backpacking
17 days ago

I visited Oregon's second largest (and newest) state park for the first time this past weekend! It's difficult to find information about the trails here and whether they are backpackable. I met a ranger there who said that the entire park is open for backpacking minus a small section 10 miles out on the Pinnacles trail that is privately owned.

I chose to hike the Lost Corral Trail, a very easy 9 mile out-and-back hike that follows the John Day River next to the vertical basalt cliffs. The path had basically no elevation gain but the path was pretty rocky. Those with balance troubles or sensitive feet may be a little slowed down by the golfball sized stones underfoot for a good portion of the trail.

At the 4.5 mile mark, there's a sign that shows that the trail splits there. You can find a group camp site by going left or right at the sign, however, if you go right, there is also a spring there for refilling your water bottle (don't forget to treat it)! And the campsite to the left is closer to the river (which was great for me until geese decided to have a party at about 4am!).

I didn't see any wildlife aside from many different kinds of birds, however, signs all over the park say that rattlesnakes live there (and I heard/read that there are river otters, big horned sheep, and cougars too)!