All posts by yunckrunner

Mount Eddy and the Deadfall Lakes

The chance of thunderstorms didn’t seem to be going away anytime soon so we decided to take a chance on our third day of vacation and try Mount Eddy, the highest point in the Klamath Mountains.  We set off early in the morning and drove to the Parks Creek Trailhead located at the Pacific Crest Trail crossing of Forest Road 42N17.

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We headed south on the PCT toward the Deadfall Lakes.

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We could see our goal as we hiked the PCT.

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Further to the south were the snowy Trinity Alps.

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Below were meadows surrounding Deadfall Creek.

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As we neared the Deadfall Lakes Basin we began passing some good wildflower displays.

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A little under 3 miles from the trailhead we arrived at a junction with the Deadfall Lakes Trail.

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We turned left heading for Mount Eddy. The weather was looking good and we wanted to get up to the summit before any thunderstorms might develop. As we passed by we made a brief stop at Middle Deadfall Lake before continuing on.

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The trail climbed gradually past a series of meadows where we spotted some California pitcher plants.

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The trail steepened as it climbed toward Upper Deadfall Lake.

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As we crested the rim of this upper portion of the basin we arrived at a small lake with a big view of Mount Eddy.

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Due to the time the sun wasn’t in the best position to appreciate the view but as we passed by the lake it had a nice reflection.

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Just a little further along the trail (and a mile from the junction) we came to Upper Deadfall Lake.

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The trail then climbed .4 miles to a pass where the Mount Eddy Summit Trail forked to the left from the Siskiyou-Callahan Trail.

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A quick glance at the map showed us that we had about a mile and a half left to the 9025′ summit and another 1000′ to climb. Up we went.

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As we climbed the views of the Deadfall Lakes gradually improved.

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The views and the presence of a number of wildflowers helped keep our minds off the climb. So did the numerous golden-mantled ground squirrels scurrying about.

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Rockfringe willowherb

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Mt. Shasta greeted us as we crested the summit of Mount Eddy.

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Looking north we could see that there was definitely some active weather happening but the sky was cloudless above us.

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We explored the broad summit and took a seat overlooking the Deadfall Lakes where we enjoyed a much needed break.

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We eventually pulled ourselves away and headed back down toward the lakes.

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By the time we made it back down to the small lake a few clouds had moved in overhead.

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We stopped at Middle Deadfall Lake and walked along its shore toward Lower Deadfall Lake.

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We followed the outlet creek down to the lower lake.

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The lower lake was lovely so we took another break here. As we ate another snack, Heather spotted a doe grazing along the shore.

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She took a seat under a tree and we wondered how many times we’ve missed deer or other animals, if we hadn’t been watching her we probably would have never seen her sitting there.

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We left the lake and returned to the junction with the PCT and followed it back to our car. Our GPS showed an 11.9 mile trip in all with a little over 2000′ of elevation gain. It had been another exceptional hike in the Klamath Mountains. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Mount Eddy

North Bank Habitat

We recently headed down to Ashland, OR on vacation for a few hikes and to catch a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  On our way down south we stopped at the BLM managed North Bank Habitat just north of Roseburg for a quick hike to break up the drive.  The primary goal of the habitat is to  provide secure habitat for the Columbia white-tailed deer and other special status species.

The 10-mile square area has several access points and trail possibilities, although some access points are only open during certain days/hours so check ahead.  We started our hike at the West Access and headed up the Blacktail Ridge Road Trail.
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The area which had been a farm/ranch? was very different than any of the places we have visited.  Rolling hills of grass and oak trees along with valleys filled with forest.
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There were also a lot of flowers, many that were unfamiliar to us.  The only issue was having to watch out for the poison oak that seemed to be everywhere along the way.
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Yellow Glandweed
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Poison Oak lining the old road
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Elegant Brodiaea
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Blessed Milk Thistle
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Despite it being a cloudy day there were views all along the ridge.  We kept our eyes open for deer on the surrounding hillsides but weren’t having any luck. The only signs of wildlife so far were some blackbirds at the trailhead and lots of birdsong from the trees.
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We followed the Blacktail Ridge Road Trail to a junction with Middle Ridge Trail to a second junction the Thistle Ridge Trail.  Some of the best views were along the Middle Ridge Trail (which we were now on) just after the Thistle Ridge junction. It was here that we began spotting wildlife.  First a hawk
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Then a small blue bird
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and finally some deer.
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They were a ways off but there appeared to be a pair of black-tailed deer not the Columbian white-tailed but they were deer none the less. We continued to spot new flowers as well including several Henderson’s stars which were really unique.
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Eventually we reached a junction with the Chasm Creek Road Trail. Here we turned left and headed steeply down the old muddy road.
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The trail eventually leveled off and we strolled through mores open grassland to the border of the Jackson Ranch where we turned left on  the Jackson Ranch access road.  This area was filled with birds including this beautiful western bluebird.
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Just before reaching North Bank Road at the gated Jackson Ranch access road we turned left again along a short path lined with daisies and purple self-heal to return to the West Access Parking area.
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Granted it was a Monday morning but we didn’t see another person during the 6.2 mile loop.  It was a perfect way to kick off a week of vacation. Happy Trails!

flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9319235@N02/sets/72157653672903899