Larison Creek Trail

March 5, 1989

With a weather forecast of “torrential rains returning to Western Oregon,” two hikers headed out to the Hills Creek Reservoir area for a Sunday hike. At the trailhead (1600') we were greeted with patchy snow and a sign that warned of a trail closure four miles in (due to logging activity!). A call to Rigdon Ranger Station the preceding day failed to disclose this information, so it was a rather unpleasant surprise. The temperature felt to be in the low 40’s as we headed up the trail beside Larison Creek in a steady rain. There was a lot more water flowing in the canyon than the previous year, which made crossing some of the tributary streams more challenging (nothing too tough, however). About a mile-and-a-half in, the trail leaves the scarred, deforested cove (which it borders) behind for good and enters beautiful forest resplendent with mossy rocks and ancient Doug fir and cedar. This continues until about the four-mile mark, where the scenery is disrupted by an old clearcut. By now, we had gained enough elevation that we were in about 8" of snow. Beyond the clearcut, we came to the forewarned logging activity, which was just above the trail. After ¼ mile more hiking we came to an abrupt halt where slash had tumbled down the hill and was blocking the trail. Covered with snow, it looked like a real hassle at best and a potential ankle twister at worst, so we decided to bag it and head back. The return hike was warmer and the rain naturally ceased. All in all, a good (if wet) hike for non-Obsidian Marty Hathaway and leader Michael Cooper.

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