hike: Herman Creek Trail to Casey Creek (post-wildfire report)
The Herman Creek Trail is one of the areas that was damaged in the September 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. This hike has been a favorite trail of mine for awhile, so I was curious to see how it fared after the fire.
distance: 8 miles
elevation gain: 1,800 ft
high point: 1,520 ft
hike description: OregonHikers.org: Herman Creek Trail
drive time from Portland: 1 hour
parking pass: NW Forest Pass
Evidence of the fire is apparent within the first half mile, with fire-scarred boulders in a section of trail that used to be covered with moss. While I was sad to see one of my favorite trees on this trail blackened on the trunk, the tree is still alive and moss is restarting on the boulders, so it’s just a matter of time before the former lushness of this trail returns.
We took the Herman Creek Bridge Trail to see the bridge over Herman Creek. The bridge survived! And Herman Creek looks as lovely as ever.
After seeing Herman Creek up-close, we backtracked to the trail junction to continue our hike.
We started to see more damage from the fire, with blackened tree trunks and eroded areas that used to be filled with ground cover. A lot of plants are starting to make a comeback, so hopefully some of the green lushness will return in time.
Interesting basalt formations are more visible from the trail now.
I was happy to see that Nick Eaton Falls looks the same as it did before.
The small oak trees along this section did not fare as well.
Camp Creek is still a highlight of the hike, with plenty of moss-covered rocks lining the creek.
This section of the trail experienced a LOT of rock fall and there’s virtually no ground cover left.
I almost didn’t recognize the area around Casey Creek. The former camp area was our turnaround point for the day.