Jefferson Park

We were in Jefferson Park three days and we ran across Eric the wilderness ranger all three days. He was enforcing the campfire ban, checking permits, and reminding people about the wilderness rules. What a thankless job. He told us he also patrols Marion Lake and that people abandon broken tents and rafts there all the time. The previous weekend he had hauled out 40 pounds of garbage from there and ran into a hiker who also had picked up about 40 pounds worth of other people’s trash. WTH, people! Rangers and fellow hikers are not your maids. Pack out your damn trash.

On to the photos.

We got a later start than usual, hitting the trail at 1:40pm and crossing Whitewater Creek later in the day than we usually do. In the afternoon the creek was high and full of glacial sediment.

On the PCT just before reaching Jefferson Park is a sign with an EXTREMELY bad map showing where the campsites are. (Before you go, print out this much better map.)

There are now signs throughout Jeff Park so it’s easier to find your way around the maze of trails. It’s about time! This idea is LONG overdue, especially since the use trails around those lakes are not on any map.

Extremely low water at Scout Lake:

We got a really nice campsite with a view of Park Butte and Rock Lake.

A lovely evening at Bays Lake:

Milky Way over Mt. Jefferson:

Peaceful morning at Bays Lake:

Since we had never been there before, we stopped by Park Lake on our way up Park Ridge:

Crossing the outflow of Russell Lake. Bone dry!

Park Ridge straight ahead:

Looking north from Park Ridge at Mt. Hood and Olallie Butte:

View of Mt. Jefferson from Park Ridge:

The snowfield just north of the ridge is all melted:

Attempting to follow Park Ridge over to Park Butte. We had hoped there would be a booth path, but there wasn’t, and the sandy rocky terrain made for slow going:

We gave up on that and descended to the unnamed meltwater pond below:

Looking back up at where we were:

Heading cross country back to the trail:

Saw a buck!

Just about all the wildflowers are done and gone, but some gentian are still hanging around.

We stopped and hung out at Russell Lake for awhile:

Back at Bays Lake Greg decided to go for a swim:

It was pretty windy that evening, so there were no lake reflections, but we had a great sunset:

Heading out the next day under overcast skies. We’ll be back!