Santiam Wagon Road to House Rock

"The Willamette Valley Cascade Mountain Wagon Road was the main road from Albany to Sisters for almost 70 years. A man on a strong horse could make the 102 mile journey in four days. Some principal overnight stops were Mountain House, Fish Lake, Cache Creek, and Camp Polk. A toll was charged from 1867 to 1915 and was acquired by the State of Oregon in 1930."

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Taking the long Santiam Wagon Road to House Rock was an adventure to say the least. The first mile or so of the trail feels as though you're following the main highway, hearing the cars drive by and almost able to see the road. After that you feel much deeper into the forest but still feel like you're not hiking towards any specific destination, with not much elevation and no other people around. 

After about two miles you start to hear water (being my naive self I still thought it was coming from the road). All of a sudden you see campgrounds and wonder why in the hell you hiked there in the first place... but then you see House Rock and realize the 3 mile walk was totally worth it. Sitting on the rock in the picture below, these are the two views you see from facing opposite directions, a beautiful waterfall on one side, and the perfectly calming river on the other. 

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If you're crazy enough like my friend Lucas, you can climb up the mossy rocks of the waterfall to get this view looking down and the view from farther down the river in the first picture of this post.

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Here are the steps leading to the campsites, which can be reserved online for $18 a night. RV spots are also available since no public restrooms are within walking distance.

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Latourell Falls / Shepperd's Dell / Bridal Veil Falls

Three hikes consisting of 4 miles and 80 flights of stairs...

From Portland: Drive east on I-84 to Exit 28 (Bridal Veil). Turn right on the Historic Highway and drive 2.8 miles to the Latourell Falls Parking lot on the left. 


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Latourell, Bridal Veil, and Shepperd's Dell are three of the only hikes available when turning right onto 28 rather than left towards the extremely popular hiking destinations like Multahnoma Fall or Angel's Rest. Because all three of the hikes are rather short (with Shepperd's Dell coming in at a whopping 0.1 miles) they're easy to all knock out in a morning trip!


Latourell Falls

is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop that has a 4.5/5 star rating on AllTrails.com website and for some crazy reason it's rated as "easy".  When I say it's crazy to be rated as easy, it's because we did almost 1,000 feet of elevation in 2 miles... Most of the trail is gravel or sand/dirt, so there aren't too many obstacles along the trail but by the time you reach the waterfall, you're definitely ready for a snack break and a dip in the waterfall. I suggest doing this trail first because you drive the farthest to it, and then you can do the relaxing trails as a cool-down afterwards.

Bridal Veil Falls

is a 2 mile out and back trail (if you include the viewpoint loop) with a 4/5 rating on AllTrails.com and is rated as easy.This is much more of a walk than a hike, with only about 300 feet of elevation with walkways and bridges along most of the trail. The large rock in the bottom right of this photo could easily be jumped off for a cool-down and the viewpoints of the Columbia River along the way aren't too bad either! 

 

Sunrise Hike to Upper Table Rock

A picture’s worth a thousand words
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Upper Table Rock is located in Medford, Oregon and is lightly trafficked when hiking as early in morning as we did! All of these pictures were taken standing in relatively the same spot at the top, just at different times of the sunrise! Lower Table Rock is another challenging hike located adjeacent to the upper trail head. 

 

Alsea and Green Falls Trail

From Corvallis: 

Take Hwy 99W south about 15 miles. Turn right on Alpine Road, follow for approximately 9 miles. Alpine Road turns into South Fork Road. Follow about 4 miles to the Alsea Falls Campground on the right. 

Although Alsea Falls was a bit hard to find, it is definitely worth the struggle! This trail is a 3 mile out and back, moderately trafficked, and rated as easy. There are a few places with steep incline, but to the side there are usually natural stairs to help the process haha

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Check out the That Hiking Girl Instagram page for a video showing different parts of the trail throughout the whole hike!