Adventures in Oregon: Rooster Rock Trail
The Menagerie Wilderness in the Cascades has been high on the top of our list to check out. The wilderness area has numerous rock pinnacles that are popular with rock-climbers, with the most well-known one being Rooster Rock. While I’m not a rock-climber (I don’t have a death wish!), the trail promised to be a good one, so on Sydney’s final full day with us, we headed back into the Willamette National Forest to tackle Rooster Rock Trail.
The trail climbs from a base elevation of 1300′ to a peak of 3567′ over 2.1 miles (check it out here if you want more details).
This trail is not a simple little hike. It is a constant climb up, up, up, up.
But the payoff is totally worth it. The higher we hiked, the more gorgeous the views.
I mean, look at that! It’s like a freaking postcard, and that’s just an iphone doing its subpar job so you can imagine how much better it is in person.
After what felt like a bit of an eternity, we reached Rooster Rock. Sadly there was no way to get a photo of the whole rock – what you see above is just a smaller rock jutting out of its back.
Suffice it to say, Rooster Rock is massive and you just have to experience it in person. The trail continued along up past the rock to an overlook of the Cascades, and the view literally stopped me in my footsteps.
It was utterly incredible to look out and see the dips and peaks of the Cascade Range with snow swirling around us off the branches of immense evergreens.
The wind whipping around was quite a change from the relative peaceful silence of our hike up. I had to take a video just so I could capture how loud it was:
(I know that’s possibly the world’s worst video but I’ve never claimed to be a videographer, my friends.)
A tiny half-trail continues on past the overlook, headed back into the wilderness, so we followed it for a little ways to get a glimpse of the other pinnacles. As we climbed over rocks and under branches, suddenly I saw them and again, I was stopped in my tracks by the amazing sight before me. I wish I had brought a zoom lens with me to get a shot of them through the trees but alas I did not. Maybe next time. Although, sometimes it’s nice to have some memories just to yourself… at least for a little while.
We headed back down the trail, invigorated by what we had just seen and also motivated by the last of the pumpkin pie that was waiting for us in the car. Sydney was such a trooper – she felt like she had pulled something in her leg but flat-out refused to let us turn around when we were going up the trail. Luckily, it was nothing serious and the pain receded as we headed back down the trail.
The hike itself took us several hours. Going up is no joke – the climb gets pretty steep at times and it took us a good hour and forty-five minutes going up, although that included a lot of stops to check out the astonishing view and make sure that Sydney’s leg wasn’t going to fall off. Coming back down was much faster but you didn’t want to move too fast lest you slip and land in mud – somehow I avoided the inevitable and managed to stay upright.
All in all, it was a 5-star hike with a million dollar view and a great way to wrap up Sydney’s visit here. Definitely worth checking out if you’re into hiking and don’t mind the climb 🙂
Want to follow along on the rest of the ‘Adventures in Oregon’ series?
Check them out here: