[Trip Report] Siouxon Creek Backpacking

[Trip Report] Siouxon Creek Backpacking

- 3 minute read

Siouxon Creek Hike

In June of 2019, Cedar and I went exploring in the Washington wilderness at a place called Siouxon Trail in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest. The trail follows along the magical Siouxon Creek, passing by several waterfalls and some sublime camping spots. We connected the trail with the nearby trail to Observation Peak where we stayed another night before making the hike back out for a total of 27 miles and 5,131 ft elevation gain over three days.

We found some incredible old-growth forest, waterfalls, wild flowers, and solitude. The sights and sounds out here made it easy to just bask and be. It was isolated with no other people around, yet the company of ancient trees, the forest creatures, and my four-legged companion was intensely comforting.

Here is a little photo log of the hike!

Cedar investigating the perfectly translucent creek.

The first waterfall we came across.

Siouxon Falls, emptying into a punchbowl.

The campsite that we had all to ourselves!

Cedar enjoying the creekside.

Spore friends.

Another waterfall. Cedar and I had breakfast here by ourselves.

The last of my waterfall photos.

I came across two more waterfalls that were bigger more spectacular than any of those in this post, but I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t nab any photos of them. Their names are Chinook Falls and Wildcat Falls though. Maybe someday I’ll return and grab their photos, but at least the memory of them sits well with Cedar and me.

At the east end of Siouxon Trail, Cedar and I traveled along a forest road for 2.4 miles in order to reach the beginning of Observation Peak Trail in the Trapper Creek Wilderness. This was another wonderful trail that had some spectacular views above the tree line.

This vantage held trees that spanned beyond the horizon, in every direction, and an unexpected view of Mt. Hood! I believe that on a clear day one would be able to see some of the other surrounding volcanoes as well. While we were here, there were crazy gusts that blew through the area, creating an ocean roar of trees blowing in the wind at a scale unlike anything I’d heard before.

I think my favorite part of the trip was how much I was able to bond with my dog. It’s easy to imagine the companionship between humans and dogs, but I didn’t quite grasp how close we could grow over a weekend backpacking. When I spend time with Cedar in general, our emotions and senses form a subtle but noticeable link. I experience his wonderment, his anxiety, his excitement. When we were out there in the wilderness together, we had literally no one else to connect with but each other. It was as if I was experiencing and enjoying life and this lush land through two sets of senses, his and my own.

It’s a type of experience that I didn’t know existed before Cedar arrived in my life, and I’m thankful for my opportunity to take part in the joy of it.

I hope you enjoyed this trip report. Here are some links so that you can go explore this area for yourself:

  1. Oregon Hikers - Siouxon Creek Hike
  2. Oregon Hikers - Observation Peak Hike
  3. AllTrails - Siouxon Trail
  4. AllTrails - Observation Peak Trail

– Ry

Ryan Westby

Ryan Westby

Coder, climber, artist, 21st century ghost

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