Heading out to the trailhead, I thought that another cloudy forest hike was in the cards.
Getting started on the trail, the lower elevation flowers were amazing.
But it was the Rhodies that were just spectacular, and every once and awhile, the camera catches a visitor at the right time.
Once, up to higher elevation, this was the first view out
An hour later, this was the view out – it’s still spring, early summer in Oregon, blink and the weather could be different.
Passing Hardesty summit (joke – cement footings in the trees), …
the trail is much less used and goes straight down ~400 hundred feet, and then right back up to Sawtooth. This was a surprise! There was a small off-trail that ends at the base of the rock in this tiny meadow that was just blooming like crazy! — just gorgeous, peaceful. Had a quiet lunch
Sadly, clearcuts leave their mark here too
Summary: All Trails distance is not correct; it had 15 miles to Mt June, and my 2 different GPS recorders had 15 miles at Sawtooth Rock (where I turned around). Driving to the trailhead, clouds were low yet at the trailhead, the sun was shining – for about 30 minutes when the clouds rolled in. By mid-morning, the sun was back. 4.5 miles without another human, and then only 3 bikers (polite) the entire day. Hardesty trail is showing the marks of too many bikers, so hikers might want to go soon.
The tiny meadow at Sawtooth Rock was in full bloom and an absolutely wonderful spot to rest, eat and take it all in – worth the 15 miles just for that tiny meadow. The rhodies were blooming big-time and the honeysuckle too! If you’re up for the challenge (miles and elevation gain), and you can go in the next week or so … don’t miss the meadow at Sawtooth!
All Trails Factoids
Distance: 15.22 miles | Elevation Gain: 4,570 ft | Avg Pace 25:56 / miles — Recording
|Gear Type||For this Hike|
|Pack||Gregory Citro 30|
|Shoes||Topo Terraventure 2 Trailrunners|
|Top Layers||Baselayer LS|
|Bottom Layer||REI Sahara convertible pants|
|Socks||Dual layer: REI silk liners + REI lightweight Merino wool|
|Gaiter||REI ‘On the Trail Gaiters’|
|Water||Bladder 2 L – 1L bladder + 750ml bottle consumed|
|Supporting tools||New: Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking poles|
Only issue is with camera harness and 2nd trekking pole – new harness needed