Devils Staircase Wilderness (Oregon Coast) 18-Jun-2020

There are now 48 federally designated wilderness areas in Oregon. By 2017, we had hiked in, or at least made a passing visit to, 47 of them. Then in 2019, Congress, in a rare fit of actually doing something useful 🙄 , established the Devils Staircase Wilderness in the coastal mountains just east of Reedsport, Oregon. It was created as a refuge for wildlife and thus features no hiking trails or designated access points. It does have remnant old-growth forests, a plethora of steep slopes, and some impressively impenetrable vegetation. The wilderness’s namesake, Devils Staircase, is a series of low cascades over sandstone outcroppings along Wassen Creek, which was designated as a Wild and Scenic River at the same time the wilderness was established.

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John Dellenback Dunes Trail (Oregon Coast) 30-Jul-2018

John Dellenback Dunes Trail Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Smoke from all the wildfires burning in our region finally broke our resolve and we cashed in hotel coupons we’d been saving for a special occasion (like breathing) and headed for the Oregon Coast for a few (too few) days of cool and breathable air (plus seafood). We used Bonnie Henderson’s Day Hiking Oregon Coast (2nd Edition, 2015) as our guide and, for our second hike (her #67), picked an out-and-back hike to the beach on the John Dellenback Dunes Trail (USFS #1339) in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

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Tahkenitch Dunes Trail (Oregon Coast) 29-Jul-2018

Tahkenitch Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Thanks (?) to all the wildfires burning in our region, the best air quality we’ve had in the past two weeks has been only “moderate” and it’s often been much worse. That, combined with triple digit (ÂşF) air temperatures, has made the daily routine tough and hiking nigh near impossible. The LovedOne was clinging to A/C like a shipwreck survivor to a leaky life raft. Finally, finally, it was just too much and we cashed in some hotel coupons we’d been saving for something special (like breathing) and headed for Reedsport on the Oregon Coast for a few (too few) days of cool air and particulate-free air (plus seafood).

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