Last year, i did a shorter version of this hike, but part of Yoran Lake trail was in poor condition and I stayed on PCT – this year, the trail has been updated some, so a great hike! All in all, a 18 mile hike with 2800 ft elevation gain – it’s mostly following PCT between 6500 and 7000 ft elevation.
For most of the hike, north / northeast of this
Past Yoran Lake trail on PCT, there is a side trail / spur you take up to this rock outcropping that pokes out like a stone thumb
I hiked up most of it with 3 other guys and 2 big dogs. I got to almost the top and decided that the risk of going further was too high – it was really steep and sliding rock and scree the last 200 yards or so. The guy w/ the dogs turned around with me as it was just too much risk for the dogs – i did not want to be caught below the dogs if they slipped. The dog guy was great about looking out for his dogs and left his friends … i met him later and he had a great time w/ the dogs in the lakes.
But the view from that stone thumb was tremendous
I traveled on south on PCT and had lunch at great spot beneath this
Looking out more north
And the little lakes (or Maine Ponds) are plentiful
There were just the right number of other hikers for a holiday weekend on PCT … all in all, it was a perfect hike for the last long pass-eleveation hike of the 2019 season. I also came up with my next season inspiration (later)!
We recently visited Crater Lake National Park with good friends and one of the things I learned (and should have known) is that we’ve been using the wrong geological name all this time … it’s not a crater, it’s a caldera. (or at least that’s what the Park Ranger told us). Over 7000 years ago, Mount Mazama changed dramatically. – note: there are links to slide shows on different topics – poke around.
This adventure was different from 2 years ago due to an absence of fires and this year taking a boat ride around the lake and spending several hours on Wizard Island. One thing that hit me like a ton of bricks is the magnitude of it all (the lake is 5×6 miles) – staying up on the crater rim just does not have same impact – if you go, take a boat ride!
The water is amazingly clear … drinkable too (we all had some from the middle of lake – ranger filled everybody’s water bottle). If you doubt me, this pic is in 40 feet of water – let that sink in.
Here is a slide show with standard resolution pics of more Crater Lake water
After the water, the geology of the caldera is beyond amazing.
Two of the most popular geological features are Wizard Island and the Phontom Ship; and the above pic shows the ship in forground and the island in background.
While on the island, we hiked to the top – which IS a crater. Some of us hiked down into the core of the island crater – an odd feeling. A quick swim was also in order but the water was COLD! All the pics in this movie are from the island.
If you’ve read any of my adventure posts here, plants and their beauty and perservance are always interesting … Crater Lake has its share of fabulous creatures.
Another set of plant pics from the lake, the island and all around
The park is one of those amazing places on this wonderful planet … good planets are hard to find!
My 3rd hike up this hill in the last 4 years (last year’s), and sadly, this was the least enjoyable – not the mountain, the weather, my legs, my equipment, inadquate water, nor bad pictures. There were just too many people; i have never seen this many people on a Cascades hike in over 30 years of hiking.
I took the same route as before – straight up from Devil’s Lake with a full parking lot (and i hiked up the trail 1/4 mile and realized i left my forest pass in the ‘g)love box’ … so back to the car and repeat) … some views were the same as before, but the camera found different objects
the color of this lake blows me away – every time
Sadly, with all of the people, too many missed this sign … i even saw people with a dog swimming in one of those most precious and fragile lakes like above …
Once on the summit this year, i spent my time on the southeast side of the rim … the views were quite different from last year’s north side. This year, I also hiked to top in short sleeves & shorts – last year was chilled in long sleeves and shorts (wind).
I planned my 3rd South Sisters hike in 4 years to catch the full moon setting on my way to the trailhead. Getting up in time to be on the road by 04:00 is not that tough, when you have this to look forward to seeing …
I completed this hike meeting a good friend who was going around the Sisters’ loop. We met at PCT and I hiked out with him to his car and then to my car at Obsedian trailhead. This is an excellent Sisters Wilderness hike – not too hard and the views from the north side are fabulous.
Starting at the Scott trail there were these weird flowers that liked like something from Dr Seuss. (note: clicking on the images will open the original high-res media file)
They grow in patches with long stems
Before reaching the PCT, the views both north and south are fabulous
Looking south to N. Sister
Toward the north, several others are viewable
At the PCT / Scott junction,
an alpine meadow with a pretty good view
As you walk toward Mckenzie pass and Lava campground the views are equally as good …
There is a wonderful small ‘lake’ … in Maine, it would be a pond.
At different points, after leaving the Scott trail junction, there are severe burn areas – some of these are like scenes out of the worst natural disaster movie … yet, there is new growth starting over too
All in all, this is a good hike on a sunny day when you do not want to work too hard at going up the mountain(s). This just wanders along the north bank of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River just west of Oakridge. There are wonderful swimming pools (we did not try them) but they do not all have decent paths from the N side; but there is a road on the south side of the fork with ample opportunities to reach a good pool.
Early spring flowers are some of my favorites … they appear quickly and often do not last long as they are the first food for many after a long wet OR winter. All of these came from our yard or our neighbor’s.