Ashland to Cascade Locks (Mile 1718.7 to 2146.6)

Oregon is such a beautiful state to hike. Soon after passing into Oregon from California there was a noticeable difference both in the terrain and natural scenery. It took only 15 days to hike through Oregon, averaging about 30 miles a day. Within this stretch, I broke my previous daily mileage record of 41 miles by hiking a 50-mile day from Olallie Lake to the Timberline Trail Junction. I had heard of a lot of other hikers doing 24-hour challenges and double-marathon hikes in this section due to the favorable gradient.

After resting up at the youth hostel in Ashland, the trail took me to Crater Lake National Park. It was wonderful to be in this amazing park and look into the deep-blue water down in the crater. The smoke from nearby fires made it challenging to get through southern Oregon; however, I pushed on without ever having to jump up trail as many of the other hikers did. Camping on the Rim Trail of Crater Lake was both memorable and enjoyable. By camping out and waking up early, I was able to get a spectacular sunrise view of the crater after much of the smoke had moved out.

Throughout Oregon there were countess lakes but fewer river and stream crossings. There were a few semi-dry stretches that required some larger water carries but there were also some reliablewater caches stocked by trail angels.

One of the most exciting parts of the Oregon section was the Three Sisters Wilderness. Three Sisters, referring to three prominent mountains of this region, was so incredible and yet challenging as I hiked the rocky-red volcanic fields and took in the awesome views of nearby peaks. An expected mental relief came from reaching 2,000 miles. It meant that from that stone marker only 650 miles remained. The trail also took me through a rare Obsidian Limited Entry Area, which was a geological wonder.

One other stopping point was a Christian summer camp called Big Lake Youth Camp. After getting a shower, doing a load of laundry, and recharging electronics, the thru-hikers were treated to a pancake breakfast in the camp dining hall.

From here, the trail went to the Mount Hood Wilderness. Stopping by the historic Timberline Lodge that FDR had dedicated back in the thirties was definitely a treat. After having just completed a 50-mile hike the prior day, I came into the lodge the following morning at 7:30am sharp just in time for the all-you-can-eat breakfast. The breakfast alone made the stop worth it!

The last stretch after Timberline Lodge went into the hiker-friendly town of Cascade Locks. It was timed to make PCT Days, which is a thru-hiking festival held one weekend a year in Cascade Locks that includes backpacking vendors, games, giveaways, and food. This marked the end of Oregon and is the place where Bridge of the Gods crosses over the Columbia River and into the third and final state of Washington.

As of now, I’ve completed 2146.6 miles and have 506 miles remaining. One state to go!

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5 thoughts on “Ashland to Cascade Locks (Mile 1718.7 to 2146.6)

  1. : ) I don’t know which made me smile bigger, the smile on your face as you held that ice cream cone or the height of the cone.

  2. Kristin Wilczynski August 20, 2018 — 6:17 pm

    Fantastic pictures! Great blog. Parts of Oregon look a bit like Alaska, didn’t know they had fireweed there.
    Starting our own adventure to Kennecot mine today. Won’t see your blog for awhile. Safe trip through WA. Enjoy! Kristin W

  3. Wow. We are just about two weeks apart from Cascade Locks. Sorry we missed you. We are going in the opposite direction. Cascade Locks then Crater Lake. Almost at the end of a super adventure that most of us will only dream about. Congratulations. And again thanks for sharing.

  4. Reading the post again as we are in Cascade Locks. Took the sternwheeler boat ride. Where did you camp or stay?

    You must be close to finishing. Enjoy the rest of your journey.


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