Aurora Creek and Sourdough Mountain – 12mi / 19.3km
This relentless trail up Aurora Ridge has a nice payoff of views at the top of Sourdough Mountain. The faint Aurora Creek Trail starts steeply climbing as soon as you step onto it. It switchbacks up over 3,500ft/1,150m in less than 3mi/4.8km through a lush forest. Views are scant as you climb.
The trail eases up as it approaches the ridge, then drops on the south side to join up with the Aurora Ridge Trail. Take a right to traverse across the ridge for 2.1mi/3.4km. Follow the signed junction for Sourdough Camp. Stay to the right of the meadow and the faint trail appears once you get into the trees.
You’ll traverse below a cliff and circle around to the top of the cliff where sweeping views to the south provide a reward for your effort. Enjoy views of the mountains, including Mt. Olympus, before heading back the same way.
Trailhead: Park at the small pullout 0.8 miles west of mile marker 226 on Hwy 101 along Lake Crescent (east of La Poel picnic area). The subtle trail begins on the south side of the road.
Elevation Gain: 4,200ft / 1,260m – Elevation Loss: 4,200ft / 1,260m