Reehers Camp trails 03-26-24

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bobcat
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Reehers Camp trails 03-26-24

Post by bobcat » March 27th, 2024, 1:01 pm

The original plan had been to head up the Gales Creek Trail from Reehers Camp, but we found out that trail was closed between Round Top and Bell Camp roads due to a logging operation, so we hiked the trails below Round Top Road. We took the Gales Creek Trail along the Nehalem River, which crossed at the bridge on Cochran Road. When we got to the Step Creek junction, we branched left and, in short order, began the Step Creek Loop.

Trailhead, Reehers Camp.jpeg
Douglas-firs along the Nehalem, Gales Creek Trail.jpeg
Nehalem River at the road bridge, Gales Creek Trail.jpeg
Coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus), Gales Creek Trail.jpeg
Sign at the loop junction, Step Creek Trail.jpeg

The trail took us over the bridge at Plenty Big Creek. The Coast Range is on the cusp of spring, and with few flowers out, lichen, mosses, and fungi were the order of the day. I was surprised to notice a few noble firs in the forest mix, beginning about the 1400-foot level above Step Creek. There are dense, moss-draped vine maple thickets here, with a couple of trees down on the trail as well as a fair amount of debris. Colorful bogs of skunk cabbage were on display. Burned stumps with springboard platforms attested to old growth logging before the Tillamook Burns. Much of the area was marked with timber sale signs, so one suspects this trail may be off-limits in the near future.

Footbridge over Plenty Big Creek, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Rough-skinned newt, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Lipstick cladonia (Cladonia bellidiflora), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Lipstick cladonia (Cladonia bellidiflora), Step Creek Trail (1).jpeg
Fairy puke lichen (Cyphella ferruginea), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Pale coral mushroom (Ramaria pallida), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Debris on trail, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Twin noble firs on the Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Christmas tree lichen (Sphaerophorus globosus), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Above Step Creek, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Bark mycena (Mycena coreticola), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Tree lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Stepped stump, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Skunk-cabbage, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Pair of Douglas-firs, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Fir tree dendroalsia (Dendroalsia abietina), Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Timber sale boundary, Step Creek Trail.jpeg

We left the Step Creek Trail to take a shortcut up to Rice Road. A 400-yard cable had been spooled out along the road for some reason. The constant blasts of a logger's whistle signaled much activity on the slope above. We got to the junction with Round Top Road, and inspected the closure post on the Gales Creek Trail.

Cable on Rice Road, Step Creek Trail.jpeg
Gales Creek Trail closure at Round Top Road.jpeg

We then descended that trail back to where it crosses the abandoned Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad. East of the trail is private property, but west of the trail the line runs on state land, and we found that someone has been keeping the rail tie section between the tracks clear. We walked as far as a small rock slide and turned back.

Big Douglas-fir, Gales Creek Trail.jpeg
Vine maple bower, Gales Creek Trail.jpeg
Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad west of Gales Creek Trail.jpeg
Slide on railroad, west of Gales Creek Trail.jpeg

After crossing the Nehalem again, we took the Triple C Trail, a short loop named after the Civilian Conservation Corps, which once had a base camp there. The best part of the Triple C runs along the Nehalem, where early flowers like trillium, violet, and toothwort were beginning to bloom. By now, after a few short sprinkles, blue skies had broken out above.

Trail sign at Cochran Road, Triple C Trail.jpeg
Trillium, Triple C Trail.jpeg
Evergreen violet (Viola sempervirens), Triple C Trail.jpeg
Oaks toothwort (Cardamine nuttallii), Triple C Trail.jpeg
At the Nehalem River, Triple C Trail.jpeg
Hemlocks and Douglas-firs, Triple C Trail.jpeg

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BaileyBoy
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Joined: March 25th, 2009, 12:15 pm

Re: Reehers Camp trails 03-26-24

Post by BaileyBoy » April 1st, 2024, 9:18 am

That's a heck of a route, about how many miles did you do? And did you have a traimap other than the Tillamook County trail map?
Thanks, and nice photos

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bobcat
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Location: SW Portland

Re: Reehers Camp trails 03-26-24

Post by bobcat » April 1st, 2024, 1:04 pm

BaileyBoy wrote:
April 1st, 2024, 9:18 am
about how many miles did you do?
It was about 9.2 miles according to my GPS, including short sections off trail on the railroad and logging roads.

As for maps, the state doesn't have a current map, the older Gales Creek Trail map available online showing the former alignment of the Step Creek Trail when it was not a loop. You can see the trails on Caltopo (the Map Builder Topo and TF outdoors layers).

We have all the trails in the Field Guide, with maps.

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BaileyBoy
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Re: Reehers Camp trails 03-26-24

Post by BaileyBoy » April 2nd, 2024, 9:35 am

Fantastic, it's a lot of work to keep maps updated. The team does great work. Thanks for the mileage update.

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Tser
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Joined: April 14th, 2024, 4:00 pm

Re: Reehers Camp trails 03-26-24

Post by Tser » April 14th, 2024, 4:22 pm

Thank you for posting about this closure! The Reehers Camp trails are one of my favorite places on earth. Do you have any sense of how long trails tend to be closed for logging?

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bobcat
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Location: SW Portland

Re: Reehers Camp trails 03-26-24

Post by bobcat » April 15th, 2024, 4:39 pm

The closure was effected on December 23rd and it will probably continue a while. There’s no end date given.

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