Wassen Creek/Dark Grove

Saturday, July 1, 2017
Leader: Gordon Sayre
Hike: 5 miles, 500 ft (Difficult)

Three years ago Oregon Wild staff Chandra LeGue helped lead an Obsidians trip to this part of the proposed Wassen Creek wilderness, a rare flat area with enormous old growth firs. This time I scouted with fellow Obsidian John Hartman a loop hike that continues past Dark Grove to the creek, then climbs up a different user trail along a ridge to a different trailhead. We began in a misty cloud, and got very wet, but the moisture did not reach the bottoms of the valleys. Our group of six was able to follow the user trail from an unmarked trail head, and then retrace a route along elk trails and through the dense vine maple and devils club. GPS was useful to confirm that we were on course. Progress is very slow but it is awe inspiring to be submerged in the forest. One can never see far, and instead looks closely at mosses, ferns, insects, and animal tracks. We saw fresh bear prints, lots of elk, and what appeared to be cow pies (?) on the roads. The next challenge would be to reach the Devil's Staircase waterfall, two miles or so downstream from the place we had lunch on the banks of Wassen Creek.

Members: Sayre, Gordon, Sinnott, Randy, Randall, Kathy, Adey, Steve. Nonmembers: Sayre, Josh, Bohls, Liz.

Gordon & Steve Adey flank large charred (but alive) tree—photo by Kathy Randall
click here for more photos from this trip

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