• 18 Oct 2023 2:13 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

    Oct 15, 2023, contributed by Kelly Cleman

    A group of six hikers met up at Thump Coffee to hike the Dry River Canyon. This trail is closed seasonally for nesting birds and reopens in the fall and winter to hikers. The approximately 6.5 mile trail one way goes from an obscure trailhead near the Badlands wilderness and ends at Hwy 20. There isn't much gain although there is a rocky area to cross where poles and sure footing is a plus. The day was very sunny and warm and we enjoyed a nice ramble in this picturesque area. We walked up-canyon, admiring the colors and textures of the rock surrounding us. The trail winds through sagebrush, juniper, and the occasional ponderosa pine. We decided not to go all the way to the Hwy 20 junction and opted instead to stop about 1/4 mile short and enjoy some lunch. On the way back, we encountered what we thought was some scat, but couldn't identify what creature it was from. Perhaps a reader of this blog can identify it.  (CONC Members: If you are logged in, you can enter a comment below.)

  • 16 Oct 2023 8:08 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

    October 1, 2023, contributed by Kelly Cleman

    A full group of 12 hikers showed up to do the 9 mile hike up to South Matthieu Lake via the Scott Pass trail. Although this hike goes up to Matthieu Lake, the Scott Pass trailhead does not require a Central Cascade Wilderness permit. It is also not very heavily trafficked, so it makes for some good trail solitude. Although the weather had been rainy on the days prior to the hike, this Sunday dawned clear and not too cold. The trail goes through some pretty wide open terrain due to a burn from several years ago, so we enjoyed views of North Sister for most of the hike up to the lake. We arrived at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, and then walked for a few minutes down to South Matthieu Lake. We found a nice spot by the lake and enjoyed our lunch and the views of North Sister and Yapoah Crater out in the lava field. We then headed back to the trailhead at a leisurely pace. 

  • 15 Oct 2023 3:31 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

    Contributed by Mitch Luftig

    A few years ago, my wife, Stephanie, and I were skiing the North Loop out of Ray Benson Sno-park. We brought along a snack of tangerines and string cheese, which we looked forward to consuming once we reached the Blowout Shelter, designated for day use. However, when we arrived, a large group was overnighting at the shelter, with backpacks and camping equipment strewn along the wooden benches and hammocks strung like spider webs from the walls and ceiling, leaving no room for us to get out of the cold and enjoy our snack.

    The good news. According to the National Forest Service, there are two Santiam Pass Area Shelters appropriate for skiers and snowshoers to use for an overnight stay.

     Mountain View Shelter can be accessed from the Maxwell Sno-Park. It is open for both day use and overnight stays. A maximum capacity of 15 persons are allowed to overnight.

     Described by Hike Oregon as spacious, fully enclosed shelter with lots of windows and a big wood stove. The shelter is usually stocked with fire wood, although if you are going late in the season, it is best to bring your own just in case the supply at the shelter has run out. There is an outhouse close by for convenience. 

     Views from the shelter area include Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters (to the south) and Three-Finger Jack and Mt. Jefferson (to the north).

     South Maxwell Snow Shelter can also be accessed from the Maxwell Snow-park. The shelter is open for day use and overnight stays, with a maximum overnight capacity of four persons. South Maxwell has a wood stove, no door, and a gravel floor.

     Forest Service Shelter Regulations:

    1.        Shelters cannot be reserved and exclusive use by individuals and groups is prohibited.

    2.        Overnight stays are permitted from November 15 to April 30.

    3.        Maximum stay limit is 3 nights.

    4.        Shelters must be shared with whomever would like to use the shelter.

    5.        All shelters are backcountry sites – all garbage and human waste (if there is no restroom facility) along with extra food and supplies should be packed out. Follow Leave No Trace principles as you enjoy your winter outing.

    6.         Candles are not allowed. Please bring your own lights.

    7.        Firewood (if provided) is to be used in woodstoves only.


     Directions: Maxwell Sno-Park is located 3.5 miles west of Santiam Junction on state Highway 22.

    According to GAIA GPS, one-way distance from the snow park to the shelter is 4.7 miles, taking approximately 2 hours, 33 minutes to complete. There is 676 ft of elevation gain.

    Amy Brown of Outdoor Project says the easiest route to shelters heads north from Maxwell Sno-park on the Flat Loop Trail and then northeast along the Mountain View Loop. All of the trails lead through the thick Douglas fir, hemlock, and cedar, and generally the trails are very well marked with blazes and signs at junctions; note, however, that abundant fresh snow may make route finding a bit of a challenge, so be sure to travel with a map.

  • 15 Oct 2023 3:15 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

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  • 15 Oct 2023 3:14 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

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  • 15 Oct 2023 3:13 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

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  • 15 Oct 2023 2:24 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

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  • 15 Oct 2023 12:27 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

    Contributed by Jerry Sebestyen

    Oct 8, 2023:    After gathering at one of our favorite coffee shops, eight CONC members traveled to Shevlin Park for a hike in search of Fall colors.  Shevlin has been a Bend city park since 1920 and has a footprint of nearly 1,000 acres.
       Besides being an amazing example of the geology/volcanology of our area it is also "home to miles of trails through old-growth forest and desert sage-covered lands".
       The Aspen were in full golds with the underlying brush displaying reds and golds.  The Tamarack/Western Larch was just starting to turn to its characteristic gold coloration before the needles are shed.
       We enjoyed a "Just Right" kind of day with great weather and equally great company.

  • 29 Sep 2023 10:49 AM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

    September 17 - Kelly Cleman

    An all-female group of 7 decided to gamble that the smoke wouldn't be too bad and to head up to Santiam Pass to do the Berley Lakes hike. When we got to the trailhead, it was a bit smokey, but it looked like the skies were clearing to the north and that the wind was in our favour. We set off at a slow pace to avoid breathing smoke too deeply and soon we felt a fresh breeze on our face and we started to get some good views of Three Fingered Jack. We made it to the turnoff for Berley Lakes and were quickly on the shores of Lower Berley Lake snapping pictures of the lake with said mountain in the background. We then headed to the Upper Lake and found some nice rocks to sit and enjoy lunch and to take more photographs. There were a few people camping at the lake and several folks fishing. We started heading back towards the trailhead and noticed that the smoke was picking up and the wind was now coming from the south. It got bad enough that a few of us decided to don masks to avoid breathing in too much smoke. We were appreciative that we got pretty clear air up to and at the lake.

  • 25 Sep 2023 7:50 PM | Anonymous

    John Sweat had a few hikers willing to brave the smoky gossamer haze on Sunday September 24.  Fortunately conditions changed for the best as a slight drizzle turned into a cleansing yet steady rain fall which saved the day.

    There was mild apprehension as they approached the creek crossing but, everyone handled it with ease considering the damp conditions. From that point on it was all down hill.  The group stopped a few times to take in the view points and admired the falls along the way back to the trailhead. The stats for the day were a little over 8 miles with an elevation gain of 1200 feet; perfect for a wet day!

The Central Oregon Nordic Club, PO Box 744, Bend, OR 97709, is chapter of the Oregon Nordic Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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