University Falls Loop 2021-Feb-4

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Joined: February 5th, 2021, 8:21 pm

University Falls Loop 2021-Feb-4

Post by pdxwix » February 5th, 2021, 8:57 pm

A very cloudy day above, with trace - 2 inches of snow underfoot. A gorgeous day for a Thursday hike. :)

I did the loop as directed in the OregonHikers listing, starting at Rogers Camp TH and proceeding on the Nels Roger-Wilson River Wagon Rd - Gravelle Bros path back to Rogers Camp TH. The trail quality was very good almost everywhere, but I was grateful for the footprints in the snow in front of me in a few areas.

Overall, the trail is a really nice set of rolling ups and downs, mostly within earshot and sight of some pretty waterways. The descent to the Wilson River is truly magical, and I cannot recommend that part of the trail highly enough. There were a few parts of the trail where the trail itself was a creek of sorts, but it was a snow melting morning in early February after all.

The parking lot had one truck when I arrived, and four trucks when I returned. I encountered one other hiker along the entire trail. There was approximately an hour of regular gunfire from some nearby location -- far enough to away to know not to be distressed, but near enough to hear well. I only heard a few vehicles using the nearby vehicular paths. As the description mentions, there are many locations where the hiking trail crosses the vehicle trail. These are all marked supremely well, and I never had any doubt where I was heading as I crossed a road.

There are a few small differences I noted from the trail description:
1. The trail begins straight from the parking lot now, near the restroom.
2. The first drop (on Nels Roger Trail) is now through a clearcut. This particular clearcut had the trail marked well, and there was a trail crew working on making a new trail path through the clear cut. The older trail was suffering from severe erosion -- my path was mostly becoming a v-shaped waterway, but the new trail looked quite nice.
3. The description here says to head left as you approach the Wilson River, but I believe that trail may no longer exist. Instead, the trail leads right (which the description here correctly says "Right is to the Deyoe Creek Trailhead, which is an option for beginning this hike if Rogers Camp is unappealing".). I suspect the footbridge may no longer exist, and we hikers must rely on the auto bridge to cross the Wilson River here. No matter -- more time along the Wilson River is not a bad thing.
4. Leaving the Gravelle Bros - University Falls trails junction, the Gravelle Bros trail quickly goes across another clearcut. This time, I did not find the trail marked at all, and I was most grateful to the footprints to follow here.

Overall, a gorgeous and extremely pleasant hike.

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Re: University Falls Loop 2021-Feb-4

Post by bobcat » February 6th, 2021, 7:08 pm

I think the loop is better with snow - or in the spring when there is more color. Thanks for the updates for the Field Guide. I've made the changes.

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