Ashland Daily Photo
Ashland Daily Photo - A picture a day from beautiful Ashland, Southern Oregon USA in the Rogue Valley
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Posts tagged hike

Snowy Muir Creek

Southern Oregon winter

@whattodoinsoore #whattodoinsouthernoregon #findyourSouthernOregon @Oregon_explored #Oregonexplored

My random, desktop image of the day comes from a hike I took just over two years ago. I nearly died that day. Good memories.

North Umpqua River

Natural Bridge

@whattodoinsoore #whattodoinsouthernoregon #findyourSouthernOregon @Oregon_explored #Oregonexplored

About two hours from Ashland, and not far from Crater Lake, is the trail to Toketee Falls. The trail to the falls offers views like the above.

One month ago…

PCT at the 2/3 point (Oregon)

@PCTAssociation @theTrekPCT @MBeagle47

Today’s photo is a reverse angle of this one on the PCT.

889 miles to go

pct brown mountain pct sign mexico canada south brown mountain shelter snowshoeing

2/3 point on the Pacific Crest Trail


Marys Peak Meadowedge Trail

Old growth Noble Firs in a bed of clover

Another shot today from the hike we did a month ago on Marys Peak when we headed north for the eclipse. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked through old growth Noble Firs before. The carpet of clover made it extra special.

Ashland to cool off

Hobart Bluff

Well, not this much, but today is supposed to be the last day to hit 80 degrees for at least the next 10 days. Maybe we won’t see 80 again this year?

In other news, there is a chance of snow at SOU’s football game this Saturday in Dillon, Montana.

Today’s photo comes from May of this year. Snow in May? Not in the valley but Hobart frequently gets snow in April and sometimes in May.

Eclipse day -1

Sunlight, moss, and a bed of clover

We hiked around on Marys Peak today. Most people were just heading to the summit, which was rather unspectacular, IMO, and then heading back to their cars and taking off. The view from the summit would be far more spectacular at sunrise, sunset, or on an extremely clear day. Today things were a bit hazy and the overhead sunlight washed everything out. So a runner we talked to recommended the Meadow Edge Trail. This trail was extraordinary. As we walked in an old growth Noble Fir forest the sunlight came squeezing through just enough to make the clover-covered ground look amazing. This was probably my second favorite trail (after Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park) that didn’t include real “views” or a lake at the end.

Hobart Bluff on Thanksgiving

Pilot Rock from Hobart Bluff

We traditionally take a walk on the White Rabbit Trail in the Ashland watershed on Thanksgiving. However, our walking partner was out of the country yesterday so we opted for Hobart Bluff instead. The trail, itself, wasn’t in great shape as it was muddy or slick with snow or ice, but the view at the end was worth it.

Muir Creek Falls

Muir Creek Falls

After my first attempt ended in failure, I made it to Muir Creek Falls yesterday. No wonder there aren’t any photos or discussions of this place on the internet; the “easy” Muir Creek Trail is awful in its current condition. Parts of Muir Creek Trail are overgrown, parts have trees (many trees!) blocking the trail, and I completely lost the trail a few times.

After finally reaching the falls I decided not to go back the way I came. Instead I crossed the falls, via a fallen tree, to the other side. There is a house and barn on the other side. I became a bit freaked out, in part by an unrealized fear of some guy coming out of the house in the middle of nowhere and in part by the wild cows on the property. Instead of crossing through the property to get to road NF-2734 I opted to tough it out through the forest. Big mistake. I ran into more cows in the forest. Cows in the forest are scary. They never charged me, but they cursed me with their eyes, and I headed in the opposite direction. The forest terrain was very steep. I took a nasty fall at one point, did more bushwhacking than I would have liked, and ended up with blood trickling down hands, arms, and a leg.

I’m done visiting Muir Creek, but should you be so inclined, I have a few recommendations:
1) If taking Muir Creek Trail, be sure to have long pants on. Also, be sure you have the local map downloaded into your phone beforehand for offline use. GPS works out there, but there is no internet. Put the trail into your phone so you can find it when it disappears. Also, waterproof boots are a good idea as I ended up walking through 2-5″ of water several times.
2) Don’t try to get to Muir Creek from the east. The terrain is awful.
3) A possible easy route is via Road NF-2734. You’ll have to walk through the aforementioned property. I have no idea how often someone stays there or if they are friendly.

Muir Creek “trail”

Muir Creek

Almost five months have passed since I began this story. I suppose I should write down a few more details before they fade from my mind.

I could not find a trail down to the water and the falls so I forged my own. It got a bit scary at times as it was fairly steep. I made it down with only a minor fall or two. I walked along Muir Creek for a while, realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to reach the waterfall without crossing the river. So I gave up on that idea and instead headed south along the east bank away from Muir Creek Falls. The views were beautiful without falls. I walked carefully as I was sinking in the snow, rather deeply, even with snowshoes. There was so much snow I was worried that it wasn’t all on solid ground, and I could plunge through the snow and into the water.

After today’s photo I turned around and began to retrace my steps. Walking was much easier stepping into my old prints than creating new ones as I’d only sink an inch or two with each step instead of many inches on my way down. I lost my fear and increased my pace. That was when my prior anxiety was realized. Although I stepped into my prior steps, this second time I went straight through the snow (more than four feet of snow) and into the water. My adrenaline kicked in like never before. It seemed to know that I was on my own, and if things didn’t quickly get better rather than worse I could be a dead man.

I think one of my snowshoes caught some wood at the bottom while my other was in water (with my foot still in it). My head and shoulders were above the snow (I’m 6’4″), my feet were in water, and my body was in snow. I couldn’t see my situation below the snow. I had no branches or other items on the surface to pull myself up with. As I struggled snow around me disappeared into the water below. That wasn’t good as without the snow around me I had no way of getting out. Details are foggy at this point as everything happened so fast, but I think I was able to get one of my poles up and out and onto something more solid than the snow immediately around me. My right snowshoe on a log or branch or something also gave me a bit of leverage. Somehow I got myself up and out of there.

The rest of the walk back up the mountain and to my car was uneventful. My socks, boots, and pants below my knees were frozen solid as they had gone under water before reemerging into the below freezing temperatures.

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