Almost everything about this hike was completely awesome.
A beautiful trek through the woods? Check.
A glorious view from the top? Check.
Flies that continuously circle your body and bite any and all exposed skin? Check.
Seriously. I have no idea what was going on with the bugs on this particular day, but they really stuck around. I guess we looked particularly delicious (even though I promise we both had showered and deodorized). Now, I would’ve expected this anywhere else, but we never see bugs in Oregon. At least, not the annoying, buzzing, biting kind. That’s one of the glorious things about living here. So I generally don’t even bother bringing bug spray along on our hikes. Bring your bug spray on this one, folks. Either that, or prepare to get a full body workout as you wave your arms back and forth across your face to fight the bugs off for 7 miles. We even attempted some trail running to get away from these things, but the bugs weren’t fooled. And we looked and felt ridiculous, trying to keep our bags from flying all around us while thumping down the trail. Graceful trail runners, we are not.
Anywho, if you can ignore the bugs (which I assume are not always that bad, since I haven’t read any other complaints about them), this hike was spectacular. It was a good distance for a day hike (7.2 miles), and was pretty easy (read: little heavy breathing involved). We also had perfect weather. Temperatures were in the upper 60’s, and the sky was pretty overcast, which made for some of the most comfortable hiking conditions we’ve experienced in a long time.
The hike roams through the woods for a good bit, which was just as beautiful as any wooded hike in Oregon. There were a few views of the Three Sisters along the way.
Eventually, the woods opened up into a lovely meadow, which I assume is home to some wildlife from time to time. To ward off any potential bear attacks, I sang a nice “stay away bears” song to the tune of “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees.” Don’t laugh. It has a 100% success rate, as we’ve never seen a bear on a hike.
There are a few switchbacks as you approach the summit, and we were lucky enough to be there during wildflower season at this particular elevation (it looked like we were a bit late for wildflowers a little lower on the mountain), so it was beautiful. The switchbacks were lined with flowers of red and purple, and had views of the foothills to the east.
The summit of Olallie Mountain is pretty spectacular because along with panoramic views of surrounding peaks, there’s also an old lookout building, which can now be used as a shelter for backpackers. I read through the little hiker’s log inside the shelter, and I kind of wish we had planned to spend the night. Apparently sunrises there are spectacular.
So, a few words of advice:
-Pack your bug spray, in case you encounter an evil swarm of flies.
-There’s no bathroom at the trail head, so stop at the Echo Day Use Area (along Road 1993) to use the facilities on the side of the road.
-Bring your camera.
To get to the Olallie Mountain trail, take Highway 126 east of Eugene. Turn right on Aufderheide Road (between mileposts 45 and 46). After 0.5 miles, keep right at the fork, taking Aufderheide Road to the reservoir. Turn left across Cougar Dam on Road 1993, and keep left at the fork to stay on gravel Road 1993 for another 11.3 miles. Turn right at the sign for the Pat Saddle Trailhead and drive into the parking loop. The Olallie Mountain trailhead is at the back left end of the parking loop.