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Hiking Alder Springs

Saturday, April 27, 2013

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.

Wychus Creek

Wychus Canyon

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.


Sand Lily


Arrowleaf balsamroot


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

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1786 days ago
    What a hike! Wonderful pictures - thank you so much for sharing!
    1788 days ago
    Yes, this hike really does have it all! Beautiful pictures...Thank you so much for sharing it all with us! Your smile says it all...spring is here at last.
    emoticon emoticon

    1788 days ago

    Thank you for sharing these photo of your hike. I love it every time you share your hiking trips with us. I am so glad I got to enjoy them!
    1788 days ago
    What a beautiful place to hike! It looks like you had a great time! I loved the picture of the wild flowers and the waterfalls especially... doesn't it feel wonderful to see spring flowers again? :)
    1788 days ago
    Looks like quite the hike!
    1789 days ago
    You certainly had a spectacular hike. The flower pictures are beautiful, as are the pictures of the Cascade Mountains.

    I notice your friend is wearing shorts and low boots... do you ever see snakes on your hikes, and are there poisonous snakes in your area? I absolutely hate snakes, and worry about them all the time when I'm in the woods. I blame it mostly on my pet cat when I was a little girl, as she came in the front door of our "tent" (actually blankets anchored over a card table, with just one way in), with a snake wriggling in her mouth. Probably 60 years later, my hair is still standing on end as I write this.

    It would have been priceless for anyone standing in our yard to see three little girls thundering out of the "tent" in all directions, screaming at the tops of our lungs. No doubt the snake was equally scared.

    Glad that you are having some decent weather at last; we are too, and I spent some time working in the yard today.

    1789 days ago
    your pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing
    1789 days ago
    wow it looks beautiful!! emoticon
    1789 days ago
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