Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

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teachpdx
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Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by teachpdx » April 27th, 2021, 3:02 pm

My partner and I took a jaunt out to the Spring Basin Wilderness on Earth Day, as part of an extended weekend trip to the Painted Hills and other parts of central Oregon.

3.33 miles, 1100 ft gain.

We generally followed the beginning of the Spring Basin Loop hike mentioned in the Field Guide, taking off from the unofficial trailhead just north of the official one.
sb01.jpg
Wildflowers were abundant, ticks were nonexistent, and when we caught the top of the ridge after 1 mile the Hedgehog Cacti were in full bloom.
sb02.jpg
We didn't feel like taking the whole trek to Horse Mountain, so we gained a high point about 1/2 mile north of where the trail meets the ridge. It's marked with a large cairn.
sb03.jpg
The views looking south over the Spring Basin Wilderness were very enticing. I'll need to plan a couple days to extend my visit next time.
sb04.jpg
This was also one of the beta tests for car camping in the GTI. It's snug, but it can be done!!! We found an amazing spot on BLM land to set up for the night. Minus the wind, it was incredible.
sb05.jpg
instagram: @robo_remy

justpeachy
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by justpeachy » April 28th, 2021, 9:04 am

Thanks for the report! Nice to see the hedgehog cactus in bloom. They are so pretty and unique.

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retired jerry
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by retired jerry » April 28th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Do you think there's any drinking water there?

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teachpdx
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by teachpdx » April 28th, 2021, 3:12 pm

retired jerry wrote:
April 28th, 2021, 1:36 pm
Do you think there's any drinking water there?
I didn't see a drop anywhere. But we didn't get down into the drainages south of Horse Mountain where it might be more likely.
instagram: @robo_remy

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retired jerry
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by retired jerry » April 28th, 2021, 3:31 pm

there are some springs shown on the map, I wonder if any of them have water

I went there a few years ago and carried water with me, didn't see any water

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adamschneider
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by adamschneider » April 28th, 2021, 4:20 pm

I was there last year about this same time, and it was just as parched. It'll be interesting to see what it looks like if we ever actually get some winter rain out there.

cfm
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by cfm » April 28th, 2021, 7:47 pm

Hey, I just came back from there!

I arrived in the evening and backpacked in a short distance carrying an extra gallon of water.

Woke up early and did the loop up and over Horse Mountain-fabulous ridge walking! The swaths of phlox were a surprising bonus.
swathofphlox.JPG
phlox valley.JPG
I also visited the spring and it was running, with a few spots of clear water, and some other spots of green algae covered pools. Not a robust flow, but enough to draw and pump.
spring1.JPG
spring2.JPG

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retired jerry
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by retired jerry » April 29th, 2021, 5:59 am

where was that spring

there are many on the gps topo map

cfm
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by cfm » April 29th, 2021, 9:19 am

It was in Spring Basin Canyon proper, SW of the Horse Mountain ridgeline. Now that I look at my track, I didnt make it to the place marked spring on the USGS map, this spring was further "upstream". So there may be another spring further down.

Coords: N 44 51.8756, W 120 24.6363

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retired jerry
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Re: Earth Day in Spring Basin Wilderness - 04/22/2021

Post by retired jerry » April 29th, 2021, 11:51 am

thanks

I now have a return trip in order.

I think it will be maybe 10 months from now - it's going to get mighty hot there

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