Saturday, February 2, 2013

Riverview Trail (loop version)

The Riverview Trail is one of those winter standby hikes. The scenery is fairly mundane and unimpressive and normally I wouldn't ever hike on it. On the plus side, the trail is wide (being the North Umpqua Highway in a former incarnation), the tread is smooth and even, and the trail is blessedly snow-free most of the year. Ergo, when snow keeps hikers out of the mountains, the good old Riverview Trail reliably fills in for unappreciative hikers.

The Riverview Trail
The Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club normally jazz up this hike by hiking straight through and putting out at Fall Creek Falls, shuttling drivers back to the trailhead afterwards. Being in the mood for a longer hike than the 8 miles to the falls, I set up a loop which involved a walk along the North Umpqua Highway and a return on the Mott Segment of the North Umpqua Trail for a nice little 11.7 mile round trip hike.

A chilly start to the hike
The sun was sort of out with some clouds taking issue to the sunshine; it still was pretty chilly, though. It was cosmetic sunshine: it looked nice but lacked the warmth necessary to induce hikers to offer their winter-white legs in grateful tribute to the sun gods. Jackets, vests, beanies, and gloves remained firmly attached to hikers despite the exertion of the walk.

Williams Creek

The Riverview Trail quickly climbs above the North Umpqua River (and highway) before leveling off with limited views of the river peeking through the trees. We were on the north side of the river and sunlight slanted poetically through the forest. At the two mile mark, we crossed over the Williams Creek footbridge. Because of the good condition of the trail, I was making quick time and before long, it was time for me to leave the Riverview Trail and head downhill to the Bogus Creek Campground.

Bogus, dude
I just had to say "Bogus Creek, dude" in my best California surfer accent before exiting the campground and crossing the North Umpqua Highway. A mile long walk along the unusually quiet highway brought me to the Wright Creek Bridge and a crossing of the North Umpqua River. The return back to my car would be along the Mott Segment of the North Umpqua Trail.

Wintertime color
The North Umpqua Trail was narrow, rocky, muddy, and I had to wade through encroaching vegetation. Ah, so good to be on a real trail again! Being on the shadier side of the river, the forest was a dripping and gooey biomass of ferns, moss, mushrooms, and rushing creeks. And always, below the trail coursed the strikingly turquoise colored waters of the North Umpqua River.

Hefty cascade on the North Umpqua
Just past the impressive cascades near Steamboat Inn, I could see the bridge crossing of Steamboat Creek across the river. My car was parked there and it seemed cruel that I had to hike nearly two more miles to return to my car, but that's hiking life for you. The only way to get across the river, short of swimming, was to hike upstream to the historic and picturesque Mott Bridge.

...speaking of hefty
Jennifer, Edwin, and Merle had all agreed to hike the longer loop with me but I had not seen them since we started hiking. Determined to catch up to them I walked at a pretty good clip. Turned out, they had missed the Bogus Creek turnoff and had to backtrack. They too were walking fast, in an attempt to catch up to me.  With all of us trying to catch up to each other, we naturally never made contact until the end of the hike. They stated they'd "...figured we'd catch up to you at some point".  I think I was just called slow.

For more pictures of this hike, please visit the Flickr album.

1 comment :

  1. Enjoyed our conversation. Thanks for the nice Walk..uh Hike