Golden Stairs - June 17, 2017
Coordinator Lane Harris, narration by Lane Harris and pictures to come at a later date

The skies were overcast as a 13 hikers gathered to make the long drive to the Golden Stairs trailhead. The forecast was optimistically predicted to be sunny and in the 70s, so we gleefully set out up the highway toward our first usual rest break, Watson Falls. However, not all the hikers who signed up got any further, as Anna’s car started misbehaving, refusing to go any further. Although we sent a rescue party back to retrieve them, Anna and 3 others decided that this may be a sign to either find a closer hike or to just count their blessings and go home. We bid them farewell and continued up toward Diamond Lake and then down the highway towards Union Creek and the trailhead. Edwin was waiting at a pre-designated spot, so the group was now at an even 10.

At the trailhead, the path zig-zags steeply up a wooded hillside, until it meets up with an OHV bike trail. The zigzag ceased, but the steepness did not. The trail steadily climbed, opening up to occasional clear views of distant mountains, and offering short respites of levelness. But these were followed by more switchbacks and steep climbs. Even we most ardent hikers would classify the first mile of this trail as “strenuous”.

And it’s just at about the one-mile mark that the most spectacular views are to be had. Richard was able to educate all of us of the visible peaks: Mt Mcloughlin and Shasta to the south, Mt Thielsen and Union Peak to the east, and Abbott Butte and Elephant Head to the northwest. I’m glad to report that everyone made it to this point and were able to see this fantastic view.

The trail continued up, but not quite as sharply as it had been, and a few hikers had by now decided to turn around and call it good. The rest of us trekked onward until we reached our turnaround point, a nice meadow where we had a well-deserved lunch break.

The hike back down allowed us enjoy the great views again, but this time without the sweat in our eyes to blur our vision. Everyone made it back to the vehicles safely, and all agreed this was worth the effort and the long day.

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Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club
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