Two different trailheads give access to the meadows: the west trailhead off of FSR 2032 and the east trailhead off of FSR 230 (Latiwi Creek Road). This article focuses on the latter, a three-and-a-half-mile hike past two small mountain lakes.
Driving from Sweet Home, Latiwi Creek Road is 27 miles east on Highway 20. Those familiar with this highway will recognize it as the entrance road to House Rock Campground, a lovely riverside campground that is best suited to tents and small trailers. Once past the campground, pavement ends. It is well to remember that the Forest Service considers this a "good" road. It is, in fact, quite drive-able, but very narrow in places and accented with random potholes. It is also steep at times (learn from a certain author and gear down on your way out; otherwise, you may find yourself nursing badly overheated brakes). Follow the directions to a small spur road and the trailhead. Dispersed camping is possible here, but it is mainly just a wide spot at the end of the road.
Watch for woodland flowers as you continue uphill through the woods. After about two miles past the lakes, start watching on your left for the meadows. These are not so much a specific destination as a series of spacious openings in the forest. Wander at will into the clearings and you will find that they are liberally sprinkled with a wide variety of wildflowers.
Some hikers camp near the meadows, but be aware that snow meltoff leaves the ground quite moist, and mosquitoes love the area, as well. The meadows are best enjoyed as a delightful day hike, with camping near the lakes or in a nearby campground.
While the relatively easy access might occasionally attract a rowdy group, most hikers are here for the flowers. Equestrians and even mountain bikers enjoy this trail, as well. Don't miss this beautiful place simply because it's off the beaten path. Bring your camera, and maybe an inflatable boat. You will be glad you did.
Post a Comment