Mount Jefferson Wilderness – French Creek Trail (#14)

FRENCH CREEK RIDGE TRAIL
August 19, 2011
Info: (http://www.trailsgalore.com/trails/1006096_French_Creek_Trail_Oregon.html) The French Creek Trail has been bypassed by logging roads at lower elevations. The trail now starts at about 4000 ft. on the way to Byar’s Peak. There are some boulders on the road, one in particular had barely enough room to get by. Great views of Detroit area and Three Sisters from the ridge. Says J. D. Adams

French Creek Trail is 17.8 miles long; it’s longer than many backcountry trails. The total elevation difference for French Creek Trail is 4,067 feet which is higher than average. This backcountry walk should take you about 2.5 days, so it’s a good thing if your backpack is big enough to do the job. This is a two-ended trail with two trailheads, so if you can get a ride from someone, you can backcountry trek it just one way. Some parts of French Creek Trail are much higher up than other parts of the backcountry trail, and that means that some parts of the backcountry trail could be very different from other parts of it. This is a hiking trail that is quite long, so make sure you bring plenty of supplies.

The French Creek Trail has been bypassed by logging roads at lower elevations. The trail now starts at about 4000 ft. on the way to Byar’s Peak. There are some boulders on the road, one in particular had barely enough room to get by. Great views of Detroit area and Three Sisters from the ridge. Says J. D. Adams

French Creek Trail is 17.8 miles long; it’s longer than many backcountry trails. The total elevation difference for French Creek Trail is 4,067 feet which is higher than average. This backcountry walk should take you about 2.5 days, so it’s a good thing if your backpack is big enough to do the job. This is a two-ended trail with two trailheads, so if you can get a ride from someone, you can backcountry trek it just one way. Some parts of French Creek Trail are much higher up than other parts of the backcountry trail, and that means that some parts of the backcountry trail could be very different from other parts of it. This is a hiking trail that is quite long, so make sure you bring plenty of supplies.

Directions: (http://www.ohranger.com/detroit-lake/poi/french-creek-ridge-trail)
 From Detroit Ranger Station travel East on Hwy 22 for approximately 1 mile to forest road 2223 (French Creek Road), turn left and travel for about 4 miles to forest road 2207. Veer right onto 2207, travel for about 4 miles. Trailhead is on right.

Access #2: From Detroit Ranger Station travel East on Hwy 22 for approximately 1 mile to forest road 2223 (French Creek Road), turn left and travel for about 2 miles to forest road 2225. Turn right and travel for about 6 miles to forest road 458. Turn right and travel for about 2 miles. Trailhead is on left.

Jenn’s View: I honestly thought I was on the trail to Opal Lake. I forgot my book and my map so when I was on this trail, I knew it was wrong. The trail head sign was knocked down and there was soooo many bugs.  I was also freaking myself out because of all the talks about bears that people were telling me. It pissed me off.  I didn’t finish the trail. It wasn’t my favorite and the trail was super overgrown AND I kept hearing something or somebody following me. Maybe it was just my imagination. LOL Also, I didn’t really see anything significant even though I should have seen Marten’s Butte and Boulder Peak.  I may have seen it but I sure wouldn’t have known. Everything was overgrown that you will get breaks to see some sort of clearing. That was cool. Not sure if this is a trail I will re-visit and try to complete. It just didn’t tickle my funny bone.

The drive up here was real pretty.  I stopped by the Ranger Station to pick up my Wilderness Pass. Always pick one up just in case.
Detroit Ranger Station. There’s my White Honda!
The drive up to the trail head was amazing. You can always get a beautiful picture of Jefferson.

So, I found a trail head. I honestly thought I was going to Opal Lake. I knew the Lake was less than a mile. When I parked, I must have parked right next to a bee hive or a wasp nest.  All I kept hearing was a ton of “buzzing” sounds. Super icky. Tons of bugs. It was a bad sign and the sign to the trail head was all knocked down. No signs on it. Another bad sign.  Shadowlynn and I start on the trail and was hoping to hit some shade. It was about high 80’s, low 90’s which is hot. Dumb me wanted to hike in this heat with this black hair? Oh lordy!

 Well, Shadowlynn and I kept walking and walking and walking.  I knew we had gone more than a mile but I kept telling myself the lake should be coming up real soon. Didn’t hear water. No indication of water…just more bushes and trees! Plus, I couldn’t see too far ahead of me and couldn’t see too far behind me. It really started freaking me out. LOL.  I guess it was a good time to start taking pictures.. Sheez!

 Along the trail, you do get a break to see the views of the clearing. 

 My hair is such a heat generator.  The white bandana that I carry all the time made a great “Aunt Jemima” look.

 More pictures of the trail….

 So, got back in the car, disappointed about this trail and with myself. Took more pictures on the drive down.

 But it wasn’t ALL that bad.  I did stop by the cafe and picked up coffee and a slice of brocolli, cheddar quiche.

 

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