Blue Mountains

Birdtrack Springs Nature Trail

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Birdtrack Springs is a short gravel and flat hiking trail that visits a marsh and meanders along the Grande Ronde River. It is a mellow excursion good for all ages that includes plenty of park benches. If all of the trails are walked, it totals 2 miles. The entrance is directly across the highway from Birdtrack Springs Campground, a overnight fee camping area. There is designated picnic area but Redbridge State Park isn't too far up the road.

Chico Trail 1658

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This is a rough trail that drops through 2 canyons and gains a ridge on the other side. It might be okay for a strenuous trail run, but probably better off as a hike or mule ride. You can drive to both ends of the trail, so it would work as a good traverse or for use in accessing or leaving the Davis Creek or Swamp Creek trails.

The west ends of the trail is well established with a good trailhead just off of Highway 3. The east end is not well traveled at all and difficult to follow in the last 1/4 mile. The trailhead is difficult to find too.

Trail Notes

Driveway Saddle Trail

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This is an abrupt, short and steep trail that takes you from Swamp Creek Trail to Miller Ridge. The bottom part does not follow the original trail, but has been cleared for an ATV to go up. You basically follow the creek bed, but about halfway up, there is a cairn which begins a series of switchbacks up to the top of the ridge where a trail meets a road.

It is rough enough that only hiking and mules should probably try this trail.

Trail Notes

Elk Flat Trail #3241

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This downhill trail goes to the Wenaha River in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. Many huckleberries are along the trail particularly during the flatish middle section. Upon arriving at the river, the are 3-4 established camping areas on a flat meadow. There are a couple places to ford the river, which is basically a stream crossing in late summer.

Hale Spring Trail

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This is one of the few trails that connects the Grande Ronde Valley floor to the top ridge of the Blue Mountains. It is all climb, albeit fairly consistent and not terribly steep. At the lower end it is rocky and grown in. The middle section has some switchbacks before arriving at the ridge, where it stays in the trees as it travels to the top. The section near the top is usually grown in but only for a few hundred feet. Despite the low traffic this trail gets, it stays in fairly good condition.

Lookingglass Creek Trail

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This is a cool trail that you have never been on...and never heard of. It side-hills through some dense forest and makes its way down to Lookingglass Creek where it terminates. The Lookingglass plays host to salmon that run up all the way to the start of the creek at Langdon Lake where, if they make it that far, they encounter a cage preventing them from entering the lake. Right now it is only good for hiking, because you'll have to crawl over several downed trees.

Shimmiehorn Trail

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There is a relic of a trail left off of The Shimmiehorn, that may be worth hiking. A fragment of the trail is provided here for documentation only, as the trail was in difficult shape and I did not try hiking the whole trail because I was looking for a mountain bike trail. It is supposed to go down to South Fork Campground on the Umatilla. The trail should be hikeable along the ridge but I'm not sure what becomes of it when it gets into the trees and drops down to the campground. Sometime I'll check the bottom of it. With some trailwork, this could be an interesting trail.