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 Post subject: Sutton Creek 01-03-18
 Post Posted: January 6th, 2018, 4:02 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Posts: 1725
Location: SW Portland
We did this short loop during a brief stay at the coast right after New Year’s. Sutton Creek is just north of Florence and part of the northernmost section of the Oregon Dunes but not within the boundaries of the National Recreation Area. All around the parking area, silktassel was blooming, the flower strings dangling like rain chains throughout the understory. We took the boardwalk out to the Holman Vista, where we could see over Sutton Creek to seasonal lakes in the dunes and Sea Lion Point and Cape Mountain to the north. Another short trail led to a ford of the creek and a path that goes out to Baker Beach.

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At Holman Vista, Sutton Creek.jpg
At Holman Vista, Sutton Creek.jpg [ 190.33 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Coast silktassel (Garrya elliptica), Sutton Creek.jpg
Coast silktassel (Garrya elliptica), Sutton Creek.jpg [ 296.47 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Coast silktassel strand (Garrya elliptica), Sutton Creek.jpg
Coast silktassel strand (Garrya elliptica), Sutton Creek.jpg [ 102.61 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Creek and dunes, Holman Vista, Sutton Creek.jpg
Creek and dunes, Holman Vista, Sutton Creek.jpg [ 197.1 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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View to Sea Lion Point, Sutton Creek.jpg
View to Sea Lion Point, Sutton Creek.jpg [ 208.87 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]


We decided, however, to confine ourselves to a couple of loops inland. These took us through a densely vegetated dunescape shaded by shore pine and Sitka spruce and never far from Sutton Creek. Near the edge of a more open expanse, invasive gorse and Scots broom have staked a foothold. We also came across a swing strung from a pitched over spruce and couldn’t resist! The trail returned us along the creek through salal and rhododendron thickets with the temperatures a balmy 58 degrees under a canopy of high clouds.

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Spruce contortions, Sutton Creek.jpg
Spruce contortions, Sutton Creek.jpg [ 286.05 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Looking over Sutton Creek, Sutton Creek Trail.jpg
Looking over Sutton Creek, Sutton Creek Trail.jpg [ 324.77 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Footbridge, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg
Footbridge, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg [ 266.67 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Rhododendrons and shore pines, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg
Rhododendrons and shore pines, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg [ 316.57 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Common gorse (Ulex europaeus), Sutton Creek Loop.jpg
Common gorse (Ulex europaeus), Sutton Creek Loop.jpg [ 157.58 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Kinnikinnick and reindeer lichen, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg
Kinnikinnick and reindeer lichen, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg [ 179.06 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Sandy slope, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg
Sandy slope, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg [ 205.26 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]

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Spruce swing, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg
Spruce swing, Sutton Creek Loop.jpg [ 196.46 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]


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