After leaving Marial Lodge, we were ready for an easier hiking day. The hike to Paradise bar was only about 3.5-4 miles. This stretch of the trail was delightful. You climb up a rock ridge that is named Devil’s Backbone. The river has cut a very narrow channel through the serpentinite rock.
We saw more lovely flowers
Monkey flower loves the moist areas where water seeps out of the ground
The iris blooms change color as you hike along the trail
Coreopsis in the dry rocky soil
At Inspiration Point, the hiker looks across at Stairstep Falls.
Paradise Lodge had the nicest accommodations -- the rooms were spacious and comfortable. The food was quite good. They had a complete selection of Zane Gray western novels; he lived in the area. The novels are dated and contain stereotypes that are jarring to modern readers.
View from our room at Paradise Lodge
View from the restaurant deck
The river is enjoyed by rafters and kayakers
We thought the final hiking day would be not too long. The views were beautiful, but it was a long hard slog. The trail had been rerouted. A couple of short sections had very treacherous footing over washed out scree.
On the trail
Crossing the scree section -- very carefully!
The weather was very warm, and all of us ran out of water by the end of the hike. 2 of our hiking group brought water purifiers – next time I will bring my own because no one was willing to stop and pump water.
At Blossom Bar, we saw the wild azalea trees in bloom.
We had lunch at Flora Dell where a lovely little waterfall cascaded down.
Approaching Flora Dell
We were quite happy to arrive at Illahee lodge after hiking around 12 miles.
The view from Illahee was lovely.
Relaxing on the porch at Illahee
The former owner was quite a character (he is now working for his daughter). He opined that the beautiful forests should be logged, because the forest was meant to provide cellulose.
This is the view from Illahee lodge -- can you imagine it with the forest clear cut?
On our way home, we took a different route. We stopped along the Umpqua River several times.
Colliding River, where the Little River meets the Umpqua
We hiked to Toakatee Falls, off the Umpqua River highway. It is a short easy hike -- but we didn't expect the uphill grade!
I LOVED this hiking adventure, but yesterday (my first day home) I was happy to rest and do household chores. Today I worked outside in the yard for 5 hours. Maybe tomorrow I'll be ready to hike again!