Unfortunately, the trail guide we were using had inaccurate directions to get us to Amboy, WA, the town nearest NF-5701. We didn’t realize they were inaccurate, so we didn’t think to double-check with Google Maps. So we wound up taking an extensive tour of rural Clark County, WA. Therein we were diverted, repeatedly, by sheriff’s deputies protecting the route of a long distance foot race. We got seriously lost, took several wrong turns, and spent quite a bit of time driving on the wrong side of the road because of the runners.
When we finally approached our destination, the forest roads themselves were in dreadful condition, some of the worst paved roads I’ve been on in the United States. We had of course brought the Genre car instead of
Once there we shoed up, watered down, and hit the trail.
There’s an initial long, steep descent into the Siouxan Creek watershed. Experienced hikers will note that this means a final long, steep ascent at the end of the day. Not a desirable situation. Once on the trail itself, the slopes were gentle enough, and the views incredible. Including one of the best natural swimming holes I have ever seen. We also saw birds, bugs, flowers, berries, and all manner of natural splendor.
We didn’t make our planned 7.4 mile out-and-back, as we turned back around 3 miles in due to fatigue. (We were at 45 deg 57′ 41.40″ N; 122 deg 8’ 23.40″ W at that point.) We estimate about 600 feet of elevation gain net, though a lot more hill work than that due to all the ups and downs. We were on the trail a bit less than four hours. On the way back I managed to leave my Birkenstocks in the parking lot at the trailhead, but by the time we figured that out, it would not have been worth the extensive trouble to go back for them 45 minutes each way over the terrible roads.
This is a truly lovely hike if you’re in the Portland area and looking for something of the sort. I experienced it as an intermediate level of difficulty. If the weather were a bit warmer, I would have loved to try out some of the swimming holes. But don’t forget your shoes.
Photos, of course… (more…)