Bunchgrass Ridge West Approach


Bunchgrass Ridge West Approach est un sentier allez-retour de 9.7 miles modérément fréquenté situé près de Oakridge, Oregon. Le sentier vous présentera des fleurs sauvages et sa difficulté est évaluée comme difficile. Le sentier offre plusieurs activités.

Distance: 9.7 miles Dénivelé: 2,824 feet Type d'itinéraire: Aller-retour

randonnée sac-à-dos



course à pied


vue panoramique

fleurs sauvages

The "main attraction" of this trail is the Bunchgrass Ridge which roughly follows a north-west/south-east direction. The ridge can be accessed at its northwest end (this trail) or at its southeast end (see the "East Approach" trail on the site). There are a variety of options for a trailhead and also the possibility to make the journey a point-to-point (with 2 vehicles) or a backpacking trip. Note: this is a mixed use trail for both hikers and bikers. This ridge is globally horizontal, with some shallow dips here and there, with the exception of a "notch" at the 2 miles mark and a saddle/pass a mile before reaching Big Bunchgrass if you continue on after the notch. The key appeal will be the Bunchgrass Meadows (rather unique), the views along the way (including a few knolls with 360 degrees unobstructed views), and wildflowers (in season).

6 months ago

I hiked this trail in late July on a sunny and rather warm day. I found the trail on the ridge itself very pleasant and easy (the section I walked was just about 6 miles out and back, which I augmented with a steep elevation gain and about 3.5 more miles by starting just off NFR 5877 at the Owl Cabin Way trailhead). The ridge walk itself, mostly horizontal, going through the namesake meadows and offering southerly and northerly views along the way, can be a worthy option by itself. Here are the other key observations about my hike. 1. TRAILHEADS: as this route is a section of the longer Eugene to PCT (or Eugene to Crest) trail, there are a variety of options to reach and then walk the Bunchgrass Ridge. My option starts at the Owl Cabin way and adds 3.5 miles plus 1000 feet of elevation gain. The shortest route would be to start right at Little Bunchgrass (following the Kwis-Kwis Butte road and then the 'FR 286' spur was 1/4 miles to the flat top (ample parking). Another option can be to start at the Eugene to PCT trailhead right off Kwis-Kwis Butter Rd at the junction with the 'FR 327' spur (this will however add another 10 miles RT to the route). A final option can be to take the 'FR 327' spur and start between the 346 and 347 spurs... there may be more options still! 2. ACCESS (Getting there). My option to start off NRF 5877 was a bit adventurous. The road was a bit rough: a few potholes, overgrown trees/bushes in places, a small downed pines I had to move out of the way, not a log of places to turn around or park, a few rocks fallen on the road.... Kwis-Kwis Butte road is (was) better maintained and might be a better option. I would not go there on heavy rain/wind days. You may want to lookup the "Eugene to PCT" information online as it talks about several of the trailheads in the area. 3. SCENIC APPEAL: as the Bunchgrass Ridge portion of the trail does follow the roughly northwest-southeast ridge, it offers occasional vistas on both sides. On the south, the Salt Creek valley where OR 58 wounds its way from Oakridge to Willamette pass. ON the north, the Salmon Creek valley. About 2 mile in from Little Bunchgrass, the trail reaches a high point that offers nearly 360 degrees views, including Diamond Peak and Mt Yoran right across the valley. Other points of interest are, of course, the various Bunchgrass meadows the trail traverses or skirts, and the exuberant display of wildflowers in season. 4. TRAIL PROFILE: this profile is for the trailhead starting at Owl Cabin Way trail off NRF 5877. This is important to note as you can skip the arduous porting (the switchbacks) by staring right at the Little Bunchgrass trailhead. Section 1: trailhead to junction with the Eugene to PCT trail. This is a short .4 miles following mostly flat and wide creek banks. Shortly after the start, a wooden bridge allows you to cross safely. At end of June the creek was still flowing enough to be a good source of water if needed. Section 2: this is the "switchbacks" portion! This is a series of 22 switchbacks, ranging from steep to very steep to insane that climb 1,000 ft in about .7 miles (this means a 20% AVERAGE grade...). The third section goes from the top of the switchbacks to the Little Bunchgrass meadow in about .6 miles and with a much gentler climb. To this point, the trail is almost entirely shaded. The next section (2 miles) goes from the Little Bunchgrass meadow area (that can also be your trailhead) to rocky knoll that offers the first unobstructed 360 views of the surroundings (including a "close up" of Diamond Peak and Mt Yoran). This can be a turning point unless you wish to continue to Big Bunchgrass meadow another 2.5 miles further. I continued another mile (to make it about 5 miles from the Owl Way cabin trailhead) dipping sharply into a wooded notch and climbing up the other side to find a lunch spot to the north of the trail. That last area (the notch and the hill on the other side) were damaged by wildfire and may not be worth going to unless you head for Big Bunchgrass or want to make your hike a bit longer. Note: on the way back, and instead of retracing my steps on section 3, I walked on the dirt road ("spur 286") to the KwisKwis Butte road and then to the point were a not-too-obvious short tie trail rejoins the top of the switchbacks. TRAFFIC: I was on the trail for about 7 hours, including breaks, and only saw 1 mountain biker the whole time. As this was a beautiful Sunday in June, I would surmise that the trail does not see a lot of traffic on most days. One key reason might be that it is not too easy to get to the trailhead. While the Kwis-Kwis butter road seemed passable even by passenger vehicles, it is a long way; access via other forest roads, including 5877 is a bit more challenging, especially in or after bad weather.

6 months ago