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!



Columbia Gorge – Latourell Falls


MAY 24, 2012

Info: Taken from the Friends of the Columbia Gorge website (http://gorgefriends.org/display.php?modin=51&uid=4886) Beginning from the Latourell Falls Trailhead, follow the paved viewpoint trail up to the viewpoint. From here, a dirt path leads away to the left, steeply around the basin. Look for side views of the falls, particularly in the winter, when the trees have lost their leaves. The trail climbs for about 1/3 of a mile to a bench at the top of the falls.

The main trail continues southward beside the creek. The trail here is rocky in places and the undergrowth next to the trail is very thick, blocking most views in the summer. The trail crosses four pleasant, small wooden bridges and then comes to Upper Latourell Falls. This waterfall is a two tiered drop: first a block fall that’s almost hidden and then a plunge into a pool. The trail crosses Latourell Creek at the base of the falls and heads back down the west side of Henderson creek. Follow the trail to the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Hikers can return to the trailhead by hiking across the bridge, but there’s more trail fun to be had. Across the road, there’s an old set of stairs that start a trail dropping down into Guy Talbot Park. The trail drops down to a parking area with picnic tables. From here another paved trail heads back under the highway bridge to the base of Latourell Falls. The bridge, dating from 1914, is interesting in its own right, with special lightweight construction due to the unstable soils in the area. At the falls, the lichen-covered columnar basalt formations around the falls steal the show. From here, it’s a short, paved, uphill hike to the parking lot.

Directions: From Portland, drive east on I-84 to Exit 28 (Bridal Veil). Turn Right on the Historic Highway and drive 2.8 miles to the Latourell Falls Parking lot on the left. From the east, take exit 35 (Ainsworth Park). Drive 10.8 miles west on the Historic Highway to the same lot.

Jenn’s View: Since this was the only “TRUE” hike I did, I really enjoyed this one. It was about 2+ miles round trip and I think I took a wrong turn somewhere because I didn’t end up at the parking lot that I originally started in. I wasn’t too far off though :). Great hike for the family. I saw little tiny kids on the trail. They have this rated as moderate and I would have to agree at the beginning of the trail. It does “SLOWLY” climb up so not too hard or strenuous.  Meaning, slow elevation gain. Take the kids and the dogs! Dogs must be on a leash. I didn’t get great pictures. The lighting was off – too much sun. The best place that I had a blast taking pictures was Bridal Veil. I am soooo not a professional or even an amateur, I just take pics to add to the blogs.

From the parking lot, you climb up the paved path to a viewing area of Latourell Falls. Talked to a family who had a young German Shepherd and three kids.  One of the kids bent down in front of Shadowlynn’s face and my dog jumped up to either lick her or just “bonk” her on her nose. I was busy talking with the mom and not paying attention to her little girl. Gave her a bloody nose and felt soooo bad!

Please please please, educate your children on the importance of NOT going up to a dog without owner’s consent or without owner’s supervision. OR bending down and being eye level to a stranger’s dog.

(BTW, the”professional picture above to the right here was not taken by me. It is from the Friends of the Columbia Gorge website)

From the viewpoint, there is a trail that starts the slow climb up. I think that was probably the hardest part of the trail besides all the deep mud puddles you encounter on the trail.

I came to the falls and loved how “neon green” the moss was next to the water. Had to take a picture, of course.

Climbing up the hill, I saw a couple of people on this log taking pictures of the river/creek/stream so I patiently waited my turn and got on that log. It freaked me out because it was quite slippery and my stupid dog kept running back and forth on the log with me on it! She has absolutely no manners and will knock you off first chance she gets because you are in HER way.

I didn’t get any good shots from this bridge, probably because I wouldn’t walk all the way across fearing my dog would knock me off. Here is what I managed to get. Nothing spectacular.

Hiked up a bit more and decided to stop and eat my Subway Sammich. MMMM yummy… 9 grain Honey Oat with Turkey and cheddar cheese. Add spinach, tomatoes, jalapenos, a little bit of mayo and mustard and got myself a awesome lunch. Shared the meat with Shadowlynn, of course. While sitting there, I heard a crack and large branches from the tree next to me fell. Didn’t hurt me or the dog but that was our cue to go. Came to the first bridge of the hike. You encounter a few.

It was so muddy on the trail. My poor shoes. Someone asked me (Scott’s Aunt Cathy) what shoes I normally wear and for the love of God, I couldn’t remember. Probably because I was nervous meeting the family for the first time. They are KEENS! That’s right! Need to do a product review on those babies here soon. I didn’t get a shot of the little cascading stream at the bridge. I figure I get enough of those. LOL

We finally get to the upper part and we have Upper Latourell Falls. Real pretty but the spray from the water and the amount of people on the trail made it quite difficult to get a shot.


