Woodruff Bridge to Vianni Falls 10-9-17

Photos and Track by Bob

From a chilly, windy parking lot the Monday hiking group set out to venture up the Crater Lake Highway to the Upper Rogue River. The wind, that had blown all night and fed a terrible fire down in the California Wine country, stopped as we ascended into the Cascades. But as the wind dropped off so did the temperature. When we debarked at Woodruff Bridge the temps were down in the 30s.

Ten of us bundled up and took to the Rogue River Trail. Immediately we were in awe of the beautiful Fall colors along the river. The red of the the Vine Maples along with golds and yellows and pinks and orange. There were many opportunities for great photos.

This is always a special, can't miss hike each October to see the Upper Rogue in her Autumn finery. Besides the breathtaking colors, we visited some great sights along the trail. First we went out to the Rogue Gorge overlook. Then up to Natural Bridge, crossing the man made bridge and going up to the view point to see the actual natural bridge now devoid of rushing water so we could imagine Native Americans crossing the river for hundreds of years past.

The group decided to venture up the trail on the far side of the river seeking a new way to our lunch location. We explored the new trail and picked up some beer cans along the way. But after some gentle meandering the trail took a decided uphill bend. As it seemed we were heading away from the river we headed back down the hill and back across the unnatural bridge. We turned back up river and headed for the Bridge to Nowhere. Finally, both tired and hungry we settled down for lunch at the site of Vianni falls. After a leisurely lunch including chocolate for all and a group picture in front of the falls we headed back to our cars. On the way back the temps had warmed to the low 60s and we were all thrilled to see the river in full beauty.

All told we hiked 11.5 miles and gained 500 feet.

Driving back I got a call from our fearless leader who told me about his 17 hour flight back from Paris. For all of us I say welcome back John!

Rich Stickle

Ashland Hiking Home

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