Central Oregon Nordic Club hikers trekked the trail from Smith Rock State Park to Grey Butte on Sunday, May 13.
Two groups of hikers started at opposite ends of the trail, met partway and exchanged keys.
“One group of five left from Smith Rock going uphill and the other seven left from the Orchard on the back side of Grey Butte,” says group leader Linda Frost. “We passed each other in the middle…and gave keys to the uphill group so they could bring the cars back around to Smith Rock. The road from Skull Hollow to the Orchard had several craters big enough to eat a mini-cooper.”
Hiker Thom Iverson describes a “beautiful, sunny, clear, toasty” Mother’s Day hike.
“I joined the uphill group for this key-exchange hike,” he says. “I think the drive in/out to the upper trailhead was the biggest thrill, next to spotting a rattlesnake.”
The distance was about nine miles one way, with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain for the uphill party, Thom reports.
(Photos by Thom Iverson)