I moved further down and across the bridge but someone with a camera/tripod was out taking pictures. He was patiently awaiting for people to pass. Nice equipment but I think he gave up to trying to take a picture of this fall. He kept wiping his camera lens.

While I was waiting for the people to pass, I found a little stream and started taking pictures.

Heading down, I found these flowers I would love to add to my potted plants. Not really sure what they are but they awfully pretty. While going down, I came to a fork in the road. I did take the path to the right thinking I would end at the bottom path and back to the highway, but I swore that path ended so I climbed back up and took the other path. Hmmm…It was a bigger path! Every now and then you would get a break in the tree line so you can see the Gorge but the trees are pretty big that it was hard to see. Like I said at the beginning, I didn’t end up at the parking lot. I did however end up NEAR the parking lot, close to the bridge.

Overall, I think this hike was pretty nice. We got a great break from the winter weather we have been having to enjoy and soak up the sun. Even though my allergies were killing me, I still had a marvelous time!

It wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me! he he or Shadowlynn

Opal Creek Wilderness – Henline Falls Trail


May 30, 2011

Info: Taken from the US Forest Service (http://www.fs.usda.gov) The trail meanders through young Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest. The trail ends at Henline Falls. Here you will find remnants of old mining from the 1930’s. A mine adit was built into the solid rock wall and goes back in about 1500 feet.

Directions: From Salem, travel East on Hwy 22 to milepost 23 at the Swiss Village Restaurant. Turn left on North Fork Road, which is marked “Little North Santiam Recreation Area”. Travel about 19 miles to forest road 2207 junction, continue past this junction for ¼ mile. Trailhead is on the left side.
This also provides access to Ogle Mountain Trail #3357 where it intersects with Henline Falls trail.

Jenn’s View: I really do like this hike. It’s real easy and quick so if I have the urge to do something close, I can go here. I would probably head up to Silver Creek Falls but it’s normally crowded so I don’t go there as much. Plus, if you are courageous enough you can go in the mine…I wouldn’t suggest going pass the barrier though. It freaked me out! All I can imagine is something crawling on the ceiling and then grab me and pull me in!

The first time I did this was with my daughter, Makaila Hunter.  She’s so funny and fun to hike with. Of course, I brought Shadowlynn with us and she was sporting her wonderful doggie backpack that carries nothing in it. It’s terrible to hold anything in it, I just use so I can spot her. 🙂 The Dog

You go through the woods and it’s a pretty flat area to hike into so the hike was pretty easy. Most of the pictures taken were when we reached the falls.

A couple of pictures of us. It wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me :)!

We did manage to do another hike very close by. These pictures were taken with my camera phone and my ELPH camera. Unfortunately, my little ELPH broke.

Taken at river levelIt's Jenn

REVISIT: March 11, 2012
So, silly me decided to once again go hiking and be unprepared for snow. Gosh darn snow! Besides, Scott Wenger had my snow pants when we went skiing that last time I was in Sisters, Oregon. EEEK. First time skiing since 6th grade. Quite comical on skis. I think I should invest in snow shoes.

Here was my drive in. I drive a 4 door Honda Accord so any snow – blah for my car. I love my little car especially now that the gas price is over $4.00 a gallon so my SUV has to wait once again.

Sorry it’s such a dark picture but the settings of my camera were way off and I forgot to adjust them before taking the pictures.

There was another car parked in front of the sign so I know that someone else was on the trail. You would normally do the self issued pass that is located on the sign in the little box but there were none so I didn’t fill it out. Next time, I should leave a small pad of paper and see who would write on it to tell me about the trail. hmmmm…. SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!

To Henline Falls and Ogle Mountain

Most of the trail was covered in snow. Man, it would have been nice to have my snow pants, just saying….

You come to a fork in the road. To the right, that’s the trail to Ogle Mountain. I wouldn’t take that road just quite yet. It’s long and bit more difficult.

You know when you are on the right track when you come to the sign to Henline Falls

When you are on the trail, you will start hearing the water… At the end of the path is good ol’ Henline Falls

Wouldn’t be a blog without a picture of me….Isn’t that what I normally say?

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.

Santiam State Forest – Lower and Upper Butte Creek Falls (#8)

Scotts Mill, Oregon
May 7, 2011

Info: (http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws/falls.php?num=4443) This gorgeous 78 foot waterfall is the highlight of the Butte Creek Falls trail system, and the view from the viewpoint makes it all that much more impressive. The falls are viewed from atop a rocky promontory, jutting 150 feet above Butte Creek, which makes a wide 180 degree turn around the obstacle. The trail actually continues down the ledge, clinging precariously to the edge of the cliffs at points (not something I wanted to try in the rain), eventually reaching the base of the falls, and Lower Butte Creek Falls, which are located immediately below the large plunge pool of Butte Creek Falls (the lower falls are, however, very difficult to clearly see). Flowering trees can be seen adorning the basin in the spring months, some of which stand at perfect locations to frame the waterfall. KATU did even a story on these falls. http://www.katu.com/younews/99994229.html
Difficulty: Easy but careful it’s slick                                                                   Distance: unknown
Jenn’s View:
I loved it even though it rained and was wet, slick, muddy —  I loved this area. It’s easy and relatively flat except in areas that I had to get great pictures but otherwise a great trail for kids and families of all ages. Just be super careful when you get to one of the falls. The ledge is quite high and slick. A dog had fallen off the ledge and died. Was on KATU news. 😦  You must go in SPRING to get the full waterfall effect. Otherwise, the waterfall display is minimal and not so grandeur! Like most waterfalls in Oregon.
Upper/Lower Butte Creek Falls are northeast of Salem, OR.

  1. On I-5 take Salem exit 256 (Market St. / Hwy 213)
  2. Head east on Market St. (note HWY 213 sign)
  3. At the second light turn left on Lancaster (HWY 213 sign).
  4. After 1.3 miles turn right on Silverton Road.
  5. In another 10 miles (while in Silverton) you will reach a three-way
    stop sign. Turn left to remain on HWY 213
  6. Turn left on 1st St.
  7. Turn right on Oak St. (HWY 213)
  8. In another 4.8 miles turn right onto Scott’s Mills Road NE
  9. In another 2.7 miles (while in Scott’s Mills) turn right onto Crooked Finger Rd.
    (go past park for McKay Falls)
  10. After 9.2 miles Crooked Finger Road turns to gravel.
  11. Note your odometer or reset your trip odometer at this point.
  12. In 2.1 miles turn left onto road CF400 (but not marked as such)
  13. In one-tenth mile the road forks. Take the right fork.
  14. In another 1.8 miles there will be a rest area with parking on the left.
  15. Trail to the falls starts here.


 I had such a crappy day the day I did this hike. The night before, I wrecked the front end of my car and then got it towed at an apartment complex and had to wait till the next morning to get it out! I was feeling quite depressed and so I loaded up the rental car that I got and took off. I printed this fall (and many others) from Oregonwaterfalls.net.  But my rental car sure did get me there!
 Here is my poor wrecked car before they hauled it away 😦
 It was sunny when I left but sure did start to pour when I got there. Glad I brought my ski jacket to keep me warm. I still loved it though! The road to get there was pretty neat.  The sun shining through the trees…makes a great photo opportunity.

You’ll see the trail head to the left of you. The trail is pretty easy but be careful of the slippery rocks and mud.

The first fall I came to was Upper Butte, I think. he he. I don’t know, a fall is a fall….

You can walk down this little path to get behind the waterfall.  The water level was a little too high and it was quite muddy, so I stayed away from it. 🙂 I’m not dumb.  Did discover a little grave site.  Didn’t really see an actual grave, just the crosses.

For Spring in Oregon, it was still very cold. The jacket did get soaked but still kept me warm :).  Start traveling down the trail and you will always hear the creek. Tons of water going through.  I think Spring is a great time to go since the waterfalls are at their best display. Unfortunately, it is so wet and cold in Oregon that it deters me from actually going out and seeking them.  But once I get the bug to go, I go!

There was one part of the trail that I really wanted to get a picture of but had to practically slide down this hill and hopefully not fall in.  Pictures from my phone DOES NOT do it justice!

 It was pretty close to Lower Butte so climbed up the hill and voila, hit the next falls.  Like I said, easy trail, relatively flat…you can trail run this.

Me being a bit of a dare devil.  The cliff is pretty high but heights really don’t scare me. 

Of course Pics for my Facebook wall…he he

The trail back towards the car…you see interesting things. Someone made a chair to sit on. 

After returning to my car, I was looking for another hike to do.  Started following this road to get to a lake.

Unfortunately the higher I went, the more snow I saw until I got to the point that this rental car would not be able to go through. he he.

The END… 🙂
Go check out Santiam State Forest – Abiqua Falls blog dated October 23, 2011.  It is less than a couple of miles from here and the Fall is amazing!