Collier Cone

August 2, 2003

Collier cone is one of the youngest volcanic features in the Three Sisters group. Lava flows and cinder eruptions occurred there as recently as 1500 to 2000 years ago. Close proximity and an elevation of 7534 feet give an awesome, up close view of the craggy hulk of the North Sister and the crevasses of the Collier Glacier, as well as the cinder barrens and lava flows of the McKenzie Pass area. We followed the historic Scott trail past the Four-In-One cones to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail in a large meadow of flowering lupines, and paintbrush. We then followed the PCT south passed the oasis of Minnie Scott spring, and up and over the craggy and very scenic lava flows of Opie Dilldock Pass to the base of Collier Cone. We climbed to the summit using the sandy northwest ridge which climbs directly to the summit, a short distance from the trail. Mount Hood was shining particularly bright and beautiful, the sun was clearly shining there, while we were socked in with low, thick clouds. Clouds had threatened to sprinkle on us all day, and provided a thick overcast with blustery winds and cool temperatures, so we did not linger long on the summit. Some of the group had lunch on the summit while others returned to Minnie Scott spring for lunch. We retraced our route back to the cars, and were home in Eugene in time for dinner. Incidentally, I tried a thorough Internet search on the origins the name of Opie Dilldock. Apparently Opie was an American newspaper cartoon character in the early 1900s who had a bad habit of accidentally bending things. References to Opie were few, and I never was able to find a picture of the cartoon character or any explanation of how a high mountain pass in the Cascades came to be named after him. Guest hikers were John Hanby, and Karen Rayle. Obsidian hikers were Jane Bartell, Dick Hildreth, Richard Sundt, Rod Wood and leader Brian Hoyland.

[NOTE: “Oregon Geographic Names” states that Opie Dilldock Pass was named in 1932 by Dee Wright and Ralph Engels (then USFS Ranger at McKenzie Bridge). They had had difficulty finding a good way down the White Branch Canyon but finally found this one small, practical passage. They were both reminded of a comic strip character who always found some way out of an impossible situation so they decided to honor the pass with his name. Researched by Jane Bartell.]

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