Fourteen Miles of Mud and Wild Orchids

In early April my destination was the eastern foothills of the Coastal Mountains.

A 14-mile up-and-down trail travels around Henry Hagg Lake, the impoundment behind Scoggins Valley Dam.

There are five creeks flowing into the 2 1/2-mile long reservoir, providing outstanding habitat for song birds, wildflowers, blacktail deer and butterflies.

Early colorful wildflowers were strutting their stuff. And, to my delight, calypso orchids were in bloom.

People from all over the world come to the Columbia River Gorge to see calypso orchids (fairy slippers} in early spring. If you would like to do the same, take the Mitchell Point turnoff from I-84 and explore the area to the west.

By May the orchids should be ubiquitous in the shaded forest duff throughout the central Gorge.

Or, you can follow my lead and enjoy a wonderful hike around Henry Hagg Lake.

Calypso Orchid (about the size of a fingernail)

Reasonably dry stretch of trail

A more typical muddy stretch of trail

Indian Plum

Faint rainbow over the Lake

Great Blue Heron

Logging truck (good to see a combination of jobs and a great place to hike)

One of many muddy stretches of trail

Calypso Orchid (ISO 2,500)

Henry Hagg Lake

Trillium (wild Lily)






Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags: , , ,

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