with links to the
Pacific Crest Trail, Oregon classic fire lookouts, the Oregon Skyline Trail, and historic wilderness shelters
Cloudland." Seas of soft cloud drift over the black, jagged
lavas of McKenzie Pass in this scene from a winter climb of Mt.
Washington. The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the middle of
the picture beneath the clouds. North and Middle Sisters rise
somberly to 10,000 ft. in the distance. Behind us, a few miles
NW and 3,000 ft. lower, is Hoodoo Ski area, and then Highway 22
and Santiam Pass with its bustle of traffic. Click here
to communicate via email (email@example.com) if interested in purchasing
a print of "Sisters Cloudland."
Oregon's two long distance trails along the Cascade
Crest: the PCT, and its predecessor,
The Oregon Skyline Trail
Many years before
the modern Pacific Crest Trail came into existence, Oregon developed
a visionary trail along the crest of the Cascade Mountains. It
ran north to south all the way from Mt. Hood to Crater Lake. It
was named The
Oregon Skyline Trail.
Below are several pages concerned with the Skyline Trail and some
other related historic trails near it... Notes: Click here to find remarks on vanished
Wilderness Shelters.... Click here to skip to my Pacific Crest Trail pages.
section of the Pacific Crest Trail System
on the PCT near South Sister in October
Three PCT BOOK
I highly recommend "Pilgrimage
to the Edge."
It's for PCT lovers, and for those interested in the history and
evolution of the intricate and often conflictful interface between
the official public land managers and the environmentalist movement.
The book is also just a fine trail read with chapters of first-person
accounts of all the trail sections from Canada to Mexico. Softbound,
491 pages, published 2010. Author: Jonathan Stewart, a graduate of Medford High School in
Southern Oregon, is a unique individual whose personality combines
hardcore trail hiker with a long and varied background as a Forest
Service insider and journalist. He is also lifetime friend of
mine who was with me on my very first backpacking trips. Most
recently, Jon is one of a couple dozen hardy souls to have completed
the 850 mile Hayduke Trail. Publisher of Jon's book: Xlibris.
ISBN: 978-1-4535-9998-3. see Orders@xlibris.com................
My second recommendation
is Cheryl Strayed's powerful, psychologically deep book about
her PCT trials and triumph. "Wild, from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest
Cheryl Strayed, a Borzoi book published
by Alfred A. Knopf copyright 2012, 315 pages. Ms. Strayed lives
in Portland, Oregon. She also has a website and on there you can find
a list of her upcoming appearances and writing workshops.
(Nov. 2014, Jonathan Stewart has completed a new book
based on four more years of walking the high trails of the Western
U.S. from the Rockies to the Pacific. "Walking Away From The Land, Change
At The Crest Of A Continent," 528 pages, available in hardback, paperback,
e-book. Paperback ISBN is 978-1-4931-8092-9. Orders@xlibris.com.
Jon describes his new book this way: "It focuses on the 3200
mile hike of the Continental Divide Trail I took a few years ago.
It also speaks to the rapid climatic and cultural changes affecting
our nation's forests and grasslands I saw along the way. It also
includes a few memorable lifelong adventures I shared with many
of you over the past half century."
Green Lake and South Sister Mountain. This lake is often snow-choked
until late July due to its elevation of close to 6500 feet. The
PCT passes to the west of this location, on the opposite flank
of South Sister, where Geologists have mounted a full-scale, highly-instrumented
Volcanic Alert--- the area in questions
is about 3 miles west of South Sister, and its surface has bulged
upward over 10 inches since late 1997. Over 50 million cubic yards
of magma has risen into the rocks far below the surface! And the
uplift continues.....This area was last active very recently,
at about the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, in the Rock Mesa
area, and also near Green Lake, seen in this image.
Click this to
be awed by.. Mt. Pisgah Lookout ..whirling under the night sky! You'll also get acquainted
with some.. other Oregon lookouts ..--and
hopefully you'll decide that Oregon's remaining lookouts are a
heritage worth preserving.
Sisters Wilderness History: Sunshine
Shelter, aka simply "Sunshine"
The long uphill
trudge through dense forests from Frog Camp formerly had a fine
reward at its end. Sunshine Shelter was a haven for soaked, tired
climbers and Skyline Trail backpackers for many, many years. I
have reports that in 1944, "Sunshine" was even hooked
up to the outside world via a US Forest Service phone line strung
among the trees from McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station.
But the sad fate
of Sunshine is that it was demolished and burned by the Forest
Service; my best report believes this occurred about 1973 (thanks,
was a piece of the movement that saw most of our National Forests
and Wildernesses loose their historic old lookout towers and shelters.
To me, Sunshine Shelter had a delightful ambiance, possessing
a sort of European Alps climbing hut feel.....On historic Oregon
Skyline Trail maps from the 1920's, a location marked "Camp
Riley" shows up at or near the site of Sunshine Shelter.
This was decades before the present Three Sisters Wilderness Area
had been created---back in the 20's and 30's, this was the "Three
Sisters Game Refuge," and horsemen and hunters ruled....The
area was designated as one of Oregon's first "Primitive"
Areas in 1937, and formally designated as a "Wild Area"
on 2/06/1957. At a size of 199,902 acres, it is second only to
the Eagle Cap Wilderness in size.
find a cozy image of a still-existing shelter, one of the few
shelters missed in the campaign of destruction. Unfortunately,
hikers themselves were sometimes the problem, such as at "Jack Shelter,"
located just a couple miles hike north along the PCT from Santiam
Pass-- here hikers repeatedly burned campfires inside the shelter,
ultimately damaging it and leading to its destruction because
FS rules said such historic structures couldn't be altered with
modern materials for repairs- Jack Shelter was taken down in 1972--
it was one of my personal favorites. (click here to see image of Jack Shelter and a
1964 Map)....... Below, this image by Monte Dodge brings back
to my mind pleasant memories of the rustic security during bad
weather that these shelters offered to any and all at no cost.
This shelter is located in the Southern Cascades of Washington
State. Image credit: Monte Dodge.
me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can supply an
exact date, or other details, regarding Sunshine Shelter's end,
and I'll be happy to include them on this webpage. I'm also interested
in other shelters you may know of---- Bruce
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last revised Feb 16, 2018