Thursday, October 30, 2014

Upper Rogue River Trail

The Upper Rogue River trail is 47.1 miles long and stretches from the Mt Mazama Viewpoint to the Prospect Reservoir Park.  Over the years we have hiked various sections and decided to complete one more section before the winter snows arrive.
This trail sign has seen better days
We started at the Mt Mazama Viewpoint trailhead located off highway 62. Our plan was to hike all the way to Rough Rider Falls & back, a little over 9 miles.  About 3 years ago we hiked the other half of this section from Hamaker Campground to Rough Rider Falls. Today's hike would complete another section of the trail for us.

The first half mile was a steady descending trail into sparsely wooded forests due to the volcanic soil.  Trees were down on the ground everywhere except across the trail (for now).  We came to the Boundary Springs Trail intersection but continued on the Upper Rogue River trail.  We have hiked the Boundary Springs Trail a few times and highly recommend it. Not only it is a beautiful hike, but it gives you the chance to see where the Rogue River begins as water gushes out of the rocks -literally!

Downed trees were everywhere at the beginning of our hike
The next few miles took us up and down through various wooded areas and also brought us within view and sound of the Rogue River.  However, the river soon dropped away as we climbed up and along the ridge that follows the Upper Rogue Canyon. We had some amazing views as the trail brought us to very edge of the canyon numerous times.  We kept a close eye on our dog Katie since the canyon drops over 200 feet to the river.
Upper Rogue River Canyon - a long ways down!
We hiked many more ups and downs along the trail before we started one final steady descent, entering into the woods towards the river and Rough Rider Falls.  After hiking in the open sunshine area along the canyon rim, this portion of the trail was the exact opposite as it was shaded, dark and much cooler in temperature.

The upward view was also amazing!
As we descended we began encountering fallen trees across the trail.  Some were difficult to navigate due to their size and the narrowness of  the trail.  We decided to stop for a lunch break in the shaded area next to the river.  As we looked ahead, the trail had many more down trees and since we did not hear the falls, we decided to make this our turn-around spot.

Katie working it to get some jerky during our lunch break
Although we did not get to the see Rough Rider falls on this hike, we included a picture of the falls from our 2011 hike below for your viewing pleasure.

Rough Rider falls in 2011
It is always interesting to see a trail in a different direction and so on our return hike we were treated to new views of the river and canyon.  We did meet and talk to a few other groups of hikers as we neared the Mt Mazama viewpoint area and arrived tired after almost 5 hours of hiking uphill both ways....this time it is true!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

P.S. In addition to the Upper Rogue River hike, we have hiked numerous times at the Jacksonville Woodland Trails and also at Valley of the Rogue State Park enjoying the Autumn colors.  We are fast approaching the 300 mile mark for the year (276 currently), an amount that a few years ago seemed impossible to hike within one year.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

One Last Summer Fling - Brookings and The Stout Grove Trail

As summer was nearing it's end here in Southern Oregon, our nephew Dylan from Southern California came up to visit and check out some local colleges.  Since Dylan enjoys hiking, which of late has included Mt Whitney and Half Dome, we thought it best to get him out onto a few trails here in Oregon.

Since most of the weekdays were taken up with work and Dylan scouting out the schools, our first chance to hike with him was the last Saturday and Sunday of Summer.  On Saturday we took Dylan to nearby Upper Table Rock and hiked to the summit and back.  Dylan had hiked Lower Table Rock on previous visits,  so upon completion of this hike he had completed the Southern Oregon Double Crown.
Dylan preparing for the ascent up the Upper Table Rock trail

We hiked in the morning to beat the heat and hiked around the entire loop at the top to take in the views of the surrounding valley.  Upon our descent Dylan decided to jog down the trail.   Oh to be young!

The 3 Amigos at the top of Upper Table Rock

On Sunday we were joined by our son and daughter-in-law and along with Dylan drove to Brookings at the coast.  We stopped at the Harris Beach SP day use area and hiked along the beach and rocks.  We also hiked a trail from the beach up to the campground and walked around the loop to show Dylan what a Yurt looks like.  We hiked the Harris Butte trail and then the wooded trail from the campground back to the day use area.

A cloudy but still beautiful day at the Oregon Coast
Matthew, Cassie and Dylan exploring one of the large rocks at Harris Beach

A seagull holding still long enough for a picture.
Dylan and Matthew hiking along the beach???
By this time everyone was getting hungry so we drove into town and made a stop at the Fred Meyer Deli where almost unlimited choices abound.  We took our lunches back to the Harris Beach day use area and enjoyed eating  to the sound of ocean waves.

After lunch we drove up highway 101 and made stops at Arch Rock, Thunder Rock and Natural Bridges - hiking to each viewpoint.  We also made one more stop at the beach near the Beachfront Inn.  While in the area we posed for pictures using some painted cut-outs along the port boardwalk.  We will post one of Glenn but told Dylan that we would not print his "mermaid" pose.

Watch out for "crabby" old men in Brookings!!!
As we drove home from Brookings we had one more stop.   We have driven through the Redwoods and hiked many trails in and around the Redwoods, but had never hiked The Stout Grove loop located in Jedediah Smith State Park.

This is a short 0.6 mile loop that is easy for anyone to hike and takes you by some incredible trees. Although the hike did not take long, the views of these trees was well worth the trip
The start of the Stout Grove trail

One of the first views of Redwoods on the trail

Trail wandering by some large Redwood trees

Not all the big trees were standing upright.
Dylan enjoyed both the Redwood trees and our Oregon Coast.  He especially enjoyed how the Oregon Coast has trees right near the shoreline and we would have to agree with him.  Oregon is a beautiful state and has so many opportunities for hiking and enjoying the outdoors.  We are so thankful that we are able to get out and enjoy the outdoors through hiking and hope you enjoy hiking along with us.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol