Criterion Tract and Springbasin

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Sugar Pine
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Joined: April 28th, 2017, 12:23 pm

Criterion Tract and Springbasin

Post by Sugar Pine » May 16th, 2023, 1:28 pm

Spent the weekend in Maupin to hike Criterion Tract and Spring Basin, while the flowers were out, we hoped. We hiked Criterion two years ago and the flowers were great, although we were a bit early. This year we were early again, balsamroot in full bloom but lupine mostly closed and little else. Nice views from the trail and Stag Point. We walked back on the road instead of heading north cross-country. Saw two rattlesnakes and they saw us.
From Stag Point

Looking for other trails in the area we chose Spring Basin, which is more than an hour from Maupin. We hiked over Horse Mountain, with great views of the John John Day River. Balsamroot and phlox were out as well as hedgehog cactus, although a bit early for hedgehogs. The off-trail jaunt down Horse Mountain was tiring, but not too difficult.
View from Horse Mountain
Horse Mtn Route.jpg
Keeping on the ridge seemed like the best route down from Horse Mtn, although that wasn't always obvious.
Spring Basin.PNG
Our route was a bit different from the Field Guide, to avoid the road walk.

So, it isn't too late to enjoy the flowers at these two sites.

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