Today I hike Alder Springs trail with my friends Hanne & Jean. It is one of my favorite high desert hikes, challenging but enjoyable. The challenge is lots of elevation changes, and the trail is very rocky in part. We hiked about 7 miles, and about 1700 foot elevation gain. Because it is a canyon hike, most of the uphill is at the end.
View of canyon from the top
My friends on the trail
We had to cross Wychus Creek, and the water level was quite high. Luckily some earlier hikers had strung rope across the stream!
We dried off in the meadow after crossing the stream.
The rock formations are very interesting.
These layers of rock look like cake layers!
I love hiking by the creek.
Red twig dogwood along Wychus Creek. The red twigs are leafing out, and they will soon look like a leafy green bush
Our lunch spot, after the confluence with the Deschutes River
The early wildflowers were blooming. The bitterroot bush is not impressive to look at, but it has tiny yellow flowers that are very fragrant. Here are some of my favorite early desert wildflowers from the hike.
Alder Springs gets its name from the beautiful spring that bubbles up from the ground shortly after you cross Wychus Creek. But my favorite spring is hidden away from view. If you hike off the trail at the right spot (just before the confluence with the Deschutes) -- across the river, there is a spring that comes out of the rocks as a waterfall!
This hike really has it all -- canyons, rock formations, rivers, creeks, springs, and wildflowers. On the way out of the canyon, we even had spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains.
Middle and North Sister