If you’re looking for an easy afternoon of botanizing with no climbing or real hiking, this is a wonderful place to just relax and enjoy a beautiful show of wildflowers. There are several good places to park along the road and walk over to the creek and 2 bridges that cross it. Many wetland and aquatic species can be seen by the creek or at several small lakes that require only a short bushwhack.
Location: eastern Linn County; Willamette National Forest, Detroit Ranger District
USGS Maps: Echo Mtn, Coffin Mtn; T12S.R7E.S31; R6E.S35,36
Habitats: creek, lake, meadow, wetland, forest
Bloom: June to late August
Take Hwy 22 north for 4.6 miles from Santiam Junction. Turn left (west) onto Lava Lake Meadow Road 2067. There will be a sign for “Old Cascades trails”. If you are coming from Detroit, drive south on Hwy 22 past milepost 76. Turn right onto Rd 2067. At about 1.25 miles, you’ll pass an intersection to the left with a large population of Heuchera chlorantha. This side road is called Road 560, but do not turn here. After another 0.75 mile on Road 2067, cross a bridge and turn right onto Road 560 (same number but different section of road). Park around here to explore this section. Another 0.2 mile past the first bridge, pull off next to a spur road on the left. Walk to the right down to the creek from here for some of the best flowers. The next bridge is 1.5 miles farther and also is a good place to botanize. Continue for 1.1 mile to where a dirt road heads down to the right. You can go down here a ways to explore another section of creek. Just past this side track along the main road is the intersection of Road 572 to the left. There are good meadow species all around including Horkelia fusca. Continuing straight leads to the Three Pyramids trailhead. Turn left on 572 and drive 1.5 miles, park, and bushwhack a short way through the woods to the left to get to a wetland and pretty lake with lots of aquatics.
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