A Return to the Bull Of the Woods Wilderness

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Whetstone Mountain

It was a hot sunny day on the west side of the 59-square-mile Bull of the Wood Wilderness. I was the only one at the trailhead.

The summit of 4,969-foot Whetstone Mountain was my objective, the site of a long-removed wildfire lookout facility.

It should have been a relatively easy 2 1/2 mile climb to the top. But, it had been a long time since there had been any trail maintenance. Big sections of the trail were so overgrown I couldn’t see my feet. I suspect the lower trail will be closed in several more years.

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

To my surprise, there were ripe huckleberries to munch on. I’m guessing this is going to be a banner year for wilderness berries.

Ripening Huckleberry

Cascade Lily

Mt. Jefferson from the summit of Whetstone Mountain

California Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Turtle Heads

Edith’s Checkerspot Butterfly

Small pond along the trail

Orange Agoseris

Cat’s-ear Lily

Field of wildflowers near summit

Mt. Jefferson

Honeybee on a thistle

Trailhead sign

Plume of Beargrass


Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags:


  1. What lovely pictures of the wildlife and wildflowers. I love the honeybee on a thistle!

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