Steve Fork to Azalea Lk (S Oregon) 06-Mar-2015

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VanMarmot
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Steve Fork to Azalea Lk (S Oregon) 06-Mar-2015

Post by VanMarmot » March 7th, 2015, 8:04 am

The Steve Fork TH provides relatively easy access to the N side of the Red Buttes Wilderness (where, because of the absurdly low snow year, I have been able to hike during much of the winter). It's also an access point to the Boundary Trail, which I have also been exploring piece-meal this winter (Sucker Gap TR). Steve Fork is also an alternate TH for wonderful little Azalea Lake, which we had visited before via the Fir Glade TH (Azalea Lk TR). So today's hike was a twofer - check out another section of the Boundary Trail (Tr 905) and visit Azalea Lk from a different TH. The Steve Fork trail starts up canyon from the TH through a dense forest,

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then, after about 1 mi, the Sucker Gap trail (906) heads W uphill, while the Steve Fork trail (905) continues along the canyon,

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crosses the now much depleted Steve Fork creek,

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and then climbs on long switchbacks to a gap at 5400' with a view of Pyramid Peak to the W.

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It then descends to its end at a junction with the Azalea Lake/Fir Glade trail (955),

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which then contours around the head of the Middle Fork valley, which holds Phantom Meadows and is rimmed by Lake (L), Whiskey (W), and Buck (B) peaks.

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About 2 mi further S, I came to "Thompson Creek Pass" with a view of Preston Peak to the W.

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The 955 then climbs gently up to "Azalea Lake Pass",

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and then descends to the lake, with views of Mt. McLoughlin,

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the upper Butte Fork valley (Butte Fork TR).

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and Figurehead Mountain along the way.

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I had lunch at the lake, enjoying the suspiciously summer-like warm, sunny weather.

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And then it was time to head back. A very nice hike (13 mi RT, 2400' EG) to a wonderful lake, with good views of the wilderness and surrounding mountains. There were a few fallen trees, some brushy spots and washed-out stretches, but otherwise all these trails were in good shape and easy to follow. :D

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retired jerry
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Re: Steve Fork to Azalea Lk (S Oregon) 06-Mar-2015

Post by retired jerry » March 7th, 2015, 8:52 am

Thanks a lot - I had just about decided on a trip and now you've confused me with another possibility :)

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derwoodynck
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Re: Steve Fork to Azalea Lk (S Oregon) 06-Mar-2015

Post by derwoodynck » March 7th, 2015, 10:33 am

Loving all the reports from that area. We have a couple of trips planned down that way and they are providing some great information.

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Steve Fork to Azalea Lk (S Oregon) 06-Mar-2015

Post by Sean Thomas » March 7th, 2015, 8:25 pm

Thanks for keeping us updated on your adventures down in your new playground :D


I gotta get down to the border and visit the Red Buttes Wilderness someday, looks amazing.

VanMarmot
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Steve Fork to Azalea Lk (S Oregon) 06-Mar-2015

Post by VanMarmot » March 8th, 2015, 2:09 pm

Sean Thomas wrote:Thanks for keeping us updated on your adventures down in your new playground :D


I gotta get down to the border and visit the Red Buttes Wilderness someday, looks amazing.
You should. The State of Jefferson is always ready to welcome another hiking visitor!

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