Trek #33: Clackamas River Trail to Pup Creek

This trail was full of goodies and surprises nearly the entire way. Nestled in the woods along the Clackamas River just outside of Oregon City, this trail was just bursting to the brim with fall colors at nearly every turn. It seems early November is the perfect time to hike here if autumn leaves are your desire.

The main reason why I came out here was to view the lush Pup Creek Falls 3.5 miles into the trail. Instead, I was completely unable to find the side trail I was to take. My trailbook was of no use, and even after casing Pup Creek nearly half a mile beyond it and before it, I was unsuccessful. It frustrated me because this popular spot (though there wasn’t a soul there when I hiked it) hasn’t seemed to elude anyone else. This was my first trek in which I was unable to locate the main event. However, it wasn’t a total loss: the trail itself is gorgeous, and it was refreshing to be surrounded in so much fall beauty.

The main surprises came from the terrain. Usually when I think of a river hike, I think of a relatively flat forest stroll. This was anything but. The Clackamas River Trail has continuous bursts of ascents and descents, hundreds of feet at a time. And since I chose an out and back hike (turning around at Pup Creek), every hill I descended getting there meant ascending it on the way back. This trail was definitely a satisfying work-out it’s entire 7.5 miles.

The river itself was so lovely, and so full this time of year. I was getting used to the low-lying and subdued summer rivers, that to hike along a roaring river was fantastic. The rains have definitely helped to perk up these bodies of water.

Overall, despite my Pup Creek Falls snafu, this has definitely been my favorite autumn hike to date. I caught it at the perfect time.

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Treks Down: 33, Treks to Go: 19


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