Perry Butte Trail - September 15, 2012
Coordinator Ray Jensen, narration and pictures by Ray Jensen

This was an unusual hike for the club. It entailed some true backcountry hiking on a sometimes rough trail which was resurrected by me, John, and some other club members. This area between Medicine Creek Road and Pine Flat in the Boulder Creek Wilderness has been through two major forest fire burns in the last 16 years. This trail is not on the Forest Service maintained list so it had fallen into disrepair. Now that it has been at least somewhat resurrected I decided to lead a hike to show others.

8 brave members – Jim P., Rheo, John, Edwin, Jane, Lois, Linda and I; and 4 non-members or new members, Robert, Jim, Suzanne, and Cheryl were treated to some of the most alluring backcountry that’s assessable on the North Umpqua drainage. We started on a spur road off Medicine Creek Road and hiked steadily uphill to a ridge in beautiful weather. Luckily it was not too hot in the morning because it was a hard uphill slog. From there we continued up to and around Mizell VP hill. There we got our first look at the Boulder Creek Wilderness and its canyon. Views were really good because of all the burnt forest. Three members also scrambled up to Mizell Viewpoint which is a superb vantage point. From there the trail got a little rougher as we traversed around a large burnt butte. More views then ensued of the Umpqua River and its canyon, Rattlesnake Rock, Illayee Look Out, Old Man Rock, and more. Then an extremely steep downhill on new trail. We proceeded to about the 3 mile mark and ate lunch on a rocky outcropping overlooking the Umpqua River canyon. The weather was such that the views were awesome. Then, on better trail, down to meet the Boulder Creek Trail. where Jim P, Edwin, and Suzanne took a side trip down to Boulder Creek. The rest of us proceeded down Pine Bench and onto the Bradley Trail. and all joined up at Medicine Creek Rd. where we shuttled back to our vehicles up the road.

The Dry Creek Store never looked so good.

All in all a very tiring hike of about 8 miles for most of us but a very satisfying hike also. All seemed to enjoy seeing something a lot different than our usual trails. There is something intriguing to see real backcountry off the beaten path especially with special views.

A special thanks to John for co-leading this hike and Suzanne for helping out with a hurting hiker.


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