All Results for: Moss Springs

Snotoberfest at Moss Springs

I have been looking forward to being in the snow since my last snowmobile day at Anthony Lakes on May 15th. I did, however, see snow in July near Minam Lake on the Lostine River. Nevertheless, I went up to Mt. Fanny in the evening...or so I tried. The road is in good condition, but around 5400 ft. we started running into snow. I was excited to try my new pickup out in the snow on the sides of the gravel. When we finally got up to the campground, there was about 2 inches of snow and several hunters camped out...  
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Cartwheel Ridge Trail #1907 - Wallowa Mountains, Cove, Oregon

Cartwheel Ridge is a meandering trail along a subtle ridge that follows an old road, hence probably the trail name. The double ruts are still visible for most of the trip. It is a nice route from Lodgepole Trail that takes you by two other trails before starting to open up with expansive views and plugging you deeper into the Minam area. Near the end you experience a twist in your wilderness experience when you come to a barbwire fence and gate. From there, the trail starts to sidehill and becomes a single track as it swaps from the south side of the ridge to the north side and plugs into a trail junction with Lakeys Hole and Jim White trails. The trail starts at a marked intersection on the Lodgepole Trail that clearly has the old road crossing the trail...  
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Backcountry Update 8-2-2017

Backcountry Update 8-2-2017
by Brian Sather — Wed, Aug 2, 2017

Dobbin Trail #1913 (a.k.a. Art Garrett Trail) - Wallowa Mountains, Cove, Oregon

I would say don't confuse this with the other Dobbin trail on the other Dobbin Creek a few drainages away, but that goes without saying in the redundant naming game of the mountains in Northeast Oregon. We could avoid this confusion by going with the "Art Garrett Trail" but the official status of this name seems to be resting on an unofficial looking sign nailed to a tree at the start of the trail. Other than that, I can't find anything about who Art is and why the trail has his name, nor can I find any official indication that is the real trail name. Several years ago I ran into an old guy roaming the trail near there, who indicated he had been hiking all of the trails around there. Perhaps that was Art, inspired by the definitely-official Jim White to get a trail named after himself...  
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Crib Point Trail #1909 - Wallowa Mountains, Cove, Oregon

This hidden gem of a trail is sandwiched in the midst of a lot of trail options around the Little Minam River. You'll rise up to Crib Point and cover some distance quickly from there to Deadhorse Flat, but then you'll be the one crying if you drop off the other side to Catherine Meadow because that trail is in horrible shape and you'll enter a ravenous mosquito zone much of the summer. Instead of doing that, at Deadhorse Flat you can get on the Cartwheel Ridge Trail in either direction to make a loop of this trail. It is excellent for trail runners to use as a loop with a nice running surface if you loop this and Dobbin Creek or if you want more rugged running with better visuals go to the top of Cartwheel Ridge and come down one of the options from there...  
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Minam Rim Gravel Ride - Elgin & Cove, Oregon

A nice scenic and long trip that travels near the wilderness line for much of the way. Unfortunately, the road doesn't give you many views directly into the Minam, but all you have to do is get off your bike and walk up to the edge because you'll usually be close to the top of the ridge that overlooks the canyons of the Minam River drainage. The climb from the highway near Elgin is very gradual with a really good gravel surface. The route is pretty straightforward, as you stay on the main traveled road until one tricky junction just after Rock Springs where there is a left to go to Point Prominence and the signage hasn't always been good there...  
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Lackeys Hole Trail #1942 - Wallowa Mountains, Cove, Oregon

This trail serves as a nice artery to several other trails in the Little Minam and Catherine Meadow area. It drops down from Moss Springs and follows the Little Minam upstream past its headwaters and up to the ridge top. There you have a visually dramatic ridge route above the North Fork Catherine Creek and then drops down the other side to the mysterious Lackeys Hole. Then you cross a saddle and visit Lackeys Lake, a small shallow pond in a basin, before you travel through some meadows and thicker woods eventually getting to North Fork Catherine Creek Trail not too far from the Minam River. The opening miles of the trail get a surprising amount of use, perhaps because there are more options compared to the Horse Ranch Trail. Huckleberries line the trail for quite a ways...  
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Mud Spring Cut-off Trail (a.k.a. The Cat Track) - Wallowa Mountains, Cove, Oregon

Some geniuses way back in time (1930s?) decided to drive a bulldozer from Moss Springs up to Young Ridge to terrace the hill to undo what some previous geniuses did by taking big herds of sheep there to annually ravage the hillside. Despite these events being close to a century ago, the scars still exist and are used today by hikers and horseback riders to access Young Ridge. The Mud Springs Cut-off is where the cat operator decided to drive up the steep hill from the Little Minam. You will find this unofficial trail marked by an interesting wall cairn on the left of the trail 1.5 miles after you cross the Little Minam on the Lakey's Hole Trail. It is easy to miss so keep an eye out for the rock pile...  
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Salt Trail - Wallowa Mountains, Cove, Oregon

The Salt Trail is more of an assault trail on Young Ridge. It aggressively heads up the ridge to Ben Point from near Moss Springs. However, you won't find this on any maps since the Forest Service decided to erase evidence of this trail. It is a shame when trails are decommissioned. This one offers a direct and quick route up to the beautiful Young Ridge. Even though it is still recovering from over-grazing a century ago, it does capture your soul with a 360 degree view on a gentle sloping ramp. Young Ridge also serves as a visual snow gauge from the Grande Ronde Valley since it is visible into the late spring as a white ridge framed among green hillsides...  
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Little Minam Trail #1901

Great footbridge in the middle of a poorly maintained and rarely traveled trail. The bridge looks brand new and very time-intensive to build and much needed in the early summer, but too bad a fraction of the cost couldn't have been put into trail maintenance. It is a weird bridge in that if you need this bridge, you also need a bridge across the Minam, of which there is none. There are two ford options but these will only be doable in the late summer. Otherwise, you have to come down the trail from above, either from Moss Springs, Red's Horse Ranch, or Rock Springs Trail. The lower end of the trail starts near where the Little Minam comes into the big. It is a nice flat meadow where some old cabins exist, that have fallen into disrepair...  
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