Friday, July 12, 2013

Iron Mountain

Hiked the Iron Mountain loop on Friday. Great weather, cool in the shady forests and good vistas from the observation point. There was a good diversity of wildflowers, although the recent spell of dry weather had taken its toll. Some were already setting seed and others were just not in extravagant numbers. Still nice, but a shade past the peak. Still, a moderate display here is comparable to a fantastic display in some other areas.

We hiked up the east side to Cone Peak, then across to Iron Mountain and up to the observation deck. On the way down, we crossed Highway 20 and hiked the Santiam Wagon Road trail back to Tombstone Pass. About a 6.8 mile loop, although my GPS conked out at one point and underestimated the mileage...

At the summit


The Metolius

Hiked the Metolius River loop a couple of days ago. Beautiful weather, crystal water, flowers popping, birds a-singing. Accessed the trail via a fisherman's spur about 1 mile upstream of the Wizard Falls Hatchery. Hiked along the east side to Lower Bridge Campground, then crossed over to the west side trail and back to the parking spot; made about an 8.4 mile loop.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

North Pyramid Trail

Hiking the North Pyramid Trail from the Parish Lake Road is a great way to gain the high peaks and views of the surrounding mountains. The forest of Douglas and noble fir, western hemlock and Alaskan yellow cedar provides a lot of shade on the uphill. Though the views are few along the trail, Scar Mountain stands out in particular. Once the saddle between North and Middle Pyramid is reached, the views begin to open up of Jefferson, Washington, Three-Fingered Jack. A short trail leads up to the summit of Middle Pyramid and then the views are incredible - from Mt. Adams southward. Unfortunately, haze and scattered clouds blocked the view to the far south, but Iron Mountain, Cone Peak and the Three Sisters were clearly visible.

Although the wildflowers were subtle, there were great patches of bunchberry, windflower, penstemon and buckwheat along the trail.

Scar Mountain from the North Pyramid trail


Summit of Middle Pyramid looking south towards South Pyramid