Jefferson Park via Park Ridge

Saturday was going to be the last sunny day in the forecastable future so we woke up at 6am to take advantage of it (Joanna’s first words of protest after the alarm went off: “Weekends are supposed to be nice!”)

We met up with Angela and her coworker, Joe, to hike in the Jefferson Wilderness. Angela had chosen the hike and I kept having feelings of deja-vu until just before we crested the ridge, when I felt very strongly that I knew what the viewpoint would be the on the other side. Sure enough, it turned out that we’d done this same hike a year before (OregonHikers had a different name for it than AllTrails, which is always confusing). What a dramatic landscape. I’ve never had such a complete view of Mt Jefferson and it was no less wonderful than our first go around. We hiked down the ridge to Scout Lake and enjoyed some watermelon that Joe had brought, kept refreshingly chilled in a collapsible cooler (why hadn’t we ever thought of that?!)

A little note to anyone who wants to try this hike. The road is VERY rough. Last year, we had to leave my compact car and hike up the road for two miles to the trailhead. This year, we were in Joe’s SUV, but it was an extremely bumpy ride nonetheless. Still, it’s one of the region’s best hikes and well worth a little extra planning.

Jefferson Park via Park Ridge Hike

Two weeks of hunkering down indoors to avoid the wildfire smoke finally ended this weekend, and we were happy when it finally cleared and we were able to hit the trail again. We headed down to the Jefferson wilderness, an area that we've not visited nearly enough this year. The forest road on the way in was too rough for my little Honda and we had to park two miles out from the trailhead, but the wildflowers were out in full force, and the numerous rock piles in the subalpine zone called to mind BBC's Narnia films from the 1990s.

During the final push, another hiker on his way down smiled knowingly and told us to enjoy the view. I asked him if we were close, and he nodded to the top of a ridge about 50 yards away. I've seen a lot of mountains in the PNW, but cresting that ridge and seeing Mt Jefferson so close was still enough to take my breath away.