Mt. Jefferson Wilderness – Coffin Lookout Trail #3392

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.

Click to make it bigger

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

Click to make it bigger

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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Random Thoughts – PINTEREST! Nature Scavenger Hunt

RANDOM THOUGHTS – PINTEREST!

Pinterest Nature Scavenger Hunt

So, I’m super obsessed, okay maybe not super but pretty duper excited about Pinterest. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, I can invite you in, just leave a comment and your email and you will join the club of the obsessed. It’s just a great way to organize stuff found on the web on to these “boards” that you create. You get to look at everyone else’s pins and then re-pin, like, or comment on it. I can spend HOURS on this pinning. LOL.  Just click on the Pinterest picture below. (if it doesn’t work, go here: http://pinterest.com/hikerjenn/)

Pinterest

This one I found pretty exciting. My teenagers may not think so but for Scott’s boys, I think this would be a GREAT activity for small kids on a nature walk or hike or camping. We went on that hike in Mt. Hood during our camping trip and the boys got a little bored just walking. You get a lot of whining or feet hurting or complaints but if you keep them engaged and occupied, it makes for a great hike and I bet they would think it’s fun! (Along with bringing big water guns and playing hide and seek in the woods — ohhhh that would make for another blog entry!) The above picture was taken from a pin I got from Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/121456521171099575/). Normally, when you click on the picture it will take you straight to the website it was taken from and then tell you more about the picture, idea, craft, what ever… this one, nope. It lead me to some thing called the Taylor House. Hmmmm. Weird. (It’s late and have to get to bed – I have a regular job and shouldn’t really be doing this — Gosh darn it!) Anyways, back on the subject. To get smaller kids out for the summer HIKING (my favorite word of the day, evening, century, millennium…Geez, Jenn get with it), I would create a small scavenger hunt for them. Instead of “just hiking in the woods”, they can keep an eye out for “stuff” found on the trail. OR give them a small disposable camera and have a list of what pictures they need to take. Cross your fingers – I will experiment on my little nieces, nephews, friend’s kids and see if it is a great activity! I will do a follow up to this maybe after summer and post pictures of the experience…. OOOOHHHHH sooo excited. Oh now I’ve done it! My mind is gonna start racing and won’t be able to get up for my 6 a.m. wake up call!

Leave a comment and let me know if you do something similar with your outdoor activities?

(It’s really late because even the misspelled words and grammatical errors – they all look right!!!)

Opal Creek Wilderness – No Hike Hikes! North Fork Park

NORTH FORK PARK

North Fork Park

JUNE 23, 2012

Info: http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/descriptions/northfork.htm. The first park land purchased by Marion County was for North Fork Park. 8.52 acres of the park are leased from BLM. The warm water of the Little North Fork of the Santiam River, a swimming hole, sandy beach, and one-half hour drive from the Salem urban area combine to make North Fork Park one of the most popular Marion County park areas. On warm Sunday afternoons, the parking area is full and cars are parked along the shoulder of the road for a considerable distance. Work relief crews helped develop the park’s trail system.

 

Facilities at a Glance

  • 11.98 Acres
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fishing
  • Fire Pits
  • Water Activities
  • Hiking Trails
  • ADA Accessible:
    Restroom and trail

Hours

8:00 a.m. to Sunset

Directions:

Twenty-eight miles from Salem, Santiam Highway, one mile above Mehama, turn left at bridge, three miles up North Fork Road.

Jenn’s View: The park is located on the right. If you reset your odometer after turning from Hwy 22, you should reach the park within 2 miles.   I call this a no hike hike cuz it really is no hiking. You walk a few feet and voila, you are there. This particular park had a small trail that loops around and can access the North Santiam River in many places. Great place to fish and have a picnic. I did the loop and I will say I did get wet. It was raining on and off throughout the day. I was pretty lucky though and hit the no hikes when it wasn’t raining.

There is a bathroom in the parking lot. Most areas don’t have a bathroom so if you need to go, go.

North Fork Park

There is a sign that shows the loop and gives warning information about Anglers. I know anglers are fishers.  LOL. So I didn’t pay too much attention to what it states on the sign. he he.  Problem has something to do with having your license to fish.

North Fork Park North Fork Park

The path practically goes to the river. Great place to set the raft, kayak, canoe or just have a picnic and play in the water. The calm area didn’t seem too deep but I could be wrong. The rapids are pretty swift so be careful! Great place for kids and dogs.

North Fork Park Opal Creek Wilderness North Fork Park

Opal Creek Wilderness North Fork Park

Shadowlynn and I did the loop and it was pretty wet. My pants are great. Even though it got wet, it dries pretty quickly. It dried before I reached the next hike…Salmon Falls.

North Fork Park The loop had little steps and it was a pretty obvious path around. There were quite a few forks in the road but it was obvious that most of the paths lead to another part of the river

North Fork Park North Fork Park

Can’t wait for warmer weather so I can take the kids here for a picnic. Then we can continue finding more hikes out in this area!  Go check out the other NO HIKES hikes!

SALMON FALLS PARK: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/opal-creek-wilderness-elkhorn-falls-7/

SULLIVAN FALLS: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/opal-creek-wilderness-no-hike-hike-sullivan-falls/