All Results for: Catherine

Squaw First Snow, First Cornice

Well I set out to do a trail run and a trail report, but quickly I was trudging through deeper and deeper snow so here is the first snow ob of the year. The drive up to around 5,500' was uneventful aside from dodging a few bow hunters, but right at the "trailhead" for Squaw Creek Trail the first touches of snow were appearing and it was 35 degrees F. Climbing the trail had me quickly in full white status, with snow still stuck on the trees and some nice quality powder on the ground. The snow hit a little earlier last year< Read more

Flagstaff Trail - Wallowa Mountains

This is an unofficial trail that connects Flagstaff Butte ridge with Mule Peak ridge. It can serve as a bonus connector trail if one wants to do a loop of Sand Pass, Tombstone Lake, and West Eagle trails. Otherwise, it mainly serves as a hunters' trail or alternate access Mule Peak. It is a bit shorter and gains you some elevation over starting at Pole Creek Trailhead. The more recent heavier use of this trail was for fire crews to hike into the fire line for the Mule Peak Fire of 2005. That was probably the last time it was thoroughly cut out. The trail appears to be an old trail that was well established at one time, perhaps for access from an old lookout at Flagstaff Butte or connecting communication lines and transportation to Mule Peak Lookout...  
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Squaw Creek Trail #1951 - Wallowa Mountains, Union, Oregon

This is an uneventful but awesome trail that shoots straight up Squaw Creek to the China Ridge Trail. The beauty is its simplicity marching through a low use area with direct access into a remote area. The climb is subtle and direct and makes good time getting up to some nice scenery. The trail is in good shape too. You stay in the trees on the west side of the creek until you cross the creek and the visuals open up as you work directly toward the saddle. There are some oddities about this trail though. The access is weird and there is no good parking space at the trailhead, let alone a good spot to turn a trailer around...  
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China Ridge Trail #1906 - Wallowa Mountains, Union, Oregon

China Ridge is a beautiful ridgetop trail with a nice view in all directions on the western side of the Wallowas. Burger and China Cap are the first peaks you get a nice look at, including the north wall of China Cap which is view-able on a good stretch of the trail after China Cap Pass. The trail serves as an excellent connector for a loop with Squaw Creek Trail and Elk Creek Trail or a more ambitious loop to North Fork Catherine Creek Trail. The trail starts off the Elk Creek Trail at a confusing intersection with no signage. The trail surface is in good shape given the limited traffic beyond China Cap Pass. Some use this trail to climb the peak and depart from the trail somewhere around or before the pass...  
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Squaw Basin First Snow 9-21-2017

by Brian Sather — Thu, Sep 21, 2017

Sans Pass

by Brian Sather — Posted Sat, Aug 26, 2017

The smoke is back invading our air again. Thankfully, we had the perfect window of clear skies on eclipse day. That was awesome--totality was one of the greatest things I have seen in my life. The Fire, Weather, & Avalanche Center eclipse forecast was right on with 0% chance of cloud cover, which I was beginning to doubt with all the smoke and clouds the days leading up to it and then it all cleared up magically for us. The Forest Service and other entities did a great job putting all the fires out and keeping others from starting fires leading up to the eclipse. There were a lot of starts...
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Mule Peak Trail #1924 - Wallowa Mountains, Union, Oregon

The reward for this hike is one of the top five vistas in the Wallowas. The highest point of the trail is only a short hike from the summit of Granite Butte, which has a flat grassy top above cliffs that yield a killer panorama. You not only see the expanse of the entire Eagle Cap but you can turn the other direction to see the Elkhorns and Blue Mountains and all of the valleys to the west of the Wallowas. Mule Peak Lookout is perched on a high point of a sub-ridge off Granite Butte and this trail goes right beside it. The lookout is an active fire service structure that is manned during certain times of the late summer...  
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North Fork Catherine Creek Trail #1905 - Wallowa Mountains, Union, Oregon

On a quality scale of awesome to crap, this trail covers the entire range from start to finish, in that order. The trail follows North Fork Catherine all the way to it's start and then goes up over a saddle on Meadow Mountain and painfully works its way down to Rock Creek and follows that down to the Minam River. The key feature of this trail is the lush beautiful mosquito den of Catherine Meadow. It is a huge meadow with a private land holding at one end and at the other end a public cabin with no amenities. The trail is maintained and gets good use to the meadow. Elk and other wildlife are plentiful throughout the entire trail. After Catherine Meadow, you immediately come to a junction with Crib Point Trail that goes up to Deadhorse Flat...  
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Recapping Winter 2016-17 Snowmobile Season in NE Oregon

After 67 observations, 96 multimedia uploads, and 494 photo uploads, the winter season is over!

Brian towing his snowbike home
It's finally over: our snowmobile and, now, snowbiking days of this season. We've had 163 days in our extended winter (just shy of 6 months). The inaugural opening day was Read more

Spring Snowmobiling in the Wallowas 4-28-2017

by Tesmond Hurd — Sat, Apr 29, 2017

Some spring backcountry snowmobiling and snowbiking near Flagstaff in the Wallowa Mountains of Oregon.