Upper Rogue River Trail, Woodruff Bridge - October 29, 2011
Coordinator Jane Flewelling

On Saturday, 29 October with a mist coming down, 16 members of the Friends of the Umpqua hike club proceeded up HWY 138 towards Diamond Lake with a rest stop at the Watson Falls entrance where we were all treated with a huge, and I mean pancake size, oatmeal, raisin, cranberries and almond cookie made from scratch by Jennifer. We were so delighted we almost forgot to continue on our way.

 Past the Diamond Lake entrance we continued on 138 turning right on HWY 230 which eventually turned in to 62. After Union Creek we again turned right on Woodruff Meadows Road for 1.7 miles to the Woodruff Bridge Picnic area which was the start of our 4.6 mile hike to the East Bridge. The water falls above Woodruff Bridge were most spectacular and the colors were beautiful. They were brown, yellow and orange primarily with a few red leaves but not nearly as much red as two weeks previously at Twin Lakes. It is impossible to hit all spots at the peak of colors unfortunately.

The first part of the trail was along a sandy path which made walking extremely easy. We saw a wide mixture of old sugar pine, Old Growth Douglas Fir, hemlock and even Oregon grape with another bush which had red berries. Almost like Hawthorne. Even though it was misting at start the temperature was around 50 degrees and we got more wet from sweating than the sprinkles falling. Though most were bundled in multiple layers, Walt wore his usual shorts and short sleeved shirt. And even he was sweating. Once below the Woodruff Bridge the Rogue River was fairly broad and quietly flowing. But by the time we reached Takelma Gorge, which we estimated the trail was a good 40 feet above the river, the river was much narrower and many more spectacular rapids. When we saw the huge piles of logs sitting on top of boulders in the gorge it made one appreciate how high the river got during flood stages.

We had our lunch break just past the Baptist Encampment then proceeded on to the East Bridge where we rested a few minutes then started back. Overall we hiked an estimated 9.2 miles and everyone made the entire trip. We were pleased to have Richard and Gary back with us again and one new hiker, Merle. It was also most rewarding to see Jane back in her peak performance again.

Total elapse time from start of the hike until we got back to the parking lot was just two minutes shy of four hours. Driving time from Roseburg to the trail head was closer to five hours, but it was well worth it. Another great hike lead by Jane.


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