Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

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justpeachy
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Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by justpeachy » June 17th, 2014, 3:00 pm

With the mountains socked in for the weekend Greg and I decided on a forested creek hike for Saturday so we headed for Siouxon Creek.

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I get carsick VERY easily, so the long drive to the trailhead was horrendous for me. The road bobs and weaves and zigs and zags its way across Clark County as though surveyed by a drunkard.

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Once we were on forest roads we nearly got creamed by a giant pickup that was driving on my side of the road. Not the middle, but way over on the wrong side, and it wasn't even a narrow road there. So it was a relief to reach the trailhead and start hiking. This forest is incredibly lovely. It appears to have not been disturbed (logged or burned) in quite some time so the forest floor is thick with healthy nurse logs and mossy stumps. It is amazing.

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The bridge over West Creek:

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Horseshoe Creek Falls:

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Siouxon Falls:

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Shots of Siouxon Creek:

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The bridge over the creek has some damaged hand railings (the bridge deck looks fine) and the Forest Service has draped the whole thing in gobs of pink flagging. Earlier we had talked to a precocious Boy Scout hiking ahead of the pack who told us that his group had meant to go to Chinook Falls but had missed the bridge and kept hiking on the Siouxon Trail. How could you possibly hike by this and not see it? :shock:

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Chinook Falls was lovely. Had the place all to ourselves!

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We saw dozens of tents on our hike. This is apparently a popular backpacking destination. Every available campsite seemed to be taken. More backpackers were hiking in as we hiked out, despite the wet weather in the forecast. Speaking of backpacking, Greg tried out his new Aarn pack on this hike to make sure it would work out for him. It definitely looks odd and he got some curious stares, but he likes it because the weight is more balanced instead of all on his back.

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One thing to note: We saw a trail that we were wondering about. On the hike in we saw a well-trod trail heading off the right. It was unsigned, but the Siouxon Trail was signed here. I thought at first that it was the Horseshoe Ridge Trail, but about 0.3mi later we came to another side trail on the right that was signed as the Horseshoe Ridge Trail. Anyone know what that first trail is?

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All in all a very nice hike for a cloudy day. I don't like the gray wet days of winter so it's nice to see the payoff from all that rain when the world turns insanely green. :D

For you flower people out there Greg made a list of what he saw blooming on this hike: Inside-Out Flower, Thimbleberry, Foamflower, Salal, Pacific starflower, Goat's Beard, Bunchberry, some Pacific Bleeding Hearts, Vanilla leaf, and False lily of the valley.

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sprengers4jc
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by sprengers4jc » June 17th, 2014, 6:24 pm

Thanks for the TR, Cheryl. We are headed there for a backpacking trip this weekend, and were wondering about conditions (we've never been there). I am a bit bummed to hear how many backpackers there are, though. We do usually prefer less popular trails :/.
'We travel not to escape life but for life to not escape us.'
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kepPNW
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by kepPNW » June 17th, 2014, 6:48 pm

Outstanding photos, Cheryl! Went there for the first time a few months ago, and loved it. I think the oxalis one struck me the most...
justpeachy wrote:
They were all good, though. Nice to hear the bridge isn't impassable, too.
sprengers4jc wrote:I am a bit bummed to hear how many backpackers there are, though. We do usually prefer less popular trails :/.
For as remote as this place is, I was very surprised at how many folks were out there! Might actually be a rainy-day destination, and have fewer on bright, sunny days?
Karl
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Splintercat
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by Splintercat » June 17th, 2014, 7:34 pm

Excellent photos and report, Cheryl! I've only been up there in early spring, so I've never had the chance to get a shot of Chinook Falls (due to high water) -- very pretty! I hope there's a fix planned for the big bridge (with flagging), but more importantly, I hope the GPNF can add a bridge to the sketchy side-creek crossing just before the junction at the big bridge. That's getting to be downright dangerous during the wet months!

Thanks for posting!

Tom :)

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donaleen
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by donaleen » June 17th, 2014, 7:55 pm

I love your trip reports and photos. That pack is weird.

A lot of locals use and camp on that trail. Church groups, etc. But mostly only on the weekends!

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chiefWright
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by chiefWright » June 17th, 2014, 8:16 pm

I second the vote on the weird pack. But iit makes a lot of sense. Do you think it might get too oppressive in hot conditions? When it gets warm, I want a well-ventilated chest.

How long do you set your shutter for those blurred water shots? I'm getting such camera envy. My old 3 Mpix is getting very long in the tooth.

justpeachy
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by justpeachy » June 18th, 2014, 6:14 am

kepPNW wrote:For as remote as this place is, I was very surprised at how many folks were out there! Might actually be a rainy-day destination, and have fewer on bright, sunny days?
I think you're probably right about that. Options are limited on cold, wet, cloudy weekends like the one we just had and an easy stroll along a creek where you're protected from the elements by lots of trees is just the ticket.
chiefWright wrote:How long do you set your shutter for those blurred water shots?
Depending on the conditions I was shooting between two and five seconds on these creek shots. Only doable with a tripod of course, but hauling the tripod along was good conditioning for backpacking. ;)

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Hagbard Celine
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by Hagbard Celine » June 18th, 2014, 7:46 am

Great report and beautiful pics! Siouxon is one of my favorite places in the world and the place I chose for my first ever solo backpack and I had the entire place to myself on a mon-tues I think.
Splintercat wrote:I hope the GPNF can add a bridge to the sketchy side-creek crossing just before the junction at the big bridge. That's getting to be downright dangerous during the wet months!
I hear that!, busted my knee last time I went and the time before that my lady lost a pole!

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Luckily this rock caught it and we were able to reclaim it.
“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
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drm
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by drm » June 18th, 2014, 10:17 am

As to the weird pack, if you go around the world, particularly to low-technology cultures, nobody carries weight on their front side - that I have seen. Some do on top of their heads, but the heaviest weights seem to be on the back. It's amazing what porters in Nepal can carry on their back - with a strap around the forehead. They don't ever seem to use shoulder straps unless forced to carry one of our packs.

So I think our bodies are evolved to carry weight on the back, or so many people wouldn't be doing it that way. But of course, whatever works for each individual is great.

As to Siouxon, getting their from the eastern Gorge where I live is not practical, almost 3 hours one way. Some day I may take one of those unmaintained trails down from the back side of the Trapper Creek area. Until that day, I will enjoy it vicariously through you folks.

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kepPNW
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Re: Lush and green at Siouxon Creek - 6/14/2014

Post by kepPNW » June 18th, 2014, 10:25 am

drm wrote:As to the weird pack, if you go around the world, particularly to low-technology cultures, nobody carries weight on their front side - that I have seen. Some do on top of their heads, but the heaviest weights seem to be on the back. It's amazing what porters in Nepal can carry on their back - with a strap around the forehead.
Recently read Annapurna. One of the photos really stood out!
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Karl
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