hike: Wilson River Trail – Lester Creek Pinnacles
This after-Thanksgiving hike on the Wilson River Trail featured ferns in a mossy forest and views of the Oregon Coast Range mountains.
6.2 miles 1,400 ft gain
The Wilson River Trail runs for 20.6 miles from the Elk Creek and Keenig Creek trailheads, and while some of the trail follows the Wilson River, other sections are far from the river. Instead of hiking the entire length of this trail, I’ve been breaking it up into smaller out and back sections that don’t require a car shuttle. For this hike, we started at the Diamond Mill OHV trailhead and hiked to Lester Creek, then back to the trailhead. While the trailhead is a large OHV staging area, motorized vehicles are not allowed on the section of trail that we hiked.
For a map of this hike, see the end of this post.
The hike begins at a scenic arched bridge over the North Fork of the Wilson River.
After crossing the bridge, the trail heads first through a forest of red alders with an understory of large sword ferns, then travels through a denser Douglas-fir forest. It was a foggy day but as we hiked, the sun broke through the fog, creating rays of light in the forest.
It had been raining quite a bit lately, so we crossed numerous little streams with cascading water. None had high water so the crossings were all easy.
Once we reached a higher ridge, we were treated to views of the rugged Coast Range mountains.
At about 3 miles in, we stopped for lunch at a viewpoint with two massive basalt pinnacles, then continued a short distance to Lester Creek before returning the same way.