Proxy Falls, Linton Lake & Falls

May 7, 1998

Proxy Falls loop trail begins at 3200' on basalt flows of another era. At the first junction a side trail leads to the lower falls which is wider and deeper in spring from snow melt in the Cascades. The runoff here flows into Proxy Creek, which joins White Branch Creek, which joins Lost Creek and flows into the McKenzie River near the junction of Hwys. 126 and 242. A second side trail leads to the Upper Falls, where cascading water from springs above enter a small pool at the base and disappears into the lava beneath to surface we know not where! The pool at the base was smaller than it usually is in mid-summer. We viewed trillium, calypso bulbosa, moss and lichen. Pipsissewa was abundant but not yet in bloom. Our second trail began at Alder Springs/Linton Lake trailhead near the still closed second snowgate. Parts of this trail have been relocated over the years and though it begins at 3556' and the lake is at 3500' elevation, the current trail has several up/down sections. We followed the trail around the east side of the lake to the inflow of Obsidian Creek (which begins high into the Wilderness area at Sister Spring and Obsidian Falls). Susan and Jane had scouted ahead to find us a sunny luncheon spot. The maintained trail ended here amid much downed timber. Linton Lake was formed when basalt flowed from the North Sister area, damming Linton Creek, which is the source of the many tiered Linton Falls at the south end of the lake. View of the falls is limited through trees but the roar of falling water can be heard as you near the lake and at several viewpoints along the trail. Wonderful hike through real forest of cedar, pine, fir, hemlock and vine maple. Happy day; one sad note a car parked at trailhead by overnight campers had all four wheels removed. We gave them a ride to Eugene. Enjoying the day were Obsidian-to-be Joe Scheibe and members Susan Baker, Liz DeShetler, Jane Hackett, Mary Ellen West and Vi Johnson (leader).

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