Coastal Mountain Orchids, and a Colorful Snake too

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Gales Creek Trail

The previous weekend I had done an enjoyable 14-mile out-and-back hike on the Gales Creek Trail to Bells Camp Road on the crest of the Coastal Mountains. The trailhead was at the Gales Creek Campground on the east side of the mountains.

It dawned on me that I had never done the seven-mile out-and-back hike on the Gales Creek Trail to Bells Camp Road from the west side of the Coastal Mountains.

So, on a cool weekend day I drove to the Reehers Camp Trailhead west of Timber, a great name for a small logging town in Western Oregon.

The trail followed the Nehalem River for a ways before crossing the river and beginning the 1,500-foot climb to Bells Camp Road.

Many colorful wildflowers were in bloom, including spotted coral root orchids.

The trail was poorly marked, and I took an unintended four-mile detour on the Step Creek Loop Trail.

But, I figured out the problem, got back on the correct trail and finished the climb to the top.

A nice outing and not far from home. I expect I will be back.

Garter Snake

Trail crossing old, overgrown railroad track

Spotted Coral Root Orchid

Buttercups lining the trail near the Nehalem River

Big Garter Snake


Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags: , , ,


  1. It’s so green and beautiful!

    I just finished this book about evolution where the author casually referred to snakes as mobile digestive systems. A stomach sliding along on the floor.

  2. You are well ahead of our season in Alberta. Bunchberries are just now starting to put out tiny pale green blooms. No sign of of the spotted coralroot orchids either. Nice to look at what will be coming our way soon!

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