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Cook Hill, May 13, 2023

Posted: May 14th, 2023, 11:52 am
by pdxalex
My wife and I spent 5 hours on the trails and lounging in the meadows of Cook Hill. Every time I start the summer season with this hike, I always end up wondering what I was thinking. We enjoy going there but it is tough on the knees. We pulled into the parking area around 8:45 AM. There were 6 other cars there. We saw maybe 12 people the entire day, and only very quickly in passing. We had the upper meadow entirely to ourselves for about 25 minutes, something that would never happen on Dog Mountain on a sunny day in May.

There was a diverse display of flowers including desert parsley, grass widows, paintbrush, waterleaf, lupine, and calypso orchids. There is a nice bloom of balsamroot in the lower meadow. Trillium is in bloom along the trail from the lower meadow to the upper ones. The upper meadows featured a range of small flowers with patches of glacier lily along the tree lines. Most of the balsam root plants on the upper meadow need a few more days to a week to bloom.

Trails conditions aren't bad but they could be better. The old logging road that runs from the bottom to the BPA right of way needs a thorough brushing out of the upper 1-2 miles. Some stretches have quite a bit of debris and there are some deadfalls to climb over or walk around. There has been some tree clearing along lower part of the road just above the oak meadow at the bottom.

I forgot about the poison oak. It is leafing out along the first 1/4 of trail. Some is starting to grow in the middle of the trail in the oak meadow at the bottom. I definitely would not recommend letting a pet roam off leash like one party was doing.

View from the lower meadow
lower meadow.jpg
View from the upper meadow

Re: Cook Hill, May 13, 2023

Posted: May 14th, 2023, 2:20 pm
by Don Nelsen
Thanks for the TR and info. Good to know.