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Ogle Mountain Trail Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

This page is marked as a Lost Hike. The "trail" may be dangerous and hard to follow and is not recommended for beginning hikers without an experienced leader. Carry detailed maps of the whole area and/or a GPS unit and compass.
View east towards Nasty Rock, high ridge above Ogle Mountain Trail (bobcat)
Wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), Henline Falls Trail (bobcat)
Steve Falls, Henline Creek (bobcat)
Blaze, Ogle Mountain Trail (bobcat)
Henline Falls, Opal Creek Wilderness (bobcat)
The Ogle Mountain Trail and diversions (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Henline Falls TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: East Branch Henline Creek
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 7.1 miles
  • High point: 3,305 feet
  • Elevation gain: 1845 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Mid-spring into Fall
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

It's been a long time since the Ogle Mountain Trail actually took prospectors to Ogle Mountain and the Ogle Mine on its west slope. Those locations are about a mile and a half north of the Willamette National Forest boundary and some distance before then the trail begins to peter out. It is still possible, however, to follow the trace of this old trail at least as far as the East Branch Henline Creek and the boundary of the national forest. Then you'll have to decide whether you want to turn back or attempt the more difficult, but not too lengthy, bushwhack up the back side of Henline Mountain to make a loop back to the Henline Falls Trailhead. There are a couple of worthy diversions on this hike, one of them, of course, the short walk to Henline Falls, best visited in the spring. Farther up the Ogle Mountain Trail, take a miner's track to the adits of the Queen of the West and then effect a short bushwhack up to two more waterfalls on Henline Creek. Note that a 2015 wildfire damaged parts of the Henline Falls and lower Ogle Mountain Trails.

Sign in at the wilderness permit box at the trailhead and head up the Henline Falls Trail #3348. Join an old road bed, formerly FR2209-301, lined by red alder in a Douglas-fir/western hemlock forest with a salal, Oregon grape, and sword fern carpet. Pass a road track leading up to the right and then reach the unsigned Henline Falls-Ogle Mountain Trail Junction.

Keep left here and reach the old trailhead with a sign for the Henline Falls Trail. This wide trail, once a tramway to the Silver King Mine, drops past some large Douglas-firs and then rises gently. Pass the junction with a user trail that rises steeply up the slope to the top of Henline Falls. Drop to the area of Henline Falls, squeezing past the concrete foundation of the Silver King Mine’s power plant, once fed by a flume whose brackets are still attached to the monkey-flowered rock face above the trail. There are various vantage points for viewing the 125-foot falls: the best may be from below the plunge pool. While a torrential flow might seem grand, the view will be obscured by spray and it will be difficult to get close. The filmy cascade of late spring or mid-fall is more photogenic. Up to the right of the falls is the adit for the Silver King Mine. It was drilled 1,700 feet into the rock without profitable gold being found; these days, there is a bat gate about twenty yards into the shaft.

Return to the Henline Falls-Ogle Mountain Trail Junction and make a left (There’s an X on a tree just up the Ogle Mountain Trail). Head up on a rather overgrown trail through salal, vine maple, and Oregon grape. You'll make some switchbacks in a forest of huge fire-scorched trunks. In the understory, there are scattered madrones, chinquapins, and rhododendrons. The trail levels out to make a traverse and Henline Creek can be heard below. Then negotiate a steep slope blooming with woolly sunflowers in the summer. A slide waterfall (Deanna's Slide) can be seen down to left. Keep a sharp eye out for the unsigned Ogle Mountain-Queen of the West Trail Junction and, if you're up for a mini-adventure go left.

There's a short, steep descent and then a sunny traverse before you navigate the root ball of a fallen tree. Negotiate a mossy buttress and drop to a secluded spot on Henline Creek. You'll see the two adits of the Queen of the West Mine, one on either side of the creek. Maidenhair fern and a huge stink currant bush guard the entrance to the adit on the east side of the creek. The adit on the west bank of Henline Creek has a rotting wooden gated is dripping with water. If you want a further adventure, head up the creek and cross to its west bank. Scramble up a steep slope and then make your way out to the right to a mossy ledge for a view of Jackie Falls, plunging through a narrow cleft, and beautiful Steve Falls tumbling above. These waterfalls are two of the eight waterfalls on Henline Creek above Henline Falls, known collectively as the Family Falls.

Head back to the miner’s trail and hike out to the Ogle Mountain-Queen of the West Trail Junction. Go left here, passing a “Trail” sign. Switchback up seven times in Douglas-fir/hemlock forest, part of an old burn with big snags. There’s an understory of vine maple, salal, Oregon grape, and sword fern. Traverse up the slope, the trail undulating somewhat. At some point, you reach the end of the maintained section of the Ogle Mountain Trail and the tread becomes overgrown with huckleberry bushes. There may be flagging here to help as a spotted owl survey line continues along the trail; there are also blazes on trees next to the trail. Drop down past some large Douglas-firs to come to the East Branch Henline Creek (The mileage and elevation gain above are to this point only). Turn back here unless you're eager for an off-trail adventure.

A bushwhack loop is possible from here: the trail tread can still be located by following blazes to the edge of the national forest. Then, make your way up to the ridge and along it to the back side of Henline Mountain. Scramble over a lot of blowdown to the summit, and then take the trail back down to FR 2209. Walk the gravel road a mile back to your car. Only experienced bushwhackers and off-trailers should attempt this loop.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, Bull of the Woods Wilderness, Opal Creek Wilderness, Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area
  • Geo-Graphics: Bull of the Woods and Opal Creek Wilderness Map
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Willamette National Forest: Detroit Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Willamette National Forest
  • Pacific Northwest Recreation Map Series: Willamette Cascades

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Self-issued wilderness permit

Trip Reports

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

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Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.