The Dog Blog: Dread and Terror – North Umpqua Trail
It’s hot out when the breeze stops. The sudden stillness hotwires the senses and you and your dog become hyper-aware of the river below, the sky overhead and the life hidden among the trees. The dirt beneath your feet will take you through eight infamous miles of the North Umpqua River Trail, known well to locals. Welcome to Dread and Terror.
Named by foresters for the nasty thickets of white thorn brush blanketing the ridge of this hike, the name belies the sublime beauty of this segment, while it calls out loud and long to the daredevils and thrill seekers among us.
From the Thorn Prairie trailhead, you and your well-trained and obedient pup will descend into a steep canyon that leads you upstream along the North Umpqua River, eight miles to Lemolo Falls, crossing little steams and rivulets along the way. Be warned, though: Dogs should be on their leashes during parts of this hike, as the canyon rises steeply above the raging waters of the river.
8.1 miles one way
Moderate Hike: 4 hours
Water available from frequent steams and rivulets
Best Seasons: Spring, Summer and Fall
Elevation: 3,020 – 4,025 feet
Take Oregon Route 138 east from Roseburg (at Interstate 5) for 59 miles. Turn north toward Tokatee Lake onto Forest Road 34. Continue 2 miles, passing Tokatee Campground, and bear right towards the Umpqua Hot Springs on Forest Road 3401.
Travel approximately 4.5 miles north on Forest Road 3401 to the road marked North Umpqua Trail. Turn west (left) onto Spur Road 700. In a half-mile bear left onto Spur Road 710. The Thorn Prairie trailhead parking area is another half-mile ahead.
Northwest Forest Pass required.
No pet fees
Diamond Lake Resort
About $10 per pet, per night
Pippin’s Rules to Live By
Play often, sniff everything, and expect something good to happen.
Kyla Merwin Cheney publishes Oregon Lakes & Rivers – the website, Road Tripper E-Report, and online magazine. www.oregonlakesandrivers.com
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