A Hike in an Old-Growth Forest


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Salmon-Huckleberry Area

A mid-April morning found me at the 2,000-foot Eagle Creek Trailhead about 30 miles southeast of Portland as the crow flies. In the first mile the Trail lost 500 feet of elevation following an old logging road before reaching the valley floor.

All the signs of early spring were evident with yellow skunk cabbage, red salmonberry, white trillium and the small white blooms of wood sorrel scattered along the way.

Red-flowering Currant

In the next mile the Trail entered the wilderness. What a change, from an old clear-cut to an old-growth rainforest.

Some of the cedars and Douglas firs were six to eight feet or more across at their bases. Under the old-growth canopy it was akin to walking through a park with little underbrush save for the ferns.

In three miles there was a nice camping area next to Eagle Creek. I had originally planned to hike three more miles to the end of the trail, but a stream near the camping area was too high to ford safely. (A valuable lesson I learned long ago is that fording creeks is one of the most dangerous activities for solo hikers in wilderness situations.)

Walking down to Eagle Creek, I ate a light snack while deeply enjoying the solitude.

Upper trail leading through a thicket of Alders

Large Douglas Fir that began life on a nursery stump

Trillium Lilies

Old footbridge on the trail

One of many small streams along the way

Salmonberry, Echo Azure and Skunk-cabbage

Keeping trails open in Old-growth Forest is an endless task

Huge Old-Growth Douglas Firs along the trail

Unmarked trailhead – – – the trail begins on left side of stump

 

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags:

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