Mill Creek Wilderness

Mill Creek Wilderness The main event has been on the calendar for the past eight years. I have heard stories from friends who have actually traveled around the world to see the phenomenon–and from that alone I knew if there was and eclipse practically in our backyard, we needed to go. We selected a spot in the heart of the Ochoco National Forest and literally on the edge of the Mill Creek Wilderness in a meadow complex. The Mill Creek Wilderness Twin Pillars Trail was our hiking destination the day before the eclipse event. The wilderness protects a harsh environment typified by ancient lava flows, fire-prone conifer forests, and the Mill Creek Drainage itself. We found wonderful views across central Oregon and a fire-scared landscape on our way to the Twin Pillars. In addition, western larch (Larix occidentalis), was the conifer highlight on this adventure.

Hiking the Mill Creek Wilderness

Overlooking the Mill Creek drainage.
Old-growth ponderosa pine forest with mix-severity burn was home to black-backed woodpeckers.
Twin Pillars in the heart of the Mill Creek Wilderness.
Curl-leaf Mountain Mahogany decorated the edges of the Twin Pillars.
Stand-replacing burn in the lower elevations of the wilderness.
Even-aged cohorts of western larch (Larix occidentalis) were returning after a fire about 10 years ago.
Larix occidentalis range map from Conifers of the Pacific Slope.

Observations along the hike:

The Eclipse

Words and pictures can’t do it justice…but here are some anyway.

Sylas taking in the view.


2 Replies to “Mill Creek Wilderness”

  1. Awesome. Would love to join your crew in 2024 ha!! Especially enjoyed the excited children’s voices 🙂

Comments are closed.