Taylor Creek - April 14, 2012
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

Spring is here, but there is still plenty of snow in the mountains keeping road and trail hidden and unaccessible until summer.  However, we can nibble at the retreating snowline and still enjoy the mountains:  the heck with all these beach hikes we've been doing lately.

Taylor Creek is a tributary of the Rogue River, near Galice, that has carved out a pretty impressive canyon totally out of proportion to the creek's small size.  The trail begins high up on the canyon wall which meant a steep descent down to the creek flowing in the canyon floor.  Of course, the dreaded opposite effect would occur on the return leg.

It was perfect for hiking:  the sun was out, the sky was blue and cloudless, and the temperature hovered in the high 60's.  After crossing English Flat, the site of an old homestead which is now a large grassy meadow with an apple orchard gone feral, we crossed Taylor Creek on a rickety log bridge that bounced and swayed as we walked across.

Once across the creek, the trail headed briskly uphill through a mossy forest comprised of the usual Siskiyou mix of conifer, oak, and madrone.  Snow queen, oak toothwort, saxifrage, and goldfield were all blooming along the trail and all duly noted by hikers stopping to catch their breath.  Once a fair amount of elevation was gained, then the trail would drop steeply to creek level.  Up and down, that was the theme of the day.

At Minnow Creek, the footbridge that used to be there had been removed but there was a fallen log spanning the creek.  It became a man-hike at that point as 6 of us walked across the log and continued on while the women contingent, to a man (pun intended), turned around for a 7'ish mile hike.  We only made it another 3/4 of a mile as a larger bridge crossing Taylor Creek had also met it's demise and had been removed.  After lunch, we turned around and the ups and downs now became downs and ups.  Either way, we got a pretty good workout on a marvelous spring day.


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