Intrepid CONC Hikers Cross Whychus Creek in Sub-Freezing Weather and Return

This past Sunday, October 25th, Club President Jerry Sebestyen led what he called an “impromptu” group of five hardy hikers across Whychus Creek to the confluence of Whychus Creek and the Deschutes River.  As Jerry saw it, “The day was perfect.  The temperature was in the 20’s, sunny and a blustery with a chilly wind.”  Marty Rose, one of the intrepid five, reported, “It was below freezing and a bit windy at the Alder Springs Trailhead.  This hike was to fulfill Jerry’s bucket list of hikes. Why he chose 27 degree weather to do it in is still a question to ponder.”

Crossing Whychus Creek at this time of year aroused varying degrees of apprehension, Marty recounted, like a modern day traverse of the River Styx, but all were determined.  No one fell in the knee deep, frigid water, though everyone shouted “cold!”  (Note, William Sullivan’s book of 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades, p. 83,  says that this crossing is “seldom very cold.”)

This hike offers many vistas before descending into a deep canyon.  Highlights of the hike, besides fording Whychus Creek – twice – included vistas of fall colors in the canyon, Alder Springs, and rushing water in the creek, and reaching the confluence of Whychus Creek and the Deschutes River. 

On the return crossing, a few hikers had to massage their frozen water shoes before stepping into in the water.  Marty confirmed, “Yep, it was below freezing all day!”  All in all, this hike of about 6.5 miles round-trip hike was a thrill, and all are anticipating a good snow year.