Little North Santiam

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Leader: Dan Christensen
Hike: 9 miles, 900 ft (Moderate)

The North Santiam River hike is one of the most beautiful river hikes in the Cascades. Complete with green pools, lots of rushing water chutes and waterfalls, especially Henline Falls, which drops off of Henline Mt. across the river. The drive to the trailhead is two hours; to the Santiam Highway outside of Salem, to Mehama and then up the Elkhorn Valley to the trailhead. For the most part the trail requires a climb over a ridge which bisects the trail, resulting in a total elevation gain of 900 feet. When we reached the trailhead, a small sign announced that one of the several bridges on the trail had washed out. We decided to proceed as far as we could go and hope the washout was at the far end of the trail. Fortunately, the washed out bridge was reached in the last 1/3 or so of the hike. We crossed the stream on a "jerryrigged" sort of bridge without incident. However, we reached a 2nd washout about 1/2 mile from the trail's end and elected not to attempt this crossing as we had seen all the attractive sights. We retired to riverside for lunch and hiked back to the trailhead. The weather was just right; cloud cover and some sun with no rain. Perfect day for a beautiful river hike.

Members: Dan Christensen, Chris Stockdale, Janet Jacobsen, Sandra Larsen, Barbara Norregaard, Jim Whitfield. Nonmembers: Frank Lulich.

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