Little North Santiam

May 19, 2004

Following a very low number of sign-ups and an 80% cancellation rate, Max Brown and Dan Christensen met at the jump-off point. Neither of us could think of anything else we’d rather do that day, so off we went. The lack of participation was unfortunate. This hike is one of the most beautiful in the Cascades, especially in the spring when the river is high. Bill Sullivan said recently N. Santiam Trail is a more attractive hike than the much more popular Opal Creek Trail. The day was a bit cool, mostly cloudy, but no rain showers. We hiked about 4½ miles through dense woods with lots of old growth, a wild Rhody garden and a couple of fairly steep ridges to cross. The hike takes a minimum of 2 to 2½ hours each way because of frequent stops to view the beautiful emerald green water, great waterfalls and one impressive stone column perched in the middle of the river. We met no other hikers on the trail although we saw a few people along the river. The trail had already been cleared this Spring with several new handrails on the many bridges and new wooden water breaks installed on the trail at several points. (This trail was constructed by the Chemeketans in the 1990s so I assume they are doing the maintenance?) We left Springfield about 8 and returned at 5. The driving distance is a bit over 200 miles.

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