Low Point: 1550'
High Point: 2100'
Season: All Year
DirectionsFrom Oakridge, drive west on Highway 58 for a little over a mile before turning right (south) onto Forest Service Road 23 (marked well with a sign for Hills Creek Reservoir). Turn. Drive this route for a half mile before veering right onto Forest Service Road 21. The trailhead is a little over three miles from here, at a small turnoff at Larison Cove.
The Larison Creek Trail makes for a great hike any time of the year. During the summer months, the canyon provides a cool retreat from the hot summer days, while winter gives a chance to see the creek at full force, and experience some great old growth forests. Spring offers views of renewed maple trees and blooming rhododendrons, while fall gives the opportunity to see great fall colors.
The trail leaves the trailhead and travels along the Larison Arm of the Hills Creek Reservoir. During most of the year when the water is well below the high water line, a vast desert of mud and tree stumps populate the untouched reaches of the reservoir. Nevertheless, the forests surrounding the reservoir are nice, and after 1.6 miles, the scenery gets even better. The trees get larger and moss hanging from the trees creates a brilliant green environment. The tumbling creek adds a dynamic piece to the arrangement, and the combination of elements creates an excellent forest walk.
Unfortunately, man has not totally left this valley totally alone. At the 3.5 mile mark, after crossing a small stream, the trail passes along side a large clear-cut. The trail briefly sideswipes the mess and dips back into the pleasant woods. The trees once again gain their splendor towards the end of the trip as the creek pours down the valley bottom.
At the 4.9 mile mark, the trail approaches the north fork of Larison Creek. Crossing this during winter and spring can be near impossible, and since the trail only continues uphill for a half mile to a Forest Service Road, you might as well just turn around and enjoy this trail all over again on the way back to your car!