Badger Creek Wilderness at its Springtime Best

Welcome to John Carr Outdoors! 

Please visit the blog and follow. The follow button can be found at the bottom of the page. 

If you are seeing this on Facebook, click the link to visit the blog to see all of the photos.

School Canyon Trail

I have written about hiking to the old Kinzel Mine in the Badger Creek Wilderness several times in the past. The mine is near Little Badger Creek.The area draws me back once or twice a year.

In late May and for a change of pace, I began the hike from the School Canyon Trailhead, about 600 feet above the start of the Little Badger Creek Trail. It meant I wouldn’t see the Kinzel Mine, but it would provide some new territory to see.

After about 3 1/2 miles the School Canyon Trail intersected the Little Badger Creek Trail. From there I hiked the final 3 1/2 miles to the 5,400-foot end of the Little Badger Creek Trail.

This is a very enjoyable mid-elevation hike. As the lower trail climbed to Ball Point and circled to the north, the area was literally a wildflower garden.  By the time the upper trail approached the end, it was still winter with areas of the trail covered by one to two feet of snow.

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

Mule Deer

Glacier Lily

One-room schoolhouse in Friend, Oregon, on the drive to the trailhead (built in 1909)

Old trail blaze in a mature Ponderosa Pine (it wasn’t a very well marked trail)

Trail coming down the side of Ball Point

Lots of deadfalls over the lower trail due to a wildfire several years ago

Trillium along the upper trail

Ball Point

Upper end of trail with some snow remaining on the ground

Wildflower bouquet




Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , ,


  1. Beautiful views! I love the one room schoolhouse…..makes me about what it must have been like to make that trek to school and have to teach children of different ages. Love the wildflower bouquet – so bright and colorful!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: