This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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Read about this hike in the Statesman Journal newspaper in mid-July, but only just now got around to trying it out. Five stars! It was easy to get to from Salem, and the gravel roads aren't that bad at all. The hike is long enough that you feel like you really did something, but not so long that you have to train for it. There's so much variety in what you see, the terrain, shade vs open, etc that there isn't time to get bored. it was chillier than expected and the cloud cover was so low that some parts you couldn't see more than a hundred feet. All those blackened trees in the mist were spooky!On the way back from the lookout, the clouds parted and the views were better, if not great. We couldn't see all the way to Mt. Jefferson (boo), but I was ok with the trade off of not getting burnt from too much sun, and no smoke. We didn't see anyone else on the trail, and the log book in the lookout cabin said the last visitors were there 8/29. I had been curious since the FS website says you can sleep in the cabin, but there was so much mouse poop I'd be worried about hanta virus if you stayed in there too long. Still, fun to see the cabin and if you needed shelter in an emergency it would be perfect. We also saw flowers (mostly fireweed and some others I don't know) and evidence that small mammals were making dinner out of the bear grass seeds. We were surprised there were so many things flowering this late in summer.