Yankee Mountain Trail
July 14, 1985
Mid-July is too late in the season to hike the Yankee Mountain Trail as it has become too overgrown with salal and Oregon grape on the lower part and lots of thimbleberry in the upper meadows. Although the trail is mostly in the trees, it is too hot in summer and no water on the trail to cool yourself—of course, you need to carry a lot of drinking water on such a trail.
The first portion of the trail is a gradual incline and very pleasant, but soon the trail becomes very steep and since it is little used there are branches, fir cones and other rubble in the footpath which makes footing a bit precarious, especially on the way down. Although we started from the trailhead at 9:40 a.m. we did not reach the upper meadow where the trail appears to end until around 1 p.m. We had stopped at 11 a.m. for a partial lunch, then ate the remainder in the upper meadow. (There are several more meadows even farther up the hillside, but the connector trail built through these meadows and over the rocks in 1966 has become so overgrown it is near impossible to find.) We did find a few patches of poison oak along the trail, and several different wildflowers, especially “fairwell to spring” blooming in the meadows. This trail has one area where considerable elevation is lost on a very steep grade where the trail has had to be routed below a landslide of many years ago.
After lunch Becky, Bob, Ralph and Dale did some scouting on up the hill trying to find the connector trail, but without much success as the area is overgrown with lots of thimbleberry. The other five remained near the lunch spot resting in the shade. It was a hard, tiring hike, and the trail was a bit difficult to find as we neared the upper meadows because of all the overgrowth mentioned before. We started back down at 2:50 p.m. arriving at the cars shortly after 5 p.m. Several went to the campground to get cool water, all but two wandered over to French Pete Creek to soak hot and tired feet in the cool refreshing rushing water. We returned to Eugene after 7 p.m.
Since the leader is a slow, plodding hiker she lead a good portion of the trip from the rear. I commend the group for following directions and regrouping from time to time. Those Yankee Mountain Trail “climbers” were Dorinda Bankston, Dale Carlson, Bob Foster, Becky Hansen, Miki Hutchison, Ralph Nafziger, Suzanne Steussy, Paula Vehrs, and leader Lois Schreiner.