Tahkenitch Campground to Beach - December 10, 2011
Coordinator Ray Jensen, narration and pictures by Bill Riley
On Saturday, 10 DEC 2011, 19 Friends of the Umpqua Hike Club and guests traveled to the Oregon Coast. This was to be a loop hike of about 6 miles. First we stopped at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area and was able to approach within several yards of two large bull elk. That was as close as one can ever get to such magnificent animals.
The hike started in a coastal forest of fir, spruce, fern, salal, Rhododendron, mosses and many others. The area may be part of one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world. Viewing the large Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir, one would think they were in an old growth stand of timber. Actually the area was logged in the 1920's and has regrown to become a homeland of abundant wildlife. Jim said he saw a huge bear in the area at one time.
We proceeded about 3 miles from the Tahkenitch CG to Threemile Lake where the sand dunes started. Threemile Lake is long and narrow and is said to have been a salt water lagoon at one time. Views were magnificent of the lake and the ocean beyond the dunes. From there we hiked over the dunes thru grasses, coast pine, and fore dune to the beach. Weather was overcast but pleasant with no wind – perfect hiking weather. It was a pleasant hike north to find a lunch spot along the sea wall. We watched a group of 6 - 8 seals cruising down the surf line as we ate.
Some hikers turned inland at the return trail sign and others proceeded a short distance to the outlet of Tahkenitch Creek which was flowing fast and with volume. At this point the creek is littered with uprooted coastal pine from a high water storm event several years ago which changed the location of the creek outlet. The trail back to the cars entailed going up one very, very large dune and back through some forest thick with Rhododendron, red cedar, pines, etc.
On the ride home some got a great view of a herd of buffalo (bison) being raised on a farm near Kellogg. Others had some good Mexican food in Reedsport.We were treated (spoiled) by freshly baked cookies from Jennifer and apples and kiwi from Jim.
Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club