Day 7: To Lake in the Woods campground, Little River - Waterfalls of Calapooya 2013 - CycleBlaze

June 30, 2013

Day 7: To Lake in the Woods campground, Little River

Today will be a long strenuous day. I got up at 7:30 and hit the road before 8:30, riding the unloaded bike up Cavitt Creek road. Pavement ends just past the campground and the road starts climbing steeply. After climbing 1400 feet I stopped at the Shadow Falls trailhead.

The hike to Shadow falls is 0.8 miles, dropping 300 feet elevation.
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The hike to the falls is all downhill, in dense shade. I've never seen a great picture of Shadow Falls and now I know why. It's very difficult to get a good view of this waterfall. My best view was still partially obstructed, and required a dangerous scramble.

View of Shadow falls from just past the railing at the end of the trail.Blowing sword ferns turn out blurry in a time exposure.
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Better view of Shadow falls after a life-threatening scramble. The falls drops 100 feet (30 m) in 3 tiers.
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Shadow Falls is in a narrow canyon that appears to be caused by an earthquake fault. It looks very different from the other waterfalls which occur at a precipice where a river of lava stopped advancing.

Wild Tiger Lily. I don't see this flower very often.
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After hiking up to the bike I began the long slow 7 mile descent to Cavitt Creek Falls campground. 15 mph on the smooth sections, 10 mph on the rocky sections. Continuous braking for half an hour.

Back at the campground I made lunch and packed up the tent. On the way out I stopped at the hilltop campground entrance to call my wife. That was the only place I could get service. I will have no service for the next two days.

Backtracking 4 miles to Little River was very fast because it's paved. I turned right onto Little River road continuing upstream, southeast. Little River has easy access and frequent ledge drop pools. Similar to Brice Creek but with fewer visitors.

Little River has frequent ledge drops.
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After a few miles I enter Umpqua National Forest again. The road gets gradually steeper as I go upstream. It was hot and the river was easily accessible. I cooled off in the river a couple of times. It cooled me down in a hurry!

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Little River.
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The landscape goes back and forth between narrow forested canyons and small valleys with pastures and houses. A couple miles of private in-holdings in the National Forest. Pavement ends soon after the last riverside campground.

Private land in the Little River valley.
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The rock slide has already been substantially cleaned up.
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I rejoined Little River at 900 feet elevation and today's destination is Lake of the Woods campground, 3017 feet elevation. The last 7 miles to the campground is unpaved and the last 1.5 miles is steep, 8-10% grade. I kept my tire pressure low all day because of steep unpaved sections at the beginning and end.

Forest Road 22 is unpaved for the last 7 miles to Lake in the Woods campground.
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I was very tired when I arrived at the campground. The 11 campsites wrap around the small lake. $10, with flush toilets, but no water faucets. Maybe the water isn't safe to drink. I spent a lot of time filtering water from a small creek 200 yards from my campsite. The cool creek water was delightful to drink compared to the warm water in my last water bottle.

Highest campsite of the tour at Lake in the Woods campground. 3017 feet elevation.
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I know of 6 waterfalls within easy walking distance of Lake In the Woods campground. My original plan was for this to be a 10 day tour, with a day off at Lake in the Woods to hike 3 different waterfall trails. But I decided I could see all the waterfalls without spending 2 nights here. Shortening the tour will reduce the chance that I might run out of food or cooking fuel.

I will do the easiest two waterfall trails today. Evening is always the best time, when the canyons are in deep shade. I rested and made a big dinner.

At 7 PM I started hiking the Yakso Falls trail which starts across the road from the campground entrance. The trail is mostly uphill but the last part descends to the falls.

The hike to Yakso falls is 0.7 miles, mostly uphill.
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Yakso falls drops 60 feet (18m) with a very attractive spread.
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Yakso Falls is a very attractive falls. Easily swimmable plunge pool, but at 3200 feet elevation it's too cold for most folks.

Many large trees surround Yakso falls.
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After hiking back to the campground I walked to the Hemlock Falls trailhead which is adjacent to campsite #1. This trail is all downhill to the falls.

The hike to Hemlock falls is 0.4 miles, descending 400 feet elevation.
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Hemlock falls drops 80 feet (24 m).
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Hemlock falls.
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Hemlock Falls isn't as attractive as Yakso Falls but it's easy to see from different angles. I ran out of energy during the 1/2 mile hike back to my campsite. The trail wasn't super steep, but I was exhausted when I returned to the campsite at 9 PM. I will sleep well tonight.

Today had a lot of climbing, mostly on unpaved roads. High of 90F. It would have been hotter if I hadn't gained so much elevation. I expected the evening to cool down more quickly than it did. It must be really hot down in the valley. Even here it's too hot to use the rain fly.

Today I was alone at all 3 trails and all 3 waterfalls. I'm starting to feel entitled to private trails and private waterfalls.

Distance: 43.2 miles (69 km)

Climbing: 3727 feet (1129 m)

Average Speed: 7.2 mph (11.5 km/h)

Unpaved roads: 25.2 miles (40 km)

Hiking: 4 mi. (6.4 km)

Waterfalls: 3

Covered Bridges: 0

Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 240 miles (386 km)

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