The weather was forecast to rise into the upper 80s on Friday, May 19th in the Grey Butte area. However, that didn’t deter 8 hikers from heading up the Cole Loop Trail out of the Skull Hollow parking area. The weather was still fairly cool when we hit the trail around 9:00 am, and the climb up to the saddle below Grey Butte wasn’t too hot yet.
We were disappointed to see that the hoped-for views of the Cascade mountains were obscured by smoke from the ongoing controlled burns in the Sisters areas. We could see the tops of a few of the taller mountains and it seemed like they were floating above the hazy smoke. We headed up the Grey Butte trail toward the Austin Creson overlook. The plaque and nice lunch spot are a little over a mile beyond the saddle, heading towards the McCoin Orchard trailhead. Although we didn’t have the amazing views, we did enjoy the profusion of lupine along this section of trail.
The weather was getting pretty hot on our way back and we were glad to be heading downhill back to the cars. The temperature gauge read 87 degrees when we got back to the car, so everyone was glad to be done. A lovely day, but too bad about the views!
Contributed by Kelly Cleman