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Port Orford Oregon - summer 2015

Hiking Barklow mountain - Part 3

Our Crazy Post Retirement Wanderings Hiking and Triking


Hiking Barklow mountain - Part 3

Mount Barklow trail is a bit of a drive to get to from Port Orford. One drives on highway 101 for a couple of miles north of town to the Elk River road. Follow that road past the fish hatchery until it becomes FR-5325, and continue on 5325 until you reach a fork in the road, where if you turn left over the bridge north the road becomes FR-5201. Follow FR-5201 for several miles, first north, then southeast, then east, and then shortly after it turns north again there is a trailhead going down from a high point on the road. On the right is a trailhead that you can pull into with one or at the most two cars. Don't blink or you'll miss the trailhead, there is a post with the usual things you see posted at a trailhead.

Overall I'm guessing it must be close to a 20 mile drive, but of course you can't drive more than 20 MPH or so most of the way, and less in some places, so it takes more than an hour to get to the trailhead. As you can see from the gps plot the trail goes around a wide arc to the east up to the summit and then continues back down to another trailhead. The slope is not especially steep, so most anybody can do this trail. Even people with fear of hights might be able to do this trail since you are always surrounded by the tree canopy except a couple of spots, and although there are some moderately steep hillsides, there aren't any sheer cliffs or any death defying sections of trail.

Trekking poles are useful on all mountain trails, and should be used on this one. Poles will reduce the stress on your knees on this trail.

The trailhead is big enough for about 2 cars maximum, but only very rarely does anybody hike this trail.

The good panoramas can't be seen until nearly the summit. So wait for it, it's worth the wait.

Because this mountain is covered with a rain forest, there are a few pretty large trees. The trees are not as large as a few of the very largest specimens closer to the coast, which can be found on the west coast near highway 101, like on Humbug Mountain, but there are several good sized specimens to be seen along the way.

There's a place to sit down on the ground just below the summit and have a snack or lunch depending on what you've brought. You may want to bring along a sweater and/or windshell to keep you from getting a chill if you do stop, because it can be quite cold with your evaporating perspiration in the context of a high windspeed windchill on a windy cool day, however cold it might be it's going to be quite a bit warmer than on the coast with the wind blast off the Pacific Ocean.

If you wish to see the east trail, then you take the east trail at the fork as you descend from the summit. The views are a little different from on the west side, but not whole lot different at the top. I didn't hike the east side, so further down the mountain, I don't know much about the trail.

I averaged a little over 1.5 MPH hiking up the mountain, and about 3 MPH hiking down the mountain, so it took most of the day with the driving, and I like to take a lot of pictures (about 250) and from time to time I stop and rest maybe 3 or 4 times on a hike this long for 5 minutes. I stopped on top for a snack and took quite a few pictures, so it definitely took all day.

The lions share of the whole hike is in the woods, and pretty protected, with plenty of shade, which I appreciated. Being a rain forest, there is some humidity, but there's also a breeze so it's not overwhelming.

I recommend doing this trail on a day when it doesn't rain in the summer, the views are pretty good depending on the haze on any given day, but it's good exercise and the forest is pretty with lots of old growth trees. Probably a good idea to take lunch with you and make a day of it. Bring plenty of water, say 2 liters per person should be enough for most folks.

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