On a sunny morning I was looking forward to a mid-May conditioning hike in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. One month ago I had done another conditioning hike nearby, the climb up Hunchback Mountain to Great Pyramid.
Unlike Hunchback, the Boulder Ridge Trail to Huckleberry Mountain is better maintained. And, the views on the top of Huckleberry Mountain are spectacular from the open summit area.
I was surprised to learn it had been seven years since I last took this route to the 4,300-foot summit of Huckleberry Mountain. I summit the mountain every year, but have been taking the fun Bonanza Mine route or the overgrown Plaza Trail interconnection from Wildcat Mountain the last few years. All three routes are roughly 12 miles round trip and over 3,000 feet of elevation gain.
As I was sitting in a field of purple phlox, soaking up the warm sunshine and admiring the magnificent view of Mt. Hood, I couldn’t help but notice the eclectic mix of trees in the summit area. They were mainly noble fir, but mixed in were mountain hemlock, lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and a red cedar or two. To add to the mix, just below the summit I had seen slide alder and Sitka mountain ash.
I thought to myself while sitting near the summit, this is why I enjoy hiking.