orange-tip Butterfly (seen its better days)

Blacktail Deer carcass (likely a cougar kill)

Blacktail Deer carcass (likely a cougar kill)

Blacktail Deer sneaking away from me

Blacktail Deer hasn’t seen me yet

Calypso Orchids

Calypso Orchids

Flowering Red Currant

Flowering Red Currant

Old Kinzel mine shaft

Old Kinzel mine shaft

Western Oak Duskywing Butterfly

Western Oak Duskywing Butterfly

Colorful section of the lower trail

Colorful section of the lower trail

Time to turn around

Time to turn around

Larkspur

Larkspur

Into the wilderness

Into the wilderness

Trillium

Trillium

Many blowdowns over the trail

One of many blowdowns over the trail

Balsamroot

Balsamroot

 

 

 

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , , ,

6 comments

  1. Enjoy reading about your colorful hikes.

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  2. Oh how I enjoyed this hike, John. The deer and carcass, so many wildflowers, wild orchids and trillium, ah, so rich. i love the single dogwood bloom. In the beginning when you talked about the old cabin and mine shaft, I had pictured something else in my mind (more of a cabin, more of a mine shaft). So I loved it when we came to them, and they were so much a part of the earth now. Lovely hike, thank you.

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  3. Wonderful images of Spring in the mountains! Never heard of the mine. Great explorations, as usual!

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