A Welcome Return to the Bull Of the Woods Wilderness

What a difference a week makes.

The week before I was hiking on the east side of the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. It was a hot and humid day with lots of haze from wildfires, and much of the area was the site of a 2010 wildfire. I literally couldn’t drink enough water to stay hydrated.

The second Saturday of September found me on the west side of the 59-square-mile Wilderness. It was cool and drizzly with low-lying clouds. I relished it!

The summit of 4,969-foot Whetstone Mountain was my objective. It’s a relatively easy 2 1/2 mile climb to the top. The trail passes through old-growth forest along the way.

On the lower part of the trail there were some very large Douglas firs. Near the top it turned to a sub-alpine fir and mountain hemlock forest. Both sections were very enjoyable.

There was fresh bear sign but I never spotted any bears. But, I did see an elk and two bunches of blue grouse.

It was a wonderful day in the woods. And, like the previous week’s hike in the Bull of the Woods, I didn’t see another person on the trail.

Well-camouflaged young Blue Grouse


Near the summit of Whetstone Mountain

Small pond along the lower trail

Old-growth, sub-alpine forest along the upper trail (a wildfire waiting to happen)

Large old-growth Douglas Firs along the lower trail

Blue Grouse on the run

Blue skies leaving the trailhead


Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: