Willamette National Forest (Detroit Lake Area) – Tumble Lake

Tumble Lake



INFO:  From the Oregon Hike Book by Sean Patrick Hill. From the edge of Detroit Reservoir, the Tumble Ridge Trail heads straight into the neighboring mountains, climbing steeply to the spire of Needle Rock and the vista of Dome Rock. Hidden up Tumble Creek is Tumble Lake, with a waterfall. Though you could hike in this way, there is an easier point of entry that makes for a quicker hike to these sights (which is what Scott and I did and this review is based on that direction to this easier hike). From the upper trailhead on Road 2223, go in 0.4 mile to a junction. To access Dome Rock, go left 0.5 mile to the 4,869-foot peak. To access Tumble Lake, go right at this first junction crossing a meadow down into a gully for 1.2 miles to the shore. Follow the shore to the left 0.3 mile to see the outlet creek and waterfall.

DIRECTIONS:  Drive 50 miles east of Salem on OR22 to Detroit Lake. Just before the Breitenbush River turn left on French Creek Road 2223 and go 4.2 miles to a fork at pavement’s end. (The road will initially split before the 4.2 miles and make sure to veer to the left. The road is super narrow so beware of oncoming cars/trucks) This is a picture of a pretty narrow part. My car (Honda Accord) is not that wide but it sure felt like it was a tight squeeze. Road to TumbleLake

At pavement’s end, fork left onto Road 2223 for 3.9 miles. It’s a good idea to watch your miles because there are no trail mark. We just found it because there were cars parked on the road and we saw a trail on the left. Permits are not required and parking and access is free.

JENN’S VIEW: Scott and I really enjoyed this trail. We have a 12-13 year old German Short-haired Pointer and a 6 year old tiny Maltese with us and they did better on the trail than I did! The climb back up was pretty brutal because it was a pretty steep incline. When we hit the lake, it was absolutely beautiful. So green and blue and very clear. Wish we had brought a raft to slowly drift around. Went looking for the waterfall but didn’t find it. I was a little bummed about that but give me a great reason to go back and do Dome Creek and then back to Tumble Lake. I was thinking of camping here next year. Scott promised to pack everything back up when we leave. Tee hee, I’m such a woos. I would say Pamelia Lake is prettier. You can get really pretty pictures with the mountain reflecting in the water. It’s flat and easier to get in to and tons of trails to hike around. Only problem with Pamelia Lake is that there is a limited access fee (not much $5 and can be ordered online) and must have a wilderness pass (another $5, I believe). Check that blog out here:  http://www.oregonhike.org/2011/06/mt-jefferson-pamelia-lake-9.html

The trail starts off with a small climb up. No big deal. The dogs were so excited to hit the trail. Too funny.  Scott being a “poser”. hahahahahaha….

Scott Wenger PoserThe first 0.4 miles is a steady climb up and you will actually see the sign to Tumble Lake. You will also see pretty cool rock spires (well that’s what I call them) and beautiful trees – Don’t ask, I normally don’t know what “type” of trees. It probably says it in my guide book but it’s late and I really don’t feel like getting out of my bed to check. LOL. Going to the left will take you to Dome Rock. We will hit that area next time  because its only 0.5 miles to the peak – I think. Then head down towards Tumble Lake after our OOOHHHH and AHHHH’s at Dome Rock.

Scott WengerTumbleLake3TumbleLake2


The next obstacle we faced was which way do we go? Follow what looks like a dry river bank. DO NOT FOLLOW THE TRAIL ON THE LEFT THAT LOOKS LIKE A TRAIL! Nor follow the flags that are on that trail. Scott and I sorta followed the flags and we eventually found our way out but we ended up on that dry river bed.

TumbleLake13Scott trying to figure out which flags to follow. We finally figured it out but it would have been easier to just follow the dry river bed!

_DSC0008After making our way out and on the right path, the climb down was a little hurtful on my poor little knees. It’s slippery too with loose rocks so be careful!

Tumble Lake

Eventually you will hit what my book calls a “meadow”. I guess. It’s a field of raspberry or some type of “prickly” bushes. Be careful – it hurts. I had to turn my capri pants back to regular pants. Man, I love those pants! Poor Scott was wearing shorts.

Tumble Lake

 After that, it’s a short walk to the lake. I just kept looking up thinking to myself how hard it is to climb back up! GRRRR, it’s gonna be brutal but after reaching the lake – the excitement of making plans to camp, raft, hike, etc all came about when we hit the lake. Sam, who is OLD OLD OLD dog, hates the water – actually jumped in the water. He loved it!

TumbleLake8 TumbleLake9 TumbleLake10

We saw someone camping up near the rocks and one guy fishing in the lake on the other side. We didn’t stay too long because we had to get to a party that night.  We will definitely be back and with more time. Did I mention – the hike back is B.R.U.T.A.L.!

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Wouldn’t be a post without a picture of the one and only – MEEEEE!



Mt. Jefferson Wilderness – Coffin Lookout Trail #3392


mt. Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Lookout Trail

July 5, 2012

Info: (from Jenn’s Hiking book – Oregon Hiking) From a distance, it’s easy to see how Coffin Mountain got its name. This square and prominent peak atop a wall of cliffs certainly resembles a giant’s final resting place, but those cliffs are deceptive; along the backside, an easy trail climbs to a staffed lookout tower – a 16 square foot box that, if you’re lucky, you may be able to visit. You’ll see why these five towers are still staffed on the way up; the trail passes through an old burn being repopulated by young noble fir and sub-alpine fir. From the trailhead, follow the old bulldozer road and finally trail up 1.5 miles to the peak.

Directions: Drive east of Salem 69 miles on OR 22. It’s about 21 miles from the Detroit Ranger Station (EAST). Turn rt on Road 11 – Straight Creek Road. Travel for about 4 miles to forest road 1168 (Do not turn at first 1168 junction). Turn right on road 1168, travel for about 3.5 miles to trailhead.

User Groups:Hikers, dogs, and mountain bikes. No horses allowed. No wheelchair facilities. 😦

Jenn’s View: I think this is my favorite so far for 2012. You have such a great view of the whole Cascades. It’s so nice. You see Three Sisters, Three Finger Jack, Mt. Bachelor (?), Mt. Jefferson. It’s so quiet and great. I had to find a different way to get up there since I frickin hit snow!

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness - Coffin Lookout Trail

I started slipping and sliding all over the place but I THOUGHT I could get around it. Dang it, not Superwoman! I just realized that Shadowlynn absolutely LOVES snow. She was jumping, running and eating the snow. It was so comical and then it just hit me – stupid dog hates water and she’s part LAB!

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness - Coffin Lookout Trail

WAIT! I need to start from the beginning. Shadowlynn and snow is like in the middle of my hike. LOL. OK OK, The trail was really easy to find. First thing when I get out of the car, I got bombarded with bugs. I did have a pretty blue moth land on my shoe and as soon as I moved, it flew away. I took my bug spray and sprayed my hair, arms, face, legs. DAMMIT! I forgot my hands and I now have 4 new bug bites. But I’m not really sure if that was from last night from 4th of July and standing outside in the dark. They seem to migrate towards me no matter how much garlic pills I take. I’m still gonna take them cuz I’m gonna do more camping/hiking through the summer. 🙂 It worked all the years I have done it but this year – the bugs are in masses and they attack!

So, I’m not really sure why it’s called Coffin Mountain. Above it states that it looks like a giant’s resting place. I don’t see it. I truly don’t, so I must be blind. he he. If you see it, please let me know.

OK…In the beginning…. The drive up to the trail was magnificent. You immediately see the Cascade mountain ranges and they are beautiful! The first set I saw was Three Sisters and Three Finger Jack.

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I got back in my car and started up the road and low and behold, Mt. Jefferson and I think is Mt. Bachelor appeared.  The Mt. Bachelor is the one I’m unsure. It’s too big to be Mt. Washington and Mt. Hood would be rather small to look at. Uhhhh what other mountain is close by? I could be wrong, be that’s rare. JUST KIDDING! OOOHHH OOOHH, also Bachelor Mountain trail is right next door – There it is! It’s Bachelor!

I noticed quite a few “camp spots” along the way. Or at least places where people stopped and created a fire pit.  Why would they just do that unless if they were camping. Kinda weird because it’s so close to the road. Maybe they were car camping. The views would be amazing though to wake up to.

Coffin Lookout Trail

Mt Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Mountain

My poor car…she’s really a city girl but I treat her like a country girl.

Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Bachelor

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So, finally got to the trail after “ooohhh-in and aaaahhhh-in” the drive. The trail starts already with a steady climb up… I think the temperature outside was maybe 80+ degrees. With Shadowlynn’s black fur and my black fur (hair), we get HOT fast! I normally bring my daughter’s white hankerchief but couldn’t find it in my pack. Oh well. Maybe that is why Shadowlynn and I kinda had a hard time with this small hike. It was just too darn hot BUT the visibility was so clear that I didn’t mind too much. There were quite a few wildflowers along the way. I bet this trail is soooo pretty in the spring when it’s really alive with color. I will add this trail to my list at the beginning of Spring for next year.

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Lookout Trail

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Lookout Trail

Shadowlynn sniffin’ the flowers

Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail

On our way up we met a man with two dogs and a little girl (Sounds like a beginning of a joke). She looked like she was about 4 years old. Super duper cutey.  A little bit further, met two girls having lunch. When we passed them, they asked if that rock formation was the destination…I told them, “I think so”. They said, “Was afraid you would say that – looks hard to get up there”.  Coffin Lookout Trail Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail I took a picture of the lovely hikers that were on the trail with me. The guy with the little girl stopped. It looked like they may have had lunch there too. They didn’t continue up the mountain because at one point, I think I saw them heading back down. Lunch

It was hard. The climb was short but hard in the heat. There were no more shade until you reached the top. But like I mentioned before, the views are amazing and they only get better! I’m hoping when I come back in the fall… I will see the meadow below just full of color. It would be such a great shot. Not sure if I like that hill in front of Jefferson though to be in the shot.

Mt. Jefferson

So, we are continuing on with the trail and it was pretty strange that we were heading AWAY from the rock formation. On top of the formation was some sort of radio tower, thinking that was gonna be part of the “Lookout” tower. I thought maybe there will be some sort of switchback that will lead me straight towards that rock formation. Nope, that’s when Shadowlynn and I ran into the snow.

Snow Snow I tried to climb over the snow but I just kept slippin and slidin’. I just kept thinking that I can do it but all I saw was even deeper snow and a steep hill that would hurt if I slid down. he he. So, needless to say, Shadowlynn and I decided to turn around. We started heading back and decided, let’s just scramble up to the top, no trail or not. Sheez, can’t get lost. It’s too open and you can see the main trail below. We headed for the radio tower.

Radio Tower I did see the two girls that I encountered earlier on their way up. I was gonna yell at them to follow me or turn around because of snow. Nope. I decided, they saw me and hopefully when they encounter the snow, they would just do what I did. :). When I reached the top of the hill and started heading for the tower, I did a quick look around and right behind me I see this………………………

Coffin Lookout Tower

OHHHH I felt like a little kid that just found a treasure! I was wondering why the trail was leading me away from what I thought was Coffin Mountain. We were heading towards the tower.  While I was taking pictures of the tower from here, I started getting bit by red ants. Damn thing has HUGE pincers. I killed one but like 10 ants took it’s place. I packed the camera away and RAN towards the tower. Duh, all I had to do was step IN the snow and the ants wouldn’t follow.  I was also trying to get coordinates from the GPS app I downloaded on my phone. Stupid thing won’t work. I’m telling you, I need GARMIN to sponsor my hikes and let me test some of their GPS hand held navigation systems and Coleman or OFF to let me review the best darn bug sprays for hikes.  LOL. Well, I can dream big. Well, if I’m dreaming – I would get PAID for each hike review I did. Sheez, wouldn’t that be nice! Get paid to do something you absolutely love. he he.

I started heading that way and noticed that there was a path in the snow that people have already created. It didn’t look fresh so I know the dad with the little girl wasn’t up here. The two girls were taking A LOT of breaks and was probably in the same spot I saw them when I started climbing towards the radio tower.

Snow trail Did I tell you, Shadowlynn LOVES the snow. Dumb dog – I hate the snow! he he

Mount Jefferson came into view a lot closer when we got to the tower. The views are simply breathtaking when you get up there. You can see EVERYWHERE. I saw a body of water and I assume that is Detroit Lake. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I kinda looked inside the tower and it was pretty clean. The deck was made of composite wood – how do I know that? My ex owned a construction business building decks and this is what he mainly used. I know what screws to put in them and how to screw the hole deck down. That’s a whole different story.

The rocks that the Lookout tower was sitting on was pretty amazing. I still don’t see it looking like a coffin though.

Coffin Lookout Trail Coffin Lookout Tower Coffin Lookout Tower

Mt. Jefferson

When we got to the top, I finally got to look at Mt. Bachelor. I bet this mountain is gorgeous up close.

Mt. Bachelor

It’s late…It’s way past my bedtime and I have had a whole week + off from work. I have to start programming my body to go to bed early so I can get up around 6am. Maybe to exercise? Yeah right. I will post the pictures below as a slideshow so you can see extra pictures.  I am curious to find out how many of you out there that reads this blog, has stayed the night in one of these lookout towers? I think it would be pretty awesome and would like to get your take.. Leave me a message if you have stayed the night in a Lookout tower! Happy Hiking all!

Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail

It’s Jenn! Wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me! 🙂

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Mount Jefferson Wilderness – Triangulation Peak (#15)

August 21, 2011
Info:  (from Oregon Hiking book by Sen Patrick Hill)    Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
A fitting name for a peak on which a fire watchtower once stood. Triangulation Peak offers an impressive view of Mount Jefferson not only from its peak, but from the mouth of a secret cave accessible by a cross-country scramble over the flanks of the peak. Along the way, the trail passes the towering monolith of Spire Rock and enters a series of alpine meadows covered with fish-filled lakes. For intrepid travelers, this trail also provides access deeper into Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area.
Jenn’s view: OK, Ranger Judy (not sure if that’s her name) didn’t mention ANYTHING about no cave so we had NOOO idea there is this hidden cave and I was dumb enough to leave my book at home and dangit! would have love to ventured to find this secret cave. (I know run-on sentence and punctuations are not in place but who cares! I’m upset!)   Brian and I was actually heading to Pamelia Lake but it was full since there is a limited entry fee to get in so Ranger Judy suggested we do this hike and we did.  I gave this rating an Easy/Moderate —  Easy for the first 1.5 miles because it was relatively easy and then the last 0.6 miles is up, up, up! If we have known about this cave – I guess getting to the cave is really difficult.
See! No where does this flyer that Ranger Judy gave us indicated no hidden cave! Sheez!
Directions: Drive 56 miles east of Salem on OR 22. One mile past Idanha, turn left on McCoy Creek Road 2233 for 9.2 miles. At a building (what building?  Must have missed that one) go right and continue 1.3 miles and park at spur Road 635.
Now, good ol’ Brian relies on these High Tech Gadget thingies that I don’t normally carry.  I normally have this book or directions that I print off the web. So, Brian gets us all confuse and we are stopped trying to locate our exact position – we think we are lost, on the wrong road…blah blah blah and all the while thinking – Just drive.. LOL.  He’s too funny. He puts the GPS thingy down and we decided to drive and low and behold there’s the trail head. We were less than 100 yards away…..hahahaha.
Brian Leggs and his high tech gadget!
So the trail was really pretty.  When we left the car, I believe we hit 91 degrees so it was hot.  Thank goodness the forest was pretty cool until we reached the top out of the shade of the trees. And oh lordy the bugs! Sheez! Had bug spray on but you sure can hear all the flies and bees buzzin’ around.

Mount Jefferson is sooooo gorgeous! You literally felt like you can reach out and touch her. She was so close and right there.  There was another mountain that was showing but wasn’t quite sure which mountain that was.  I know we saw the top of one of the Sisters and Three Finger Jack. It was pretty hilarious…I told Brian to tell me a story and guess what he told me – How Joseph Smith became “THE JOSEPH SMITH”. He’s not even Mormon!

Not quite sure which Mountain this one is? Anyone??
While Brian was out doing his thang on getting his pictures for Photosynth (for a 360 degree view…go here: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=5f81e882-1b9d-4424-8abf-b063ab8e4dd2&ref=nf ) I went off to find out where this little trail went.  Sat on top of those rocks at the end and meditated. Well, not really but it was very peaceful.
I definitely recommend this hike.  It took us 3 hours, including the meditation and picture taking so it was a quick little hike…I WILL GO BACK AND GET TO BOCA CAVE! Maybe with my sister (she’s scared because of the movie Descent) this time since Brian is scared of caves because of the movie Sanctum!
This is probably my favorite picture of all time!
*You can click on any of the pictures to make them bigger*
REVISIT August 28, 2011 to get to Boca Cave. See my Boca Cave blog.  
Here are updated pictures from this visit with my sis. It was about 80 degrees but unfortunately there was a slight haze in the air.  It started clearing up but still that haze stuck on. 😦
My sister Joyce Piol posing for the camera.
My sister was a little scared getting on top of this small rock formation. She gets a little scared of heights but she did it. With my aide, she even got herself down.
Joyce Piol was a little scared getting on this rock and had to help her down BUT she did it! So proud of her!
As you can tell, I have no fear.  Well, not most of the time.  If ShadowLynn was on the rocks with me, then I would freak out. She’s not the most behaved dog and she would have knocked me down.
Huge recommendation to do it. Do eat a big breakfast before going! I struggled the last leg on just 2 cups of coffee.

Moutn Jefferson Wilderness – Whitewater Trail #3429 (#13)

I think they need to replace this sign
August 13, 2011

So, it’s about 3:30-ish when I got back from the car from Cheat Creek and decided it’s still early enough to get to Jeff Park.  I’m thinking it’s about a 2.1 mile hike — Who the heck knows where I even got that figure in my head! Whitewater trail is approximately 10+miles round trip to the first lake.  That would take me more than 6 hours at the rate I was going with all my “poor Jennifer” excuses (neck/shoulder pain, knee pain, no exercising for almost a week, blah blah blah).  Found the parking area and this is where the Wilderness pass comes in.  Here is the map guide from Ranger Bob. It’s pretty crinkly because I kept looking at it to make sure I wasn’t heading in the wrong direction PLUS I used it as a barrier between my hand and the walking stick I found. LOL

On our way up, I was able to get beautiful pictures of Mt. Jefferson. It was closer in person and so beautiful. It makes me really appreciate Oregon!

The weather was perfect! About 75 degrees, clear skies.  In my head, I was thinking, “DANG – perfect day to do Table Rock to see all the mountain ranges” but glad I didn’t.

My water bladder was low and already drank all my Vitamin Water from Cheat Creek.  It was nice because it made my pack WAY lighter but was a little worried about Shadowlynn.  Kept filling up her water bowl and kept wanting more.  Was hoping to find any creeks or water beds for her to drink out of to help save what little water I had left. We did find a creek about 1.5 miles UP and was all happy once again.  We ate near the creek – the rest of my Subway Sammich, trail mix, and protein bar….felt so much better. I brought Dog Food for Shadowlynn so she was all happy and content too!

I think this is part of Whitewater?

Well stupid me NEVER stays on the trail.  Looked up and thought, “that looks like a great place to cut through.” HOPING it would lead me to a great view of the ridge. hmmm.  Nope, it didn’t.  Got turned around a little and noticed a trail so started following the trail not knowing which one I was on. Gimme a break — IT WAS A TRAIL!  After awhile, met the 2 backpacking girls that I met on Cheat Creek trail and said that this trail will lead you to that meadow…Ahhhh crap — was going the wrong way! Turned around and followed the same trail – opposite direction.  Glad I did.  Found these beautiful views along the way…

I seriously need to invest in a camera.  Would love to take one of these pictures, blow it up, frame it and put it on one of the walls…Well, hopefully on my next commission check I may be able to do that.  Plan to do this hike to the first lake within the next week or so and plan to “backpack/camp” next year with friends/family to do the FULL loop!

Mount Jefferson Wilderness – Cheat Creek (#12)

August 13, 2011

I came across this hike in my book awhile back ago and has been “dog earred” for quite some time. Been so busy with other activities this summer that it kept being pushed to the end of the list.  Jefferson Park, as described on William Sullivan’s hike site is as follows:

About the Hike: Oregon’s second tallest mountain rises like a wall from the lake-dotted wildflower meadows of Jefferson Park. The view of Mount Jefferson is so impressive and the meadows are so delightful to explore that the area is crowded in summer – so why not wait to go until September?
Difficulty: The hike is a difficult 10.2-mile round trip, gaining 1,800 feet of elevation. 

Now, thinking to myself — ahhhhh hell yes! I can do this one!!! So packed up the dog, dropped Makaila off at work and headed out.  I knew I had to stop by the ranger station to pick up the pass so I did.  The pass cost me $5 for a day pass or $35 (?) for the year.  I only purchased the day pass but should have purchased the yearly pass. Dude was discouraging me from going – “The mountain is still covered in SNOW…about 45% is still covered.” He tried to get me to go to Marion Lake — easy trail / heavy usage – Yeah right! Thinking to myself, I can still do it and if I hit snow, I’ll turn around. he he. 

Directions: From exit 253 of Interstate 5 in Salem, drive 61 miles east on North Santiam Highway 22. Between mileposts 60 and 61 (10 miles beyond Detroit), turn left on Whitewater Road 2243. Follow this gravel route 7.4 miles to its end at a large parking area. Especially if you’re leaving your car here overnight, leave no valuables inside and leave doors unlocked to discourage car clouters, an occasional problem here.

Well, the first trail head I encountered was Cheat Creek.  I couldn’t find it on the map provided by good ol’ Ranger Bob so I still got out of the car to do it.  Filled out the self issued Wilderness Pass and headed on up.

The trail was a steady climb up.  Stopped several times to catch my breath – HEY haven’t exercised for a week and my neck/shoulder was still in pain! Gimme a break.  Plus my knee was starting to ache – DANG, getting old! Beautiful hike up.

Saw the BIGGEST wasp or is it bees nest EVER! Safe distance – just zoomed in as much as my camera phone will allow.

Gotta have one picture of me! LOL
After a steady climb – I would say about 2 miles, it finally started leveling off and you hit one of the meadows. Now there is a trail to the Pacific Crest Trail some where but the meadow was so overgrown that I wasn’t gonna risk it.  Plus, the hike back??? ahhh geez. There were plenty of bugs, bees, and ants that I decided NOT to enter it too far in.  It reminds me of that episode on Twilight when Bella and Edward were in the meadows and he showed his “shiney” body…hahahahaha!

 I turned around and headed back down.  Met 2 hikers and 2 backpackin’ girls.  Thinking to myself, Jodi and I can do this!!!! LOL.  Guess, I’ll be takin’ my nephews!  Didn’t think I got enough pictures of the Cheat Creek trail…so here are a few more

There really is a creek down there.  You are walking right beside it most of the way up/down