Castle Rock

May 23, 2010

Aaah! Springtime in Oregon. The group gathered at SEHS speculating whether it would be hiking in snow since snow had been falling down to 2500'. Bets were laid as to how much we would find on top of Castle Rock (altitude 3808'). Luckily, after a rainy and cold week, we managed to snare one of the few dry days for this hike. After meeting up with Jan and Rich Anselmo at the trailhead (they had driven over from Oakridge), we headed up the 5.7 mile trail. For much of the distance, the trail is in lush forest before encountering steeper and drier terrain. The last portion is in open rocky meadows which usually have a carpet of wild flowers. Not this year — obviously the recent cold weather had stalled the emerging blooms. Although clouds obscured any view of the Sisters from the old lookout site on the summit, we still had superb views of the surrounding hills and valleys. We could see fresh snow on many of those hills but nobody won a bet since there was no snow at all on Castle Rock. Our ‘weather’ luck held until we arrived back at our cars when a fairly brief but heavy shower passed over. This is a good, strenuous hike for early season to help you get into shape. Although you gain 2600', the trail is well graded with numerous switchbacks and no killer climbs. Members Jan and Rich Anselmo, Marianne Camp, Lynda Christiansen, Dick Hildreth, Daphne James, Becky Lipton and Martha Welches, along with non-members Diana Masarie and Don Cross joined leader Chris Stockdale.

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