Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

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MarkInTheDark
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Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by MarkInTheDark » June 28th, 2018, 11:15 am

Just hiked Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau, via the Pacific Crest Trail... about 6 easy miles.

Curious to see what burn I might see. All was normal at Wahtum Lake, only one other car at the lot. Totally beautiful, thankfully!

Continued north toward Benson Plateau, no changes... until just after you pass Chinidere Mountain. Here you'll find some pretty severe burn, but some great trail repair work. You can tell lots of work has been done in the area just north of Chinidere Mountain.
01southofsaddle.JPG
Once you get down to the saddle area, south of Benson Plateau, you can see more burn...
02SofBensonPlateau062718.JPG
Here's a cool view of Benson Plateau as seen from the south on the Pacific Crest Trail, you can see the burn along the southwestern side, generally.
03bensonplateau060718.jpg

This is the view from Benson Plateau, looking south towards the saddle area.
04southviewfrombenplateau062618.jpg
Mostly the trail is just like you might remember, it's totally beautiful. I spent the night on the plateau. Ruckel Creek was goin' full. Still had mosquitoes. Benson Camp was great, Smokey Camp is totally toast, I don't think you can get down to Smokey Spring, at this time. I met other hikers who said Hunters Camp is good.

Going thru the burn areas is extreme to see. I did see scat in the area and some birds and ferns. Had a great crowd on the trail, most were hikeing from Herman Creek going to Wahtum Lake. Saw about 3 young couple hikers, a school group of kids from Vermont, getting their first view of Oregon. They said it looks a lot like Vermont! Some senior hikes out there too, reminded me of Eagle Creek crowds!
Last edited by MarkInTheDark on July 14th, 2018, 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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retired jerry
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Re: Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by retired jerry » June 28th, 2018, 12:42 pm

Nice pics of how it burned up one side of the ridge

Smokey Camp is smoked? :)

Webfoot
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Re: Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by Webfoot » June 28th, 2018, 9:48 pm

retired jerry wrote:
June 28th, 2018, 12:42 pm
Smokey Camp is smoked? :)
And Deadwood is dead. I have to wonder if names like that were given as the result of a far earlier fire?

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by Don Nelsen » June 28th, 2018, 10:06 pm

Webfoot wrote:
June 28th, 2018, 9:48 pm
retired jerry wrote:
June 28th, 2018, 12:42 pm
Smokey Camp is smoked? :)
And Deadwood is dead. I have to wonder if names like that were given as the result of a far earlier fire?
I have wondered about that for years. There are still a few giant old growth trees that still may live in the area of Deadwood but most look like they are down for the count. For sure, most of that area is "Deadwood" for the rest of our lifetimes.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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drm
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Re: Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by drm » June 29th, 2018, 7:56 am

And even some trees that have a surviving canopy of green may not survive. From what I've read, such trees are weakened and more susceptible to disease and insets. A lot could depend on how hot and dry our summer is. It will take a while to know what will survive. Doing a search on "delayed tree death after fire" turns up a lot of articles.

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Crusak
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Re: Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by Crusak » June 29th, 2018, 9:42 am

Great pictures. It's good to see the recovery efforts and hard work being done on the trails. Thanks for sharing and giving us a glimpse of what things are like up there.
Jim's Hikes

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mjirving
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Re: Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by mjirving » June 29th, 2018, 4:52 pm

I flew over the area today on my flight back from Omaha. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t video it as we flew low, perfectly over the burn. What surprised me the most was that Benson Plateau looked pretty much all green. Eagle Creek (as expected) was toast big time.

Mike

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jeffstatt
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Re: Wahtum Lake to Benson Plateau 6/26-27

Post by jeffstatt » July 2nd, 2018, 7:07 pm

Interesting to hear about the crowds you saw - especially since the parking lot was so sparse. I can see how that area can look like Vermont. (That group needs to get out to Cape Falcon on the coast :D )

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