Most years, I visit northeastern Oregon, in the Grande Ronde Valley, for an early season backpacking trip. The snow melts in some of these areas earlier than in the Cascades. To the east, Hells Canyon also offers early-season hiking. But this year, I visited the Wenaha River, in the southern end of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. This is the northernmost section of the Blue Mountains, which range hundreds of miles southwest into central Oregon.
I drove to remote Troy in the afternoon and arrived at about 7:30pm. I spent the night at a developed, and almost empty, campground right in town. The Shilo Lodge and Cafe was not yet open for the season. It started raining at about 8:30 so I got in the tent and went to sleep soon after. By morning the rain was long gone and the tent was dry. The sun burned off the last clouds quickly and I was on the trail by 7:30am.
Bridge over the Wenaha River where it joins the Grande Ronde River at Troy.
The Grande Ronde River at Troy
Trailhead just above Troy
The start of the trail
Still in the shade in the early morning
The trip's timing was good for spring flowers
Entering the wilderness
Bridge over Crooked Creek, 6 miles in
There were many bones along the trail
This is where the Hooodoo Trail crosses the Wenaha River. I assume this is mainly for late-season hunting parties.