Monday, August 24, 2015

Rooster Rock (Oregon)

The second AMC August Camp hike of the week, Monday August 10, was up to Rooster Rock.  It was another out and back hike, 3.2 miles each way, uphill on the way out, and downhill on the way back.  The 2,300 feet that we gained hiking up to Rooster Rock was all lost on the return.  It was rated as a moderate hike.  The views at the top were good but not as spectacular as the Dome Rock hike.  However, we explored a kind of secret side trail that led to some amazing views.

Here is a track of the hike, starting at the lower left with Rooster Rock on the right.  The hike climbed steadily through a nice forest and only had views at the very top.  The secret trail led to the north about a half mile from the view point.  The purple star shows the approximate location of the end of the side trail with the fabulous view.

Here is a three dimensional view of the hike.  I've marked the approximate location of Rooster Rock.  There was a huge cliff face there, as well as other giant rocks.

The start of the hike featured large trees hanging with Old Man's Beard lichens.

I hiked with five others.  At this point, I snapped a shot of some of them ahead of me in the thick forest.

This hike had about four major obstacles to cross on the trail.  We had to climb over some very large logs, at steep angles, and for this one, we all crawled under it using various techniques: a roll, a crab crawl, and so forth.

Very close to the summit, we paused to look at the huge cliff and rocks that made up part of Rooster Rock.

The summit had nice views to the east-south-east, which was also the direction that the sun was shining from.  It was a good lunch spot, and several yellow jackets also showed up to see if they could steal some food.  One crawled into my sandwich bag, which crossed a line, so I dispatched her.  Would I perhaps find some bad karma from this later?

After lunch, we decided to see if we could follow the secret side trail from the summit the north.  The trail book suggested a possible view of Rabbit Ears.  After a while, sure enough, we spotted the two giant pillars of stone partially visible through the trees.  These columns are very popular with rock climbers.  For me, attempting it would lead to an early death.

A while past Rabbit Ears, the trail seemed to end.  I was in the lead, and it looked like we would have to risk climbing over this huge rock.  Good views seemed to be ahead, but were they worth the risk?  We decided not!  But then, a fellow hiker spotted a faint track to the right of the rock, and scouted it out.  It was steep and narrow, requiring caution, but was passible, so I followed him out there.

And am I glad I did, because there was a fabulous view!  The two of us who went over there took turns snapping photographs of each other.  It was literally a place where if you stepped about three feet backwards, it was a very, very long way down.  So we both went very slow and carefully here.

Being an out and back, the trip back to the car was a repeat of the trip up, except downhill.  Sound easy?  Well, we still had to climb over and under some big logs, and at the very start, I took a step in a patch of gravel on a steep slope that was like stepping on ball bearings.  I took another quick and painful fall, gashing my elbow open.  It bled enough that our trip leader got out her first aid kit and patched in up.  Two weeks later, I still have a big scab on my elbow.  Two hikes, two days, two falls, two scraped up arms!

Did that spoil the trip? Heck no!  I had a fabulous time doing another great hike, and I wondered what tomorrow would bring.  It turned out that it would bring the best hike of the whole week!


  1. Wow that was some hike. What beautiful scenery. Sorry to hear about your falls but glad they didn't slow you down. : )
    Those were some big trees blocking the way and like the picture of the trees hanging with Old Man's Beard lichens.

  2. It was a great hike. All of them were. No, the falls didn't slow me down - if I broke something that would be different.

    Yeah, one tree we had to climb over was quite the obstacle. I didn't photograph that one.