Buck Rock (Trail, Oregon) 03-Jan-2018

Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon

Well, we’ve started into the New Year with the weather repeatedly threatening snow and rain but not producing much of either. So, the check is in the mail and it’ll snow next week…promise! In the meantime, I’m occupying myself with visits to odd, but interesting, places that are probably not worthy of a full dayhike. Last year it was the old fire lookout site atop Tallowbox Mountain. This year, I went for a similar old lookout site on Buck Rock near Trail, Oregon.  Meanwhile, The LovedOne is spending more time volunteering at the library.

There are decent gravel and two-track dirt roads to within a half-mile of Buck Rock (you can drive all the way to the top with a 4×4 or an ATV). But I figured doing a half-mile, 800-foot elevation gain walk would preserve the illusion of exercise, if not of an actual “hike.” The Rock was established as a lookout site in 1925 with construction of a 10-foot wooden tower. During World War II, it served as an Aircraft Warning Site (AWS), which necessitated building a cupola ground house, sleeping and living quarters, and a woodshed. A 10-foot wooden live-in tower was installed in 1959. All of these structures were removed in 1967 when the site was abandoned. Today Buck Rock is home to some solar panels and a small comm tower.

Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Buck Rock Lookout back in the day
Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Buck Rock today
Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Buck Rock overlooks the Rogue Valley

Today the pea-soup fog that has been filling the Rogue Valley for days was being overshot by high clouds ahead of  bad weather that is supposedly coming our way over the next two days or so.  I ‘m thinking that folks on the East Coast would love to have some of this “bad” weather instead of the truly awful weather they’re currently dealing with!

Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Looking west toward the Rogue Valley from Buck Rock; Grayback Mountain (G) on the horizon
Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Looking west toward the Rogue Valley from Buck Rock
Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Tendrils of fog infiltrate side canyons in the Rogue Valley
Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Looking east from Buck Rock: Mount Bailey (1), Mount Thielsen (2), Llao Rock (3), Mount Scott (4), Union Peak (5)
Buck Rock Fire Lookout Trail Oregon
Mount McLoughlin and Brown Mountain from Buck Rock

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3 thoughts on “Buck Rock (Trail, Oregon) 03-Jan-2018

  1. Looking out over that sea of clouds, you’d think you were perched on the edge of the ocean. Beautiful.

    I can’t believe you have a place called Trail! I am meant to visit there, I just know it. 😉 My hubby and I have always meant to get to Bend (for the beer, the biking, etc.). We’ve heard fantastic things about the area. But now that I’ve seen some of the hikes you’ve done there…. wow! It’s moving up the old bucket list! (Now if only the Canadian dollar would get stronger…).

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    1. The loonie has been on parity with the US$ a few times – once I think it was briefly higher. Bend is a great place to visit – there are Forest Service campgrounds all around that you can use to lower your travel costs. We’re near Ashland – further south than Bend – but there are campgrounds here too!

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