Hike Distance: 9.1 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 655.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1510 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 61343 feet
We haven’t been out to this area in quite a long time. I’ll admit that the increased logging, of this area, has turned me off to visiting. That said, it was about time that we hiked this loop to assess the status and make a determination of the conditions, including the aesthetics.
We parked at the Rogers Camp TH, where the lot was practically filled by all the dirt bike riders. It was very noisy and isn’t a favorite of mine to observe the people that enjoy this activity, but, to each their own. It turns out there was a race on this day and so the noise from this activity was pervasive for long stretches of the trail. That said, there were still many parts of the trail that felt removed from the activity, and we enjoyed those areas immensely.
We hiked in a clockwise direction around the loop, and it felt like a new trail since we hadn’t been here in a while. The clearcut logging we did see was horrendous, and it was a sore sight for our eyes. They hadn’t even replanted these areas and it was clear it had been at least a couple of years. Although I know that logging is required in Oregon for school funding I just can’t get used to seeing it. There are so few trails in the Tilamook State Forest that I can’t help but think they could stay away from them, or at least leave trails around the trails, but they don’t. Thankfully, most of the loop trail hasn’t been logged, so we had some quality forest views.
The highlight of this trail is passing by the University Falls area! This is quite the spectacular waterfall, and we had it to ourselves for about five minutes. This was the only area where we saw people, otherwise the entire trail was devoid of hikers. We felt good about our visit and hope next time we’re here they will have already replanted the clearcuts.