The Bear Creek Valley (Bear Creek is a small tributary of the Rogue River) had been blanketed in a cold, damp inversion fog for several days. So we thought we might as well go high and look down, rather than up, at it. Wagner Butte (7,255 ft (2,211 m)) was an obvious choice for a high perch. It’s been two-and-a-half years since either of us did this locally classic hike up to the old fire lookout site on the prow of the ridge north of the butte’s true high point. Time to get reacquainted with an old friend! 🙂 Of course, we awoke to find that the fog we were planning to get above had completely disappeared overnight and we were faced with having to hike under totally bluebird conditions. 😎 Such are the sacrifices hikers have to make. 😀
The hike itself was about 10 miles (16 km) round-trip, with 2,200 feet (670 m) of gain, all on good, mostly moderately-graded trail. There was some (icy in the morning) snow on the trail past the site of the 1983 mudslide, but not enough to impede walking. Substantial views didn’t appear until we were past Wagner Glade Gap; the big payoff in views came when we reached the old lookout site on this almost totally clear day. Although we dressed for cold weather, it proved to be as warm on the trail and the summit as it was at home down below! One could almost think the climate was warming. 🙄
We enjoyed the views, ate a snack, listened to something crashing around in the brush below our rocky promontory, and decided it was time to head back. We passed four hikers on the way down, two with no visible gear other than what they were wearing, and two who were equipped but had decided to pass on the summit today due to their late start. We had a great day hiking! We might even go so far as to give (reluctantly) a passing (socially distanced) nod to the Big V for encouraging us to once again visit this old classic. 😐BACK TO BLOG POSTS
Thanks! We’re lucky we like to hike because it’s about the safest way at the moment to get away from being confined to our house (other than short visits to the grocery store). 🙂 Our respect goes out to those people who were stuck in small apartments in city centers for weeks on end. 😦
Beautiful. You two are such intrepid hikers, and your photos are always gorgeous.
Fantastic as always.