Sunday, April 01, 2012
I led a hike in the Steelhead Falls region of Crooked River Ranch on Saturday, it ended up being a GREAT hike! The weather was iffy the night before; 4 hikers cancelled. But 10 of us hardy hikers carpooled from Bend to the trailhead. It started raining as we entered CCR.
I discussed options with the group, and we agreed that we would do a shorter easier hike (approx 3 miles instead of the planned 5.5 miles) that would avoid the off trail and steep rocky sections that could be hazardous in bad conditions. We started out in all of our Oregon rain gear.
Hikers at the top of the trail
We hiked down the canyon on the short trail to the falls, and then headed along the river, and up a sketchy trail to the canyon rim.
Hiker surveying the trail
When we reached the big gray rock tower up on the canyon rim, which was our planned shorter destination, it was MUCH better weather and we all decided to continue on our adventure. It was GREAT! A real rock hopping, cliff ledge, exciting and achievable trek! I led the way cross country, and headed back to help the most tentative hiker down the steep rocky slope with no trail – only to discover 3 other hikers were already helping her down.
When we stopped for lunch, we noticed a golden eagle perched on the very top of a rock spire. The huge eagle flew off over our heads. We also saw merganser ducks on the river. And the very first wildflowers of spring were out – yellow bells and sand lilies.
It was a shorter hike than many – but climbing over the rocks and the steepness of parts of the trail made it a WONDERFUL workout.
Hiking group (I'm in the burgundy jacket)