Category Archives: Oregon Coast

Visiting Oregon’s Wilderness Areas (July 2017)

Visits to Oregon's Wilderness Areas

In late 2015, as we were assembling our hiking to do list for 2016, it occurred to us that we had yet to at least visit all of Oregon’s 47 established and open federal wilderness areas (Oregon’s Wilderness Areas). Two of the 47 (Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks) are closed to public entry (and would require amphibious operations even if they were open). Of the remaining 45, we had, as of 2015, hiked or visited all but 18. So we planned some trips to visit these. We’re not philosophers but suffice to say that wilderness exists just to be wild, irrespective of human needs or wants. So we understood going in that the primary “human” purpose for these wilderness areas is to protect a watershed or a threatened and endangered species or a terrestrial habitat or a fish habitat or all of the above and not for our hiking pleasure. This is particularly true of the smaller, less visited areas, many of which have few or no trails and in which cross-country travel opportunities vary from good to heroically (think Lewis & Clark or Alexander Mackenzie) difficult. So we weren’t planning on long day hikes or multi-day backpacks, just a visit and, if possible without undue heroics, a short hike.  We started on the remaining 18 in January 2016 and visited the last one in July 2017.  Below is a list of all of Oregon’s established wilderness areas, with a link (if available) to at least one of our visits to each (we’ve visited some multiple times).

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Two Hikes on the Southern Oregon Coast 10/11-Oct-2016

Oregon Coast Redwoods Humbug Mountain

The calm before the storm

This weather forecast was calling for rain by the end of the week, with up to 10 inches in 24 hours predicted for places on the Southern Oregon Coast (a forecast that has since been upgraded to “…more than the typical rainfall for the entire month of October, and for the Medford airport, could be the wettest 5 day period in October since 1962…” {the year of the infamous Columbus Day Storm}).  With this ominous prognostication in mind, we decided to make a run for the coast and do a couple of short, but unique, hikes that had been on the edge of our to do list for awhile.

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