Boulder Creek Wilderness - May 16, 2009
Coordinator Ray Jensen, narration and pictures by Ray Jensen

On a very warm/hot May 16, 2009 the club hiked Boulder Creek Wilderness. The Wilderness had been partially burned again last August in many of the same places as the Spring Fire of '96. 17 hikers hiked from Soda Springs TH to the spring / viewpoint on Pine Bench. For some it was an easy / moderate 800 feet climb in about 1.5 miles to the "bench"; for others it was a real struggle. The hike was unlike any that had been done in recent years as the fire opened up many viewpoints and made one section into a "Snag Alley" on the way up - very eerie but awesome and the trail was in very good shape surprisingly. Upon reaching the "bench", all proceeded to the viewpoint at 2.3 miles and most enjoyed a leisurely lunch.

9 hardy souls decided to try to hike the remaining 1.7 miles to the creek. We proceeded down the bench and through "Snag Alley #2" which was again nothing but burnt remnants of former trees. At the end of the bench we found the sign still intact for Perry Butte Trail. One member stayed there as the remainder proceeded down and down through thoroughly burnt hills and barren creek gullies. It was quite warm by this time and the bare hills gave us no mercy from the sun. We could see the creek long before we got to it and could see a waterfalls just downstream from the usual crossing spot. As we approached the creek we veered off and most hiked cross-country approximately 1/4 mile downstream and sat above the beautiful falls and pool and ate lunch. It was a more gorgeous spot than I knew existed on the creek. On leaving the falls one member sprained his ankle and it was a long, slow slog back up to the bench and down to the car for the 4 of us. Needless to say everyone had departed by the time we got to Soda Springs.

Despite the mishaps I think it was worthwhile to see the creek.

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Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club
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