Hike Distance: 8.0 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 830.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 764 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 80284 feet
This was the first day of a five day vacation. We stayed in the town of Oakridge, OR at the Best Western Inn, which we have used as a basecamp a couple of times. Being a travel day, we usually opt to stay close to our hotel and keep the distance shorter. I was investigating the hiking options using alltrails.com and found this close-in hike.
We arrived at the Larison Creek TH and were the only car parked there. Shortly after our arrival an older small truck pulled into the lot and parked. It felt a bit suspicious so I took pictures of the vehicle and license plate, which probably gave the driver second thoughts about vandalizing our vehicle, or maybe not? The truck left shortly before we headed out on the trail.
Larison Creek feeds into Hills Creek Lake, which is a reservoir near Oakridge. I was a bit surprised how low the water level was. The color of the water was a beautiful opal blue.
The trail begins by tracing along Hills Creek Lake with some nice views. Alltrails.com calls this trail kid friendly but there is an exposed ledge, early on in the hike, which I wouldn’t take my kids on, but to each their own. After about a couple miles all remnants of Hills Creek Lake, and its deep reservoir dirt bank, were gone. The trail then feels like a wilderness trail heading through the forest, next to Larison Creek.
The trail has some old growth on it, which is always an awesome thing to see. Access to Larison Creek is limited since the bank leading up to the trail is steep. However, there were a couple trails that seemed to lead down toward the creek, but we didn’t take them. The trail is in exceptional condition and very easy to follow, and it seems to go on forever. The alltrails track we took gave us the impression that the trail was only about 5.6 miles out-and-back, but we ended up turning around at 4 miles out.
We saw NO people on the trail all day, and the solitude was wonderful! Not many mosquitoes added to the enjoyment. When we got back to the hotel I looked at the map of this trail and it appears to be much longer than what we hiked. I’d like to come back and finish it some day.
A truly unexpected wonderful trail. 🙂