Yellow Jacket Loop Trail - October 8, 2016
Coordinator John Malone, narration and pictures by Bill Riley

After encountering falling snow on the pre-hike of Rattlesnake Mountain, John decided to switch the hike to the Yellow Jacket Loop trail.  So the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club car pooled from Roseburg up highway 138 towards Glide then turned off onto Little River Road, past Wolf Creek campground to the parking lot near Hemlock Lake.

The weather could not have been any better. After a briefing by John our group started clockwise around Yellow Jacket Loop which ended up being about a 7 1/2 mile hike with a side trail to the top of Flat Rock. In addition to having much better weather than the snow John encountered on the pre-hike – the trail was much cleaner; lacking the numerous fallen trees John encountered on the Rattle Snake Mountain trail.

When we reached Dead Cow Lake area we encountered a young Science Teacher from Camas Valley, with three teenagers who she was teaching survivor, rescue and navigational techniques. They participate in numerous and various types of rescues of stranded and injured hikers in our area.

After resting in a clearing near Dead Cow (No explanation for the naming of the lake), we continued back towards Hemlock Lake until we came to a branch off to Flat Rock, with a 3/4 mile uphill climb to the top! At times Jane and I were tempted to turn around, but we didn't, and were well rewarded by the view at the top. Normally Mount Bailey is viewed to the right of Mount Thielsen but from this angle Bailey was almost in front of Thielsen. We also had an excellent view of Hemlock Lake and what I guess was Yellow Jacket Meadow.

After lunch we returned to the loop trail and thence through Yellow Jacket Meadow to the trailhead. Located at the trail head/parking lot is a very nice "outhouse" which John built a number of years ago.

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