Hells Half Acre and Fuji Mountain

July 28, 2005

This was another of my twofer trips—several short hikes put together into one moderate hike. The trail to Hells Half Acre (Verdun Rock Trail), and the upper trailhead for Fuji Mountain are both off of Eagle Creek Road, the left turn just beyond the railroad trestle on Hwy 58. This trip attracted a few more signups than did my previous twofers, with Jim and Melody Clarkson, Yuan Hopkins, J. Scott Hovis and Jan Jacobsen joining in on the fun.

It was a pleasant day for hiking with clear skies and mild temperatures. The mosquitoes were somewhat reduced in number from when I had scouted the trip a couple weeks earlier, but so were the bunchberry blooms. On the scouting trip the trailside up to Hells Half Acre was carpeted in white with bunchberry. On the official trip, only a few were seen. Once in the meadow—which is much larger than half an acre—we wandered around for a while, perusing the considerable variety of wildflowers to be found there. There’s no trail through the meadow, so going is a bit tough at times.

We then drove another 5½ miles to the upper Fuji trailhead, and had a slightly late lunch on top with a view of Waldo Lake below and the Sisters and others of the Cascades in the distance. We descended via the west ridge to take in some more wildflowers—thanks to Melody for showing me this route.

On the way back to town we stopped at the Trailhead Cafe in Oakridge for beverages and snacks.

—Wayne Deeter

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