Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

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OneSpeed
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Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by OneSpeed » April 30th, 2010, 6:46 pm

Siouxon ("SUE-sonn") Creek is such a fascinating place to me. First, it's like the Opal Creek nobody goes to, an amazing canyon filled with old growth and a magnificent stream and great campsites, with a paved road all the way to the trailhead. It's a little over an hour's drive from downtown Portland, outside Amboy, Washington.

The road itself is fascinating: why a paved road to here? According to a friend who's kept an eye on such things for a couple decades, the road was put in by "a bastard forest supervisor" who just wanted to make sure the area didn't get included in a roadless area!

So what we have is miles of trails through fantastic forest, an hour from downtown -- and very few people go! In fact, this website's Field Guide doesn't even have a listing for it. Amazing. (I'd be happy to contribute to such a thing, by the way.)

I went up there on Wednesday, a mostly cloudy and drizzly day when I was the only person there. Here are a few shots from the day.

You might have heard that all of last year we couldn't get up there because the road was washed out? Well, it's fixed now -- and it was a doozy. Here's a shot of it:
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A sampling of the scenery:
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Hard to tell, but this pool is 10-12 feet deep.
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Horseshoe Falls on a side creek:
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I was standing in a campsite when I took this one!
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Siouxon Falls on the main creek (poor exposure, sorry):
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There are signs of human goofiness, for sure. This one is some kind of "survivalist" shelter, if you can call it that when it's about three miles from a paved road!
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And this one, I guess, was just a wind shelter? It had a small fire ring in it but otherwise looked like a corral.
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Looking back down the stream. Like I said, it's the Other Opal Creek.
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Now, here are some shots from another weekend in 2006, when I backpacked it in late May. It's a great early-season backpack, whether you just want to chill out by the stream or do some exploring. You can do a long hike up to Siouxon Peak, for example. This is from up there looking over to the east, towards the Sisters Rocks and Observation Peak in Trapper Creek Wilderness:
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You can hike up Siouxon Creek to some of the roads above Trapper Creek and access Sisters Rocks from up there. I tried to do it once but got turned back by snow.

There are also other waterfalls in the area. This is Chinook Falls, the main destination most people go to, about four super-easy miles in. Not a great shot -- it's at least a 50-footer.
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This is Wildcat Falls. To reach this one, you either ford Siouxon, which seems dicey, or put in the four miles to Chinook Falls, cross that more manageable creek, then walk down Siouxon half a mile to Wildcat Creek. It's at least 100 feet.
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And this is looking down on it from the trail to the peak:
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And finally, if you go up Siouxon past the cutoff to Chinook, there are other amazing features up there. The last shot from this week is from a half-mile up there, and this nice falls is up a little beyond that:
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So, all in all, a great place to check out right now. I will now post this for the second time -- lost all the photos the first time, and should that happen again, I'll be at the bar for a few days.

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roadtripmom
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by roadtripmom » April 30th, 2010, 6:53 pm

I can't wait to do a longer backpack up there. It is such a beautiful hike,so serene. Thank you for the wonderful pictures!
Filling my bucket, one hike at a time.
Amanda

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OneSpeed
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by OneSpeed » April 30th, 2010, 7:06 pm

roadtripmom wrote:I can't wait to do a longer backpack up there. It is such a beautiful hike,so serene. Thank you for the wonderful pictures!
You're certainly welcome! Some of the campsites are getting a little trashed out, with massive fire rings -- might be a work party in there somewhere.

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obladi
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by obladi » April 30th, 2010, 8:36 pm

Awesome pictures. This is a hike I haven't done yet and is on definately on my to do list for this summer!!!
Luke

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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AlexanderSupertramp
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by AlexanderSupertramp » April 30th, 2010, 8:48 pm

Great report Paul! I'm really disappointed that I wasn't able to make it out today as Siouxon is one of my families all time favorite hikes. Thanks for the great pics!

Adam

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mattisnotfrench
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by mattisnotfrench » April 30th, 2010, 9:42 pm

OneSpeed wrote: Looking back down the stream. Like I said, it's the Other Opal Creek.
The attachment IMG_7556.JPG is no longer available
You need to check out Elk Lake Creek then! Nice report, btw. I love that area.
Elk Lake Creek 005.jpg
Author of Off the Beaten Trail, 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region and PDX Hiking 365. Website: www.offthebeatentrailpdx.com

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OneSpeed
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by OneSpeed » April 30th, 2010, 10:11 pm

mattisnotfrench wrote:
You need to check out Elk Lake Creek then! Nice report, btw. I love that area.
I have heard that many times, and have it way up on my list for this year. I saw part of a few years back and was quite enchanted. I wanted to get it into my book for this edition, but I think it was the Road 63 washout that kept me from it in 2009.

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BaileyBoy
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by BaileyBoy » May 1st, 2010, 12:17 pm

Paul, you can hike all the way up to Road 58 but there is a 1/4 mile section of downfall that takes about an hour to climb through. It's really a mess in there and I doubt any work will be done since it's very lightly traveled.

When you hit Rd58 you'd have about 1 1/3 mile road walk to the Observation RH which would take you down to Sister Rocks.

Skip

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mattisnotfrench
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by mattisnotfrench » May 1st, 2010, 2:39 pm

OneSpeed wrote:
mattisnotfrench wrote:
You need to check out Elk Lake Creek then! Nice report, btw. I love that area.
I have heard that many times, and have it way up on my list for this year. I saw part of a few years back and was quite enchanted. I wanted to get it into my book for this edition, but I think it was the Road 63 washout that kept me from it in 2009.
Supposedly it was logged out last fall too. It's going to be AWESOME this summer.
Author of Off the Beaten Trail, 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region and PDX Hiking 365. Website: www.offthebeatentrailpdx.com

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pdxflowergirl
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Re: Siouxon Creek 4-28-2010

Post by pdxflowergirl » May 1st, 2010, 2:52 pm

One drawback to this hike is sharing the trail w/cyclists. On several occasions, I have nearly collided with folks on bikes going too fast downhill or around bends. Also, campsites are prime real estate on weekends. If possible, go during the week or expect to camp right next to a large troop of boys scouts :lol:
Kam

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