A Wild Orchid on Wildcat Mountain

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Wildcat Mountain

Due to the coronavirus, many of the popular trailheads are closed. Thankfully, I know many obscure trails in the region. And, I’ve been returning to them more often.

Most of the potential outings in the Coastal Mountains are on logging roads. Many of the roads are closed by a gate, but accessible by hikers. And, because they are roads, it is easy to maintain six feet of distance from other hikers, if there are other hikers.

In mid-April, I returned to the 10-mile out-and-back hike to the top of Wildcat Mountain. I was surprised to see how many wildflowers were in bloom, including orchids and lilies.

Calypso Orchid

As I steadily climbed, there were many salmonberries and dogwoods in bloom. The closest things to wild critters were a ruffed grouse that erupted out of the brush and one rough-skinned newt looking for a mate.

After arriving at a large rock quarry, I climbed a steep road to the summit.

There was a nice view of the little town of Buxton far below, and vistas extending all the way to the Willamette Valley.

A nice outing indeed.

Small town of Buxton from the summit of Wildcat

Red-flowering Currant and a Trillium that has seen its better days

A pleasant stretch of “trail”

Rough-skinned Newt

Abandoned logging roads are soon overgrown in the rain forest

Salmonberry and Dogwood

Springboard slot in old stump

Fairy Lanterns (wild lily) and Oregon Grape


Wood Strawberry and Vanilla Leaf

Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags: , ,


  1. I like the newer look, John, with the photos organized and placed within the narrative. Bery nice design.

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