Boulder Creek Wilderness

May 9, 1987

Thirteen souls yearning to escape the unseasonal Valley heat headed for the Umpqua Country, passing through fields of white camas between Wilbur and Glide, and then marveling at the fancy new Ranger Station at Glide, with its splendid giant sequoias, Atlas cedars, cypresses, and more. We briefly viewed the famous “colliding rivers” just across the street before driving up the, as usual, lovely North Umpqua. A few miles upriver from Boulder Flat Campground, we turned on to FR 4775 (new number!) and drove up into the hills in search of the #1487 trailhead. That trail is very poorly marked or indicated, and is even called #1492 by some. The leader wasn’t convinced we were at the right place, so instead of a big loop, as planned, we went back to the Bradley Trail (#1491) and hiked into the sweetsmelling forest of incense cedar, sugar pine, and Douglas fir. After an hour’s hike, we arrived at splendid Pine Bench, the northernmost stand of old-growth ponderosa pine on the west side of the Sierra/Cascade axis. Lunched in one of the meadows on Pine Bench, with a view down to Boulder Creek far below. After lunch, visited the little spring nearby (the only over-used or abused area we encountered), then followed trail #1552 down to Boulder Creek itself, near its confluence with Onion Creek. Part of the group explored upstream, finding the most wonderful, deep pools with adjacent high rocks from which to dive. YA-HOO!! Native lilies were just coming up, but not yet in bloom; streamside fawn lilies were just past. By mid-afternoon, we headed back up through the forest of Pine Bench again, admiring the enormous sugar pines and ponderosa pines. What a magnificent place! After returning to our cars, most of the group returned directly to Eugene, but five of us chose to have supper at Mac’s Place along the river, and two of those five (guess who?!) decided, after ordering their meals, to run across the highway and go for a quick, refreshing swim in the river after the long, warm hike. Explorers of this little-known area (i.e., seldom visited by Obsidian groups) included: Peter Boag, Audrey Cummings, Wren Davidson, Barb Elsen, Susan Giordano, Ingrid Hanson, Jane Katra, Gary Kirk, Steve Koester, Anne Montgomery, Loren Swift, Jane Tucker and Whitey Lueck (leader).

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