The mid-morning hiking group found a way to escape the smoke in the Bend area on Sunday, Aug. 26 – head way east of Prineville.
Eleven hikers did a 4.4-mile round trip, with 987 feet of elevation gain, to the Steins Pillar trail east of Prineville.
“This hike was fun because I went to a spot I’ve never been to before,” says hiker Dawn Sykora.
In fact, that was the consensus of the group – only one or two people had ever been to Steins Pillar.
A sign at the start of the trail describes the route as a slow climb through old-growth forest, reaching its final destination at the base of Steins Pillar. The sign describes the pillar as a “350-foot monolith of welded tuff, deposited during the collapse of the Wildcat Caldera, around 40 million years ago.” The trek was an out-and-back hike.
“Cloud cover and cool temperatures were a refreshing change from heat and smoke,” says hiker Thom Iverson. “Steins Pillar is very shy until you are right on top of it, but the roller-coaster is a very pleasant walk through a varied forest with a couple of fields of gold meadows.
“Clouds of yellow jackets (wasps) throughout the hike were bothersome but somehow no one got stung/bit. Just another awesome CONC hike.”
(Photos by Thom Iverson, Dawn Sykora and Allen Sykora)