Pinard Falls – Hiking and Photography

pinard falls cottage grove oregon

Pinard Falls is a breathtaking 105 ft. waterfall on Layng Creek near Cottage Grove, Oregon, in the Row River Drainage. This unique waterfall squeezes and twists through a narrow notch carved in the bedrock before it plunges into a picturesque pool surrounded by mossy basalt walls. Open almost year round, the falls are accessed via a 1/2 mile hike (one way) through the Umpqua National Forest. Pinard Falls are definitely worth the time involved and hiking to nearby Spirit and Moon Falls make a great full day adventure! Location: Pinard Falls … [Read more...]

Tire Mountain – Hiking & Wildflower Meadows

Tire Mountain Old Growth Forest

Tire Mountain outside of Oakridge, Oregon is a relatively easy 7.6 mile round trip hike through old growth forests and sloping meadows filled with seasonal wildflowers.  Mid-June through mid-July will provide the best variety of wildflowers. Tire Mountain was once home to a small fire lookout, now all that remains is the cleared spot on the top of the mountain. Since its decommissioning, trees and brush have overgrown the clearing obstructing all views from the top. This trail is open to hikers and bikers so be prepared to share the … [Read more...]

Spirit Falls – Hiking and Photography

Spirit Falls Cottage Grove Oregon

Spirit Falls is a gorgeous 40ft channeled waterfall, flowing over moss covered rock on Alex Creek near Cottage Grove, Oregon. Accessible year round at an elevation of 1900 ft and only a 2/3rd mile round trip day hike, Spirit falls is a great adventure for the whole family. Spirit Falls and nearby Moon Falls and Pinard Falls make a great full day adventure! Location: Spirit Falls is located approximately 50 miles from Eugene, on Forest Service Road #1790 off Layng Creek Road (FS Road #17) outside of Cottage Grove, Oregon. The trailhead is … [Read more...]

Mt. Pisgah Arboretum – Hiking, Festivals, Gardens

Mt. Pisgah Hike Eugene Oregon

Mt. Pisgah Arboretum is a beautiful 209-acre arboretum located between Eugene and Springfield, Oregon on the banks of the Willamette River. Full of miles of hiking trails and nature paths, Mt. Pisgah and the surrounding Howard Buford Recreation Area are best known for their diverse wildlife, expansive gardens, and unique habitats. There are several trails along the Willamette River, across the wildflower meadows, through the evergreen forests, and around the stunning water garden. Location: Mt. Pisgah arboretum is located in Lane County, … [Read more...]

Delta Ponds – Bird Watching and Nature Walk

Delta Ponds Spring Wildflowers

Known for their fantastic wildlife viewing, birdwatching, wildflowers, and nearby running and biking trails, the Delta Ponds are one of Eugene, Oregon's most well known casual recreation areas. The area is a 150 acre network of ponds, sloughs, and waterways near Valley River Center that act as a major haven for wildlife of all kinds. Over 100 species of birds have been recorded at Delta Ponds and the adjacent stretches of the Willamette River along with numerous fish and aquatic wildlife, including the threatened Western Pond … [Read more...]

Proxy Falls – McKenzie Highway

Proxy Falls 2011-7 - Resize

Proxy Falls is a gorgeous 226 foot veil waterfall that cascades down a wall of mossy columnar basalt. Accessed by a short half mile to mile hike directly off McKenzie Highway 242, Proxy Falls is easily one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Oregon. Location: Proxy Falls is located approximately 65 miles from Eugene, 6-1/2 miles from the junction of Highway 126 (The McKenzie River Byway) and Highway 242 (McKenzie Pass). The parking area is well signed with a large pull out right before the road turns sharply and gains significant … [Read more...]

Triangle Lake Slide Rock – Lake Creek Falls, Oregon

triangle lake slide rock lake creek falls

Slide Rock at Lake Creek Falls near Triangle Lake is a unique natural water slide, swimming hole, and cliff jumping area located near Junction City, Oregon, approximately 50 minutes from Eugene. At the entrance to the recreation area, a small waterfall empties into a quaint swimming hole, with a cliff jumping area located directly across the creek. The cliff jumping features dangling ropes and multiple jumping platforms at 25 and 35 feet. The water below is plenty deep, but USE CAUTION. Further down the creek from the waterfall and pool are the … [Read more...]

The Painted Hills – Mitchell, Oregon

Painted Hills

Central Oregon's famous Painted Hills were born in a fiery cloud of ash approximately 33 million years ago and are a spectacular display of the colors of nature’s palette. A series of low clay hills striped in bands of orange, red, black, green, blue, and lavender, the Painted Hills invite visitors to explore the fragile area with designated hiking trails and interpretive signs. History: The unique colors of the Painted Hills were formed by volcanic eruptions that sent clouds of ash to settle over much of Central Oregon. Over time, … [Read more...]

January Sunshine and Adventures in Eugene

The Pond at Alton Baker Park - January 2011 - Autzen Stadium in the background.

It's been cloudy, cold, and rainy in Eugene for the past few months, but yesterday we were finally given some sunshine and warmer temperatures. It actually reached 60 degrees in January! I had the day off and took the opportunity to go on a 17 mile bike ride along the Willamette River and through Alton Baker Park. Even though it's the middle of winter, there's a lot of greenery and runners, walkers, and bikers were out in force enjoying the weather. I hope we get at least a few more days like this before spring, it will definitely be … [Read more...]

McKenzie River Rafting: Finn Rock to Prince Helfrich

One of the most popular McKenzie River White Water Rafting runs is from Finn Rock to the Prince Helfrich Boat Landing. This 10 mile run offers rapids for paddlers of all skill levels, amazing scenery, and some of the best play spots the McKenzie River has to offer. Between a few calm quiet sections are interspersed class II+ and class III rapids with amazing holes and some of the best fishing on the McKenzie River. Caution should always be taken as the water is cold and snags are sometimes numerous. Access: There is easy access to both the … [Read more...]