This hike takes place in the Umatilla National Forest on the Ridge Rim Trail deep in the Blue Mountains. The hike provides spectacular views of the forested canyons of the Umatilla River. Initially, the trail traverses on a level path through meadows overlooking the canyon of Lake Creek.
Looking across the canyon we may see elk grazing or a black bear with its cub foraging on the mountainside. It is common to see pileated woodpeckers and red-breasted nuthatches in the forest bordering the meadows. We will descend on Nine Mile Ridge Trail into the old growth forest in the North Fork of the Umatilla Wilderness Area. Finding a comfortable overlook, we will stop for lunch and discuss our surroundings and identify future hiking possibilities.
All of the animals of the wilderness - bears, wolf, cougars, elk, deer, coyotes and mountain birds are present here. Luck and our mindful powers of observation will determine what we see. This is a wonderful hike to experience the beauty and wildness of the Blue Mountains.
Suitability: Children 10 and up, welcome.
Difficulty: Involves a 4 to 5 mile hike on uneven terrain.
Things to Bring
Participants should wear sturdy shoes or boots for walking and standing, as well as attire suitable for a day hike. This will be a rain or shine event, so depending on the weather, a jacket, hat with a brim, sunglasses and sunscreen would be beneficial. Bring a refillable water bottle, sack lunch, a camera, nature journal, and a sense of adventure.