Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rogue Gorge - Mill Creek Falls Scenic Area - McGregor Park

After a week of living in the fog - otherwise known as "the inversion layer" - we were  beginning to go stir crazy.  Especially since the forecast is for another week of  the same.

So to avoid catching cabin fever, we took Katie and jumped in our car (not literally) and headed north on highway 62.  By the time we hit the town of Shady Cove we actually saw sunshine - that missing element for the last week.

Our first stop was the Rogue Gorge Viewing Area just past Union Creek.  Since the road to the parking lot was still very icy, we parked along highway 62 and walked our way to the trail.  Katie especially enjoyed this part as she rolled and rolled in the snow and ice.  We think she may have just enjoyed spending all the time in the parking lot!
The parking lot for the Rogue Gorge Viewing area

The actual trail along the  Rogue Gorge was VERY ICY!  Katie used her 4-paw drive, but Glenn and Carol were left to very slow going on two feet.  At times we just held the railing and slid along the trail. The viewpoints though were awesome. We have never been to this area during the winter with snow and we're glad we made the trip today.

Part of the trail along the Rogue Gorge - very icy!!

Waterfalls along the Rogue Gorge

View of Rogue River downstream along the trail

We then drove back down highway 62 and stopped at the Mill Creek Falls Scenic Area.  A short trail hike took us to the Avenue of the Boulders, an area along the Rogue River where as the name implies, there are LARGE boulders.  This portion of the Rogue River has numerous small waterfalls due to the boulders, some with icicles as a winter accent.  We then hiked another short trail which led to viewpoints of Mill Creek and Barr Creek Falls.  Mill Creek Falls was especially full of rushing water while Barr Creek Falls had icicles all along it's descent and a snow pack at the base.
Residents along the Avenue of the Boulders

Waterfalls along Rogue River at Avenue of the Boulders

Mill Creek Falls

Barr Creek Falls

Back onto highway 62 we made one last stop at McGregor Park, which is just below Lost Creek Lake. Although the visitor center is closed, there is a short interpretive nature trail at the park.  This trail is often used by schools for field trips and includes views of a beaver den and Great Blue Heron nests.  We did not see either resident, but the trail was nice and easy with views of the Rogue River.  We hope to return to this trail sometime from February - April when the Great Blue Herons are nesting.

Bridge along interpretive trail at McGregor Park

Rogue River

Well all good things must come to an end and so we headed back home.  Our goal today was to get out and hike and to find some sunshine during winter.  So on both notes we were successful.

Since this is our last posting of 2013, we want to wish each of you a very Happy New Year!!!  We appreciate each of you who have followed our blog over the past year and enjoyed reading your comments.

We also want to say a very big THANK YOU to those of you who have listed our blog on your website and exposed us (in a good way) to others.  Also a big THANK YOU to the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club for letting us join you this past year on a hike at Applegate Lake.  We really enjoyed your group and hope to hike with you again in 2014.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol