Windy Valley (Oregon Coast Range) 21-Oct-2020

Windy Valley is an amazingly beautiful place at the end of a long drive and a short hike. Despite being burned around by the 2002 Biscuit, 2015 Collier Butte, and 2017 Chetco Bar Fires, it has remained a pristine mountain meadow bisected by a small, crystal clear creek. Amazing! I first found out about it while perusing the “More Hikes” section of Sullivan’s Oregon Coast Guide (Fourth Edition, 2018), where it’s Hike #139. I was intrigued. But it’s a long drive for a day trip. So it had to wait until we could add it to an extended trip to the coast. Which we did. So after being baffled by the Trees of Mystery and charmed by barking sea lions near Hidden Beach, we headed inland to visit the valley.

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Cape Sebastian (Oregon Coast) 06-Dec-2017

Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor Oregon

Having been granted a foul weather reprieve for one more dry visit to the Oregon Coast this year, we headed there to walk on the beach and enjoy a few short hikes. The second of these was an out-and-back (3.6 miles roundtrip; 1,000 feet of elevation gain) – on a section of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) – from the viewpoint atop Cape Sebastian (the highest point on the Southern Oregon Coast) to Hunters Cove.  This hike in the Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor was a great one through stands of Sitka spruce past a wave-pounded rocky promontory to the wide beach at the Cove. Along the way we had stunning close-up views of the rugged coastline on yet another  bluebird day!

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Cape Ferrelo (Oregon Coast) 05-Dec-2017

Cape Ferrelo Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor Oregon

When the first waves of winter wet arrived in November, we thought we’d missed our chance for one more dry visit to the Oregon Coast this year. But then high pressure took control ( a somewhat unusual occurrence) and the coastal forecast came up with 10+ days of clear, sunny, and mild conditions. So we headed to the coast to walk on the beach and enjoy a few short hikes. The first of these was an out-and-back (3.6 miles roundtrip; 800 feet of elevation gain) from the House Rock Viewpoint to Cape Ferrelo on a section of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) in the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.  This proved to be a wonderful hike through stands of old growth spruce and red alder to the grassy top of the cape for breathtaking views of the rugged coastline on the most bluebird of days!

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Oregon Coast Redwoods 10-Oct-2016

Oregon Coast Redwoods

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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Vulcan Lake (Kalmiopsis Wilderness) 19-Apr-2016

Vulcan Lake Kalmiopsis Wilderness Oregon

On our way back from the Illinois River Trail, we decided to do the short hike to Vulcan Lake on the west side of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. This lake, like Babyfoot Lake on the eastern side of the wilderness, is one of the few relatively accessible lakes in the Kalmiopsis. And, of the many alpine glacial lakes in Southern Oregon and Northern California, this is the only one reached from the coast. Hence it appears in most of the popular guidebooks for this area (Hike #92 in Sullivan’s Oregon Coast and Coast Range guide (2014); Hike #85 in Bernstein & Urness’ Hiking Southern Oregon guide (2014)).

